LNC Memo: Wrights Was Not Member When Elected

Libertarian Party Treasurer Aaron Starr today reportedly sent a memo to the Libertarian National Committee which “raises doubts as to whether Mr. Wrights was even eligible to serve at the time of his election to the LNC”.   The memo (an apparent copy of which was leaked to IPR) says that Sean Haugh wrote the April 2008 check for the sustaining membership of R. Lee Wrights, which lapsed this month and prompted the LNC Secretary to declare his seat vacant.  The memo quotes Bylaw 5.5 as saying “Higher levels of contribution by or on behalf of a Party member qualify as sustaining member status”, and points out that Haugh’s $25 check was not for an amount higher than a sustaining membership.

The memo cites federal election law against “contributions made in the name of another” and says that an error by staff incorrectly recorded the contribution as coming from Wrights. The memo says LPHQ is returning the $25 to Haugh, but that there is no evidence that Haugh thought the contribution would be credited to Wrights for FEC purposes.

The memo recounts Wrights’s contribution history and shows other lapses in membership.  In particular, the memo says that when elected Vice Chair of the LNC in May 2004, Wrights had been lapsed for nearly three months.  Wrights finally paid $25 in January 2005, but his membership lapsed again a year later, well before his term in office was finished.  The memo says Starr checked the membership status of all members of the LNC and “almost every member of the LNC has the status of life member, and as such qualifies as a sustaining member. The remaining members of the LNC are all monthly pledgers. And so as long as that is the case, there is no risk of lapsing. I note that many of the life members are also monthly pledgers, and I want to state my appreciation to each and every one of you”.

219 thoughts on “LNC Memo: Wrights Was Not Member When Elected

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    There’s a difference between payments made “in the name of another” and payments made “on behalf of another.”

    In the past, my own dues have on at least one occasion been paid “on my behalf.” I don’t have a debit card; my spouse does. The dues were not, however, paid “in my name” — the name on the debit card was clearly hers and not mine.

    In any case, Mr. Starr’s memo might be relevant during a process of suspension from the LNC … a process which has not yet occurred nor, to my knowledge, even yet been moved. It takes a motion to suspend and a 2/3 vote in favor of that motion, until which time Wrights remains a member of the body.

  2. Michael Seebeck

    Aaron needs to study the law more. The section of the CFR he cites in his memo relates to federal election campaigns, specifically 2 USC 431-442. See http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/2/chapters/14/subchapters/i/toc.html

    It does NOT apply to political party officers or their dues.

    Specifically:

    Section 441f. Contributions in name of another prohibited

    No person shall make a contribution in the name of another person or knowingly permit his name to be used to effect such a contribution, and no person shall knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another person.

    BUT:

    Section 431. Definitions

    When used in this Act:
    (8)(A) The term “contribution” includes –
    (i) any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office; or
    (ii) the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a political committee without charge for any purpose.

    Obviously Lee’s dues don’t qualify as a contribution to influence election to Federal office, so 2 USC 441-f and the related CFR do not apply to this case, or to any membership dues at all.

    See also http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/2/chapters/14/subchapters/i/sections/section_441f.html and http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/2/chapters/14/subchapters/i/sections/section_431.html

    So to claim this idea as Aaron does is utter rubbish.

  3. Rocky Eades

    Reminds me of Don Cooper’s report on the Washington, DC Tea Party: “In Lafayette Park, Washington D.C., of all places to protest, the plan was to dump one million tea bags in the park, but the brave dissidents never did it because they forgot to get the proper permits.” Part of the problem with being a government sponsored political party is that you enslave yourself to the government’s rules!

    Dig it deeper, guys!

  4. Andy

    “The memo (an apparent copy of which was leaked to IPR) says that Sean Haugh wrote the April 2008 check for the sustaining membership of R. Lee Wrights, which lapsed this month and prompted the LNC Secretary to declare his seat vacant. ”

    Wow, assholes of a feather really do flock together. Haugh was an employee of LP National at the time too.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    In his memo, Mr. Starr states:

    “[O]nce Lee Wrights became no longer eligible to hold the position … I believe that Bob Sullentrup, in his role as Secretary, then had no choice but to recognize that the office was now vacant and inform the LNC of the vacancy.”

    The duties are the Secretary are listed in Article 7, Section 6 of the bylaws. “Removal of LNC members when in his opinion they should be removed, and informing the LNC that he has removed those members” is not among those duties.

    Anyone, including Mr. Sullentrup, Mr. Starr, or LP staff, would be acting properly in informing the LNC as a whole that Mr. Wrights has, in their opinion, become “no longer eligible to hold the position.”

    It is the LNC as a whole, however, not Mr. Sullentrup, Mr. Starr or LP staff on their own hook, who are empowered to evaluate that claim, and if necessary to act on it with a motion for suspension.

  6. Andy

    Oh man do I hope this piece of trash Lee Wrights gets the boot. What goes around comes around you LYING BACKSTABBING TWO-FACED CHICKENSHIT WEASEL!

    This reminds me of the Chinese proverb that says, “Wait by a river long enough and you’ll see the bodies of your enemies float by.”

  7. John Famularo

    How many other “illegal contributions” have been made and reported on LNC FEC filings? I think someone should file a complaint with the FEC (anyone can you know). Let the FEC auditiors get to the bottom of this issue. If there are any fines imposed, Aaron Starr, as treasurer of the LNC federal PAC, would be personally responsible. Read 11 CFR. If he knew of these “illegal contributions” and signed the FEC reports anyway, he committed a federal felony. Read 2 U.S.S Sec 434(b) and 11 C.F.R. Sec 102(c)(8)(i)(A). If someone wanted to play hard ball with Mr Starr, he has given them a lot of ammunition.

  8. Tomcat

    I find it funny how first it was “his membership has lapsed”, and then there was a significant outcry. Now, it’s “Oh yeah, he wasn’t really a member in the first place.” What’s next? “He was actually born on the moon”?

  9. John

    At first, it seemed like Mr. Wrights was a principled leader. Then he denied leadership, claimed to be a bumbling buffoon, and blamed the party for his failures of personal responsibility. Now it turns out that he was conspiring with his buddy Sean to break the law, violate the LP bylaws, and cheat the party. This man spent an entire term pretending to be Vicechair when he hadn’t even been lawfully elected. Good riddance to bad garbage.

  10. John

    John Famularo is right. Someone should file a complaint with the FEC. If it was Aaron’s Starr’s idea to circumvent the law (and the LP bylaws), then Sean Haugh, Aaron Starr, and Lee Wrights should rot together in prison for violating federal law. This whole party is a stinking mess.

  11. John

    Tomcat, why would it matter if Lee Wrights was born on the moon? He wasn’t elected to the LNC in Denver (or Atlanta) because he wasn’t a member at the time, so it doesn’t matter. Is being born on the moon even a disqualification? I don’t think so.

  12. a different paul

    Obama can hire people who don’t pay their federal taxes; why can’t the LP appoint officers who don’t pay their party taxes?

  13. Michael H. Wilson

    This strikes me as a tempest in a teapot.

    The economic situation the country is in is going to cause some serious disruptions if it is not fixed and all the LP seems to have done is a blog entry, or two from Mr. Ferguson.

    At the same time membership numbers are down and fund raising is stalled.

    Now maybe a few heads need to roll, but we need to get this internal crap behind us and focus on the issues. If Mr Starr is correct none of this should have come up. Maybe Mr. Starr should go as well for not being aware of the problem much earlier.

  14. Gary Fincher

    From a reading of this, it appears that Sean Haugh violated Federal Election Law, by making an illegal contribution, under Title 11, Sec. 110.4 Contributions in the name of another;
    cash contributions (2 U.S.C. 441f, 441g, 432(c)(2)) (a) [Reserved] (b) Contributions in the name of another. (1) No person shall– (i) Make a contribution in the name of another;

    Will Sean Haugh be prosecuted by federal authorities? Or will this somehow be State Courts that will prosecute Sean Haugh?

    Will Sean Haugh receive prison time for this violation of election law, since he is a repeat offender? Or will Sean Haugh probably receive probation?

  15. a different paul

    Michael, from what I remember from the past, this internal crap always seems to be the front and center party issue. The names have changed, but looks like the issues are pretty similar, and usually involve some group trying to discredit a member from another group.

    All this led me once to ask whether – if the LP really had a shot at winning a presidential election – that would be a good thing?

  16. Tomcat

    John,

    I’m glad you have such a keen eye for sarcasm.

    If Mr. Wrights wasn’t a member at the time of election or not still seems to be a matter of debate, so he should have a hearing to determine if he was or wasn’t, and if paying for a membership for someone else is a violation of FEC rules or not.

    My point with the moon comment was that no matter what happens, the same crew seems to find yet another reason for Mr. Wrights to go. Personally, I have no dog in this fight since I don’t know any of the people involved. This is simply the impression from someone who has no opinions of anyone involved in this on a personal basis.

  17. George Phillies

    Clearly Haugh did not make a contribution in the name of another, because his name was originally on the contribution. That rule is their to make clear from whom the money came, and it did. It is neither of their faults that the recording system can’t handle reality.

  18. George Phillies

    And now the more interesting question: WHo will be the *next* radical to be purged?

    Obvious entrants include

    Mary Ruwart
    Rachel Hawkridge
    Tony Ryan
    Julie Fox
    Steve LaBianca
    Mark Hinkle
    Jake Porter

    or perhaps they will start with a non-radical…I have already been threatened with expulsion from the party — which is how you deep-six a regional representative — fortunately with witnesses available.

  19. Michael H. Wilson

    Clearly good management would have brought this issue up at the time of nomination which leads me to wonder how often in the past has this happened and been ignored?

    If this policy has been ignored and is now going to change then it should have been announced well in advance.

    Treating people fairly is the purpose of Robert’s Rules which we claim to be our guide.

  20. Kimberly Wilder

    Since I am not inside the Libertarian Party, it is difficult to understand all this. Though, I feel like an injustice is probably happening somewhere.

    I partly feel like if someone is an officer of an organization, they should not have the option of boycotting dues. If you want to play the game, seems like you have to follow the rules. All the other folks have to pay dues.

    I would like to understand if the officer wants to continue in his position. (It might have been said, but there is so much to wade through.)

    Also, if the officer is willing to pay dues now.

    I wanted to say that the argument presented that “he was not a member when elected” means to me, that someone who is not a member can be an officer. I think it kind of shoots down the theory that he can be dismissed for not being a member/paying dues.

    Good luck.

    I hope that justice prevails.

    It is frustrating when parties have to go through this. And, the FEC stuff stinks, too. It is as if most of us are well-meaning people, giving our lives to a cause we believe in. But, right over our shoulder is Big Brother, and if anyone gets mad, or squirmy, they can shout and bring the patriarch down our heads. Very frustrating.

    And, as in the Green Party, some people want it to look like a small thing or a mere technicality. When, behind it, are probably power players who know how to smile and play things smooth…

  21. paulie

    Interesting.

    If nothing else, the info about the past dues lapses confirms that lapsed dues were never an immediate cause of suspension before.

    So why the sudden hyper-vigilance now?

  22. paulie

    I note again that a couple of the comments in this discussion were stuck in spam. I hope other IPR writers start helping me pull legitimate comments out of the spam file, as there are some there fairly frequently.

  23. paulie

    Andy,

    This reminds me of the Chinese proverb that says, “Wait by a river long enough and you’ll see the bodies of your enemies float by.”

    Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
    Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
    Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
    Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
    Mongol General: That is good! That is good.

  24. a different paul

    Warning – politically incorrect statement to follow:

    Why did the mongols ride horses. Because everyone knows those people can’t drive cars.

  25. paulie

    Interesting.

    If nothing else, the info about the past dues lapses confirms that lapsed dues were never an immediate cause of suspension before.

    So why the sudden hyper-vigilance now?

    Also, I note that no one disputes that Lee Wrights is currently a sustaining member, and that he was elected to the LNC by the delegates in Denver.

    Given these facts, why wouldn’t the LNC allow Mr. Wrights to continue to serve – or reappoint him, if they wish to claim that is what they are doing – and then convene to consider removal for cause by 2/3 vote if they believe such cause exists?

    Possible causes for removal might include the alleged promise never to contribute to the LP again – denied by Mr. Wrights repeatedly in writing, and belied by his subsequent action – and possibly even this alleged non-membership back in May.

    But whatever the causes for removal, they should be considered by the entire LNC with a 2/3 vote required to remove; otherwise what is happening is an obvious end run around that requirement.

    We have anecdotal and written evidence that other LNC members, including Mr. Wrights himself, have been late with dues before, with no effort made to remove them.

    We have the fact that other members have been notified by email when their dues were about to expire or had just expired, yet Mr. Wrights was not notified and given a grace period to comply before being told he had in effect resigned, with a notice of vacancy being simultaneously advertised.

    At that point, he received an email, but not before.

    Given these facts, how can the membership see this as anything other than an end-run by members of the LNC who are exasperated with Mr. Wrights to find a technicality or loophole, or manufacture one, to bypass the 2/3 requirement for removal for cause?

  26. libertariangirl

    DR. P__And now the more interesting question: WHo will be the *next* radical to be purged?

    I say Ruwart will be next.

  27. paulie

    John,

    John Famularo is right. Someone should file a complaint with the FEC. If it was Aaron’s Starr’s idea to circumvent the law (and the LP bylaws), then Sean Haugh, Aaron Starr, and Lee Wrights should rot together in prison for violating federal law. This whole party is a stinking mess.

    A) If someone explores every technicality in the federal law, I doubt any of us will not be in prison for something or another.

    B) No one, as far as I know, has suggested that Mr. Starr was or would have been a party to any such “conspiracy.”

  28. Bennie

    Paulie: “no one disputes that Lee Wrights … was elected to the LNC by the delegates in Denver.”

    That is exactly what is being disputed. He was not a sustaining member in Denver, therefore was not eligible to be elected, therefore he was not elected.

    The LP has this stinky mess because Lee Wrights and his buddy deceived everyone into thinking that he had been elected. If Lee Wrights was honest in Denver about his ineligibility, then we wouldn’t be reading about this stinky mess.

  29. John Famularo

    Paulie wrote,
    “No one, as far as I know, has suggested that Mr. Starr was or would have been a party to any such “conspiracy.””

    Ok. I will.

  30. paulie

    That is exactly what is being disputed. He was not a sustaining member in Denver, therefore was not eligible to be elected, therefore he was not elected.

    The clear intent of the delegates was to elect Lee Wrights. Whatever may have been the problem with dues has now been fixed. So, the default should be to revert to what the delegates intended, unless 2/3 of the committee finds cause for removal.

  31. paulie

    Ok. I will.

    On what possible basis? Mr. Starr is not an ally of the same faction as Mr. Wrights; and if it was not for his memo here, it is unlikely any of us would have ever known about the 2008 dues being deposited through someone else or the past dues lapses in 2004 etc.

  32. paulie

    The LP has this stinky mess because Lee Wrights and his buddy deceived everyone into thinking that he had been elected. If Lee Wrights was honest in Denver about his ineligibility, then we wouldn’t be reading about this stinky mess.

    Oh, give me a break.

    It’s obvious that we wouldn’t be reading about this stinking mess if a majority of the committee, lacking 2/3 to remove dissenting members for cause, wasn’t trying to find creative and heretofore unknown means to bypass the 2/3 requirement.

    It’s clear that some of you would like all LP radicals and anarchists (overlapping, but not simultaneous categories) as well as Dr. Phillies,. members of Outright Libertarians and their allies and supporters to all leave the LP and join the BTP. Despite your name link, I highly suspect that you are among the LP faction that would like to purge all of us rather than a BTP member yourself.

    But, be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

    I don’t think, however, that all the Republicans that you dream will join the LP if and when we are gone will really do so – and if they ever do, certainly not for long. All you will end up with is two or more libertarian parties, weaker put together than one LP representing all of them, even with an uneasy truce.

  33. Harland Harrison

    I suspected Aarron Starr was behind this because he tried a similar trick in 2005. He tried to expel CA Vice-Chair Mark Selzer illegally using the same pretext that a bylaw defining “cause” somehow executed itself.

  34. Erik Geib

    These purge tactics are petty and ridiculous.

    I don’t really have a ton to say on this topic, but I thought it worth noting in case anyone cares what my opinion is (since I volunteer in the national office).

  35. paulie

    I suspected Aarron Starr was behind this because he tried a similar trick in 2005. He tried to expel CA Vice-Chair Mark Selzer illegally using the same pretext that a bylaw defining “cause” somehow executed itself.

    This isn’t the same conspiracy that John C and John F are suggesting. They would have us believe that Mr. Wrights conspired with Mr. Starr and a former employee of the LPHQ to pay Mr. Wrights’ dues just so as to later point out that it had been done in this manner so as to provide an excuse for removing Mr. Wrights from the LNC without being able to muster a 2/3 vote, and that they did so while Mr. Wrights was off the LNC.

    This sounds far too contrived to even have any remote chance of being realistic.

  36. a different paul

    paulie – not sure of the breakdown, but if you’re saying that the LP now is basically half comprised of people who could be described as radicals, then I think that certainly will impede others joining.

    If that’s the case, then I don’t think anything is possible beyond the modest local successes you sometimes have.

    Maybe this attempt to ‘purge’ them is what’s needed?

  37. paulie

    if you’re saying that the LP now is basically half comprised of people who could be described as radicals

    Less than half, but apparently more than 1/3.

    I think that certainly will impede others joining

    I don’t believe there is any great interest among quasi-libertarian Republicans to join the LP. Some of them talk about it, sure, but I don’t think they will actually do it, much less become active and stick with it.

    If that’s the case, then I don’t think anything is possible beyond the modest local successes you sometimes have.

    Nothing beyond that will be possible unless/until the party starts taking nuts and bolts stuff seriously, and to some extent until public attitudes shift.

    Maybe this attempt to ‘purge’ them is what’s needed?

    Go ahead, purge us. My prediction for that will lead to us in comment 36.

  38. a different paul

    “I don’t believe there is any great interest among quasi-libertarian Republicans to join the LP. Some of them talk about it, sure, but I don’t think they will actually do it, much less become active and stick with it.”

    Sounds defeatest. Like since you know you aren’t going to attract new members (not just Republicans by the way), you’ve given up on trying.

    “Nothing beyond that will be possible unless/until the party starts taking nuts and bolts stuff seriously, and to some extent until public attitudes shift.”

    Agree with you on the nuts and bolts comment. However, good nuts and bolts will only serve to get others to notice you, and if that happens and see something that strikes them as nutty, then you’ve got a worse problem than no one knowing you’re there.

    I don’t know the situation as well as you, and your prediction about two LPs may be on the mark. That’s already happened once, hasn’t it – except the non-radical faction didn’t form a party, but instead formed the Cato Institute?

  39. Rocky Eades

    @ #40 – “needed” to what end? “impede [what] others joining”, exactly?

    I, personally, would rather have one lgbt, pot smoking, tatooed and pierced, spike-haired prostitute who proudly loves and loudly and articulately proclaims individual freedom and the non-agression principle than to recruit ALL of the f***king fair taxers out of the Republican Party!

  40. Kimberly Wilder

    You decide if my comment means I am “a kibitzer”, “The Greek Chorus”, or nosy…

    But…

    I am thankful that Erik Geib cared enough and was brave enough to post his opinion.

    As someone who has been attacked in purge in the party I used to belong to, there were so many people who did or said nothing. It is nice to see people who take some kind of a stand when purges happen…

    —Erik Geib // Apr 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    These purge tactics are petty and ridiculous.

    I don’t really have a ton to say on this topic, but I thought it worth noting in case anyone cares what my opinion is (since I volunteer in the national office).—

  41. volvoice

    Instead of concentrating on the purging of Lee…maybe we should really be looking into who or whom our Treasurer is defaulting on payments to. If you are 40-50 grand in the hole somebody is NOT gettin paid…period. Who is it and how long will it last befroe leins are filed against the LP. I say the Lee thing is a smokescreen for bigger problems. If everyone is concentrating on saving Lee’s position on the LNC, then everyone forgets the Treasurer’s transparancy problems…..

  42. a different paul

    If the tactics are the problem, I’m with you Kimberly. I thought this whole lapsed dues thing sounded dumb.

    But if you are talking about whether the purge itself is needed, well, again, you guys know the situation better than me. But what I’ve heard here is that a third of the party is radical, and if those guys are represented in party leadership, I think you’ve got a problem.

  43. Kimberly Wilder

    Paulie –

    I don’t really know enough to say too much about this…

    But…

    I find that in the Green Party, people get pressured (cajoled and bullied) to sweep bad things under the rug, or let the bullies win, because there is this fear that “the dirty laundry will get aired” or the party will split.

    More and more, I think that good people inside parties should just stop worrying about that stuff. And, keep up the good fight.

    About the dirty laundry/press thing – So…if there is an injustice, and if it gets revealed, it will make the party look bad. Then, tell someone to fix the injustice. Don’t let them shut you up. Just put the threat back in their face.

    And…about the splitting up…I think it is so kind of western thinking, using a horribly simplistic and concrete organizing model, etc. to worry about splitting up. It’s also kind of naive and controlling…

    How does a movement grow? How does society and culture change? Not by making a small party with a lot of works obsessively grow and grow by stifling all dissent and contorting everyone to be the same.

    The movement…the energy for change…the forces of dissent…may grow better if you let them split when you find areas of disagreement. It is a path -torturous as it may seem-to letting like-minded people find each other and find consensus.

    Maybe if the people being purged now, just realized what their common denominator/strongest point was, just got together and started the next thing. Even if it is small. Even if they don’t get to take the furniture and the FEC status.

    Right after the presidential election is an awesome time for people to let go of the old parties. Let chaos create change NOW when there is still time to heal, grow, merge or reshape to get ready for the next presidential election cycle.

    I think the idea of merging the Green, and socialists and Libertarians, and everything is rather ambitious. Maybe that could happen. But, at least, let’s get some of the best thinkers and truly independent third party activists to create some new parties, or new spaces, or new factions.

    Quit fighting with the bullies for a bit. Just do an end run around them. It is the perfect time to take the risk…

  44. paulie

    Sounds defeatest. Like since you know you aren’t going to attract new members (not just Republicans by the way), you’ve given up on trying.

    On the contrary: I’m quite sure we can attract new members without purging the radical members of the LP; see 1994-1999 for example.

    On the other hand, it seems that the would-be purgers have given up on the possibility of attracting new members without purging some of the most hardworking and longstanding members of the party – without any concrete evidence that such a purge would bring in more members than it would displace; and, if they believe it would, why not just purge themselves and join the Modern Whigs or start a new party?

  45. paulie

    That’s already happened once, hasn’t it – except the non-radical faction didn’t form a party, but instead formed the Cato Institute?

    If you want to count stuff like that, you can also count the Konkin people (1973 rift), Mises Institute (1989 rift, IIRC), and so on.

  46. Denver Delegate

    Kind of unfair to lull Lee Wrights into a false sense of security that the status of his sustaining membership wouldn’t be enforced … lo these many years.

    Then a LNC staffer apparently pays his dues for him last year. Most people would think they’re following the party’s rules if a LNC staffer is the person working with you.

    Then Mr. Wrights gets his chain jerked by the neocon faction of the LNC once it’s clear that he won’t support their agenda to deform the Libertarian Party into Republican-lite.

    And when Mr. Wrights finally received actual notice that his dues were delinquent after his election at the 2008 Denver convention, and they needed to be paid for him to continue participate on the LNC, he paid them.

  47. paulie

    However, good nuts and bolts will only serve to get others to notice you, and if that happens and see something that strikes them as nutty, then you’ve got a worse problem than no one knowing you’re there.

    People’s mileage varies. There are far more people who don’t find hardcore LP views nutty who are not LP members, than there are who ARE LP members.

  48. paulie

    Furthermore, let me suggest that if current LP moderates succeed in carrying out a purge, they themselves will have created precedent for newer members to purge them in the future.

    Pretty soon you’ll have a rerun of the Reform Party sans Mr. Perot, cut off from all ideological moorings and sinking quickly to the bottom.

  49. Rocky Eades

    @ #44 – unfortunately not, Paul. As long as the LP is self-identified with the non-libertarian right, recruiting folks who believe in personal liberty is pretty difficult. But at least those who believe in personal liberty seem to be tolerant of the fairtaxers; too bad tolerance doesn’t flow back the other way!

  50. paulie

    I, personally, would rather have one lgbt, pot smoking, tatooed and pierced, spike-haired prostitute who proudly loves and loudly and articulately proclaims individual freedom and the non-agression principle than to recruit ALL of the f***king fair taxers out of the Republican Party!

    As would I.

    Sounds like you’re getting your wish, Rocky.

    No, because most fraud-taxers will not leave the NSGOP even if the LP purges all LGBT folks, pot smokers, anarchists, those who don’t wear suits and ties or have any other deviations from 1950s conservative appearance, etc.

    But, it’s true that even if they did, I wouldn’t take the trade.

  51. paulie

    I’ve heard here is that a third of the party is radical, and if those guys are represented in party leadership, I think you’ve got a problem.

    You’d rather have a party leadership that does not represent its members, or an explicit purge of all radical party members?

    I don’t think you have any idea of how many of the people who do the actual work in the party are radicals, anarchists, etc.

  52. a different paul

    “If you want to count stuff like that, you can also count the Konkin people (1973 rift), Mises Institute (1989 rift, IIRC), and so on.”

    The Cato Institute is the only one I knew about.

    Maybe the purgers should start a new party? Maybe so. But if they have 2/3 party and the radicals have 1/3, I doubt it will work out like that.

    But who knows. Referring to my earlier tug of war analogy, I do wish there was someone who could effectively pick up the robe and tug it in the direction of liberty. Because all the time there isn’t, the marker keeps getting pulled further away.

    That’s I guess the point I’d like to get across – an inneffective LP doesn’t just lose elections between now and when it does figure out the nuts and bolts stuff; it actually hurts the cause of liberty. Its not holding up its end of the rope.

  53. paulie

    Kind of unfair to lull Lee Wrights into a false sense of security that the status of his sustaining membership wouldn’t be enforced … lo these many years.

    Then a LNC staffer apparently pays his dues for him last year. Most people would think they’re following the party’s rules if a LNC staffer is the person working with you.

    Then Mr. Wrights gets his chain jerked by the neocon faction of the LNC once it’s clear that he won’t support their agenda to deform the Libertarian Party into Republican-lite.

    And when Mr. Wrights finally received actual notice that his dues were delinquent after his election at the 2008 Denver convention, and they needed to be paid for him to continue participate on the LNC, he paid them.

    Minus the somewhat excessive “neocon” reference, Denver Delegate is correct.

  54. a different paul

    “There are far more people who don’t find hardcore LP views nutty who are not LP members…”

    You really think so. I think if you really got a focus group into a discussion and started in with some of the hard-core stuff – scrapping all taxes, closing public schools, selling off roads to the highest bidder, etc – you’d find a different result than you’re expecting.

    Don’t know, but that’s my guess.

  55. a different paul

    “Furthermore, let me suggest that if current LP moderates succeed in carrying out a purge, they themselves will have created precedent for newer members to purge them in the future.”

    Of course. That’s the way it works, in any party.

  56. a different paul

    “I don’t think you have any idea of how many of the people who do the actual work in the party are radicals, anarchists, etc.”

    Well, that’s true. I don’t.

  57. paulie

    As long as the LP is self-identified with the non-libertarian right, recruiting folks who believe in personal liberty is pretty difficult.

    True.

    Devils advocate question here:

    if the worst scenario happens , who is the alternate or replacement most likely to get Lee’s seat?

    Based on the vote in Denver, it should then fall to Susan Hogarth.

    Based on purgerist factionalism, it will probably be M Carling.

  58. paulie

    You really think so.

    Of course. I’m not by any means suggesting they would be a major party, but if all hardcore libertarians were LP members, that would easily be several million people (not tens of millions, though) – more than the dues paying membership of the Democrats and Republicans.

    And if any non-trivial portion of those members devoted even 10% of their discretionary time/income to the party, they would be a formidable force in politics, even if they are only 1% of the population to start.

    Most of the LP’s problem has nothing to do with ideology, and ideological pencil-sharpening is pure distraction from what the party needs to do to become more effective.

  59. paulie

    Of course. That’s the way it works, in any party.

    See the following paragraph about the post-2000 history of the Reform Party. Why go there?

  60. Tomcat

    Most of the LP’s problem has nothing to do with ideology, and ideological pencil-sharpening is pure distraction from what the party needs to do to become more effective.

    You’ve got a point. There’s a lot of things that need to be done, and while there’s divergent ideologies within the LP, there’s still more that unites us. Dems and Repubs have divergent ideologies within their parties as well, including radicals, and are doing just fine.

  61. libertariangirl

    what for practical purposes can state party members and officers do to voice their opinions over the wrights matter?

    would it be beneficial for state chairs to call their regional reps?
    any other suggestions?

  62. a different paul

    “See the following paragraph about the post-2000 history of the Reform Party. Why go there?”

    I’m not sure that’s a valid argument. Having groups come and go in terms of taking leadership of a party is something that all parties experience, all the time. Look at the current Democrats – Obama’s people are in and Clinton’s people are only in to the degree the Obama people allow. Same with the Republicans. Now its Michael Steele’s party, though his hold on power is tenuous, and when someone else comes along that takes it from him, then it won’t be Steele’s party.

    These parties platforms and general issue focus change as the leadership changes – well, the platforms I guess change with every presidential convention. The parties have gotten used to operating like this, so maybe it isn’t quite the traumatic event you guys are finding it to be.

  63. paulie

    what for practical purposes can state party members and officers do to voice their opinions over the wrights matter?

    would it be beneficial for state chairs to call their regional reps?
    any other suggestions?

    Calling and emailing reps is what I have seen suggested so far.

    Some state parties passed resolutions on the Angela Keaton issue, but I didn’t see them having any effect, nor have I seen any this time.

  64. paulie

    These parties platforms and general issue focus change as the leadership changes – well, the platforms I guess change with every presidential convention. The parties have gotten used to operating like this, so maybe it isn’t quite the traumatic event you guys are finding it to be.

    They don’t change dramatically, and they have power, which is what attracts most of their energy. The Reform Party history is more applicable to an ideologically rudderless and shifting LP.

  65. a different paul

    “They don’t change dramatically…”

    They have, at times. The Democrats once were the party of Southern segregation, and the Republicans were once the party of non-intervention foreign policy.

  66. paulie

    LG,

    You can actually write all the LNC members, not just your region rep.

    wredpath@his.com, michael@resetamerica.com, rwsully@att.net, starrcpa@pacbell.net,
    chair@lptexas.org,
    narwhal3@gmail.com, agmattson@gmail.com, mary@ruwart.com,
    TRLeap@aol.com,
    freeutahns@yahoo.com, scott73@earthlink.net,
    mark@garlic.com, rebecca.sinkburris@gmail.com>, jaxonusa@msn.com, sff@ivo.net, Heatherscott01@hotmail.com, jwlark@virginia.edu, berlie@etzel.us, Dankarlan@earthlink.net, jfox1214@sbcglobal.net, jake@jakeporter.org, LPWA.com1@gmail.com, freedhwy@gmail.com

    On the other thread, Tom Knapp also lists Lee Wrights’ eddress.

  67. paulie

    They have, at times.

    Again: they had power around which their membership and donations coalesced.

    The Reform Party after 2000 is a closer parallel to what an ideologically unhinged and unanchored smaller party will do without a lot of money and power already behind it.

  68. Michael Seebeck

    Since it’s out of the spam queue now (Thanks, Paulie!), y’all may want to go back and read Comment #2 as to why this whole memo is garbage.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    The Cato Institute was not a break from the Libertarian Party. In point of fact, the leader of the LP’s radicals at the time, Murray Rothbard, was one of its founders. It was founded in, IIRC, 1977. The Crane faction didn’t break with the LP until 1983.

  70. a different paul

    “The Reform Party after 2000 is a closer parallel to what an ideologically unhinged and unanchored smaller party will do without a lot of money and power already behind it.”

    Yeah, okay, I can see that point. However, I could counter with a comment about how the LP for the last 40 years is a model of what happens when things don’t change.

    But granted, that opens to your follow-up about the importance of the nuts and bolts stuff, and how that’s actually the missing ingredient.

  71. paulie

    LP was started in 1971. The cofounder most responsible for its founding, David Nolan, and many (but not all) of the other cofounders are what are today called “radicals” that some in the LP want to purge.

    Tom Knapp is correct that Cato existed prior to the ’83 split (and I would add, I think the Mises Institute also existed before many of the people associated with it quit the LP), but it’s true that those are where many ex-LP members devoted their energies after being “purged”.

  72. George Phillies

    @2

    “…Obviously Lee’s dues don’t qualify as a contribution to influence election to Federal office,…”

    Your claim appears to be obviously wrong. It’s a donation to a PAC that engages in Federal Election Activity. Please defend your claim, mindful that the words after “to” seem to be a Term of Art.

  73. Kimberly Wilder

    Radicals.

    I had to put up a defense – or just explanation – of radical.

    I have been pondering this lately, because a member of a group I was in said, “Oh, my, we are not radicals…” in shame, and I thought the goal was to be radical.

    All radical actually means, is that someone says, “The whole system is wrong, let’s make structural changes.”

    As opposed to someone who says more mild things, such as “Those people in charge of the system are bad, I (or we) should replace them.” Or, “Some stuff is unfair. Let’s make some new laws or lobby so things are more fair for me” — people like me, my ethnic group, my party, or what have you.

    If you look at the facts about how wealth is divided in America. It is clear the whole system and structure needs a revamp.

    If you look at underlying patters of racism, sexism and patriarchy that are still not fixed, you realized the whole system is unfair and has miles to go before equality.

    If you look at how much power our government has versus how much power citizens have, you know the whole system is wrong.

    If you look at how the two party system works, and our ballot access laws works, the whole system needs a revamp.

    So, radical is what is required. Not just tinkering around the edges, or changing which teams are in charge.

    To be in a third party is to be a radical. You are buying out of the two party duopoly that has other people fooled.

    We should not give away the term “radical.” We need radical reforms. A radical change. A radical difference. And, we need to be able to explain to voters and young people how to make big changes by changing the underlying system, instead of just picking sides, or heros, or charming candidates.

  74. Bryan

    Before everyone starts playing Taps for the LP, isn’t internal “bickering” what most political parties go through? This seems to be a long running debate.

    It was mentioned that the founders of the LP were/are what would be called radicals today. At the same time there had to be an agreement in 1974 which toned down the language of the platform. Maybe the players have changed, and the sub-groups are slightly different, but I would like to know how may reformers were part of the overall party then…does anyone have even a very rough estimate?

    Also I have noticed that the large majority of vocal LP/libertarians are of the radical bend. If you look at the posters/commenter’s here and elsewhere, or at blog owners, they are for the most part radical or of the opinion that the reformers are not correct. My question here is; If radicals make up the majority, why has the platform changed in the last 6 years? Why was Barr successful at the ’08 convention? Why is the national not made up of largely radicals?

    I know in my state (South Carolina), there doesn’t seem to be many vocal radicals, and frankly I am comfortable where we are at…but I would like to know more about where the broader party stands….

  75. Bryan

    Kimberly,

    My question to your comment would be that the “reformer” platform would be a radical change, but knowing that your even more radical platform will be absolutely unsuccessful in it’s endeavor, is it not better to change what you can, in order to achieve your ultimate goals?

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bryan,

    Yes, internal bickering is something all parties go through.

    It tends to get magnified in both volume and perceived importance in “minor” parties, though, since there’s not a similar “we won! — what do we do now?” body of conversation to balance things out.

    As to the composition of the party, there’s not even really a good scorecard to identify the players with. The definitions of “radical,” “reformer,” “purist,” “pragmatist,” etc. are debatable, and they cross lines of both ideology and strategic orientation. There are radical reformers, pragmatic purists, etc.

    I wouldn’t define the current conflicts on the LNC as being particularly ideological or strategic in origin. The Starr clique doesn’t seem to have any “written in stone” goal beyond being in charge.

    Yes, they’re going after “radicals” right now, because “radicals” seem to be the easy targets — but they’ll turn on anyone else who gets in their way when they believe they’re strong enough to do so and make it stick. Keaton and Wrights are pretty much the LNC’s Trotsky and Radek. Redpath is its Bukharin. He’ll get his when the Starrlinists are done with the TrotskyWrights.

  77. John C

    I am a radical. An ACTUAL Libertarian. I am also a “big tent” guy and a pragmatist to a certain extent.

    Radicals are not holding the LP back in any way. It is obvious from these disputes and many other things, that the LP itself and its leadership is a fucking joke- from a practical political standpoint.

    Becoming a substitute Republican Party will not do anything to make the LP more viable. Most people are pretty happy with the “2 party system,” despite claims to the contrary. I think to the extent people seek out alternative political homes they are looking for something that is actually ALTERNATIVE- a party that takes principled stands on issues that are different than the typical “bipartisan” non-stances.

    I used to somewhat of a political “reformer” despite being personally radical/anarchist. However it is obvious there is really no reason to sacrifice principles for the illusion of a political gain that does not exist in reality.

    I am sad to say that most of society is not yet ( if ever) interested in the product and will not rush out to sign up for it if it is simply “sold” as some smooth Republican-lite concoction.

    We are probably stuck at our < 1% whether we sell out ( if you are familiar with “sell-outs” in the music/entertainment industry, you are probably aware of many bands/artists that ended up selling LESS in their attempts to “sell out” when they alienated supporters and miscalculated their attempts at broader appeal) or not.

    So if we are stuck at <1 % or whatever it is, it makes more sense to me to actually take hardcore principled positions. There is no benefit to chasing non-libertarians. There is some benefit to working with allies on single-issues, but no need to throw out all other beliefs and agree on everything.

  78. Michael Seebeck

    George, the LP is prohibited as a political party from allocating funds to federal campaigns. That’s why the assorted PACs we do have exist. LPUS is not a PAC. If it were, then we’d have a ton of legal problems since PACs cannot nominate candidates on a Party label.

    Per the FEC, a contribution covered by this section is a contribution to a candidate’s federal campaign fund, not a political party membership or general fund. You need to read the entire section of the USC to get that clearly. That means starting at 2 USC 431 and reading onwards.

  79. robert capozzi

    bryan, there were no “reformers” at the outset, since it was new.

    the early days had 3 camps: hawkish Randians, anarcho Rothbardians, and counterculturists, near as I can tell.

    most (scant) data indicate the anarchists element is small but significant.

    the big difference between now and then is that there are millions of Ls or L leaners now. tapping them and making the LP relevant and viable is the emphasis of “reformers.” the “radical” emphasis is on holding high the banner of “pure” theory to build a cadre for the long term “revolution.”

    the fastest growing faction in the LP is the Rodney King Caucus, which believes we CAN all get along. care to join?

  80. George Phillies

    @88

    I’m sorry, but you are simply completely wrong. The National Party is a political party committee is entirely entitled to make coordinated or uncoordinated campaign expenditures. It has done so on occasion.

    I am too busy to detail your errors, but having been a treasurer both for a political campaign and for a Federal PAc, and for a political party committee, you are quite entirely mistaken.

    George

  81. Michael Seebeck

    Then show me the FEC registration of the LP as a PAC.

    Then show me which federal election campaign Lee’s dues contribute to.

    And show me where in the BCRA party membership dues are regulated.

  82. a different paul

    Kimberly – understand what you’re saying but I think you need to understand that the mythical ‘mainstream’ probably equates ‘radical’ to ‘nutty,’ and a third party constantly has to prove to non-members it isn’t nuts.

  83. volvoice

    …..The Starr clique doesn’t seem to have any “written in stone” goal beyond being in charge…..

    Amen! That about sums the whole damn thing up. They wanna kick out anyone who is an activist, but trip all over themselves to ensure that sexual harrassers stay in the party at the highest levels.

  84. Michael Seebeck

    Sean will be addressing the situation tomorrow on LFA. I’m pretty sure that Sean simply paid the dues for Lee and Lee repaid Sean for the courtesy.

  85. Eternaverse

    Robert @89 “the early days had 3 camps: hawkish Randians, anarcho Rothbardians, and counterculturists, near as I can tell.”

    Thats not really true. If you read Brian Doherty’s “Radicals for Capitalism”, he talks about survery of early LP activists. The LP was 75% formerly libertarian, 36% Objectivist, 23% Misesian, 17% anarchist and 16% were followers of sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein.

  86. Michael Seebeck

    I have further researched the code in question. It does define political parties in there, but the terminology on contributions is missing the destination object (to whom or what they go to), leaving it vague. George is correct on that.

    However, the fact that dues don’t directly go to federal election campaigns is still valid and still makes 441f not apply.

    If dues were to be applied to federal campaigns, then that’s the equivalent of an employer contributing to an employee’s alcoholism by paying him a salary to buy his booze, in contrast to buying the booze for him directly. The point is that because the Party is the middleman between the contributor and the campaign (whatever federal campaign it is), and the middleman expends those funds on mroe than just that campaign, the funds cannot be considered a contribution under 2 USC 441f. Follow the money, through the LP’s legal laundering service.

  87. HumbleTravis

    I already have an aversion to joining groups, but this type of amateur hour bureaucratic infighting “controversy” has always made me reluctant to join the LP.

  88. Bryan

    Robert: the fastest growing faction in the LP is the Rodney King Caucus, which believes we CAN all get along. care to join?

    Hell, I think I already am a member, I’m just trying to figure out why we aren’t getting along already.

    Unless it is a meteor strike, or alien invasion, or a complete economic/governmental breakdown…I don’t see anarchy as happening in four years. If it does…I’ll deal with it…it sounds rather interesting.

    I’m a Constitutionalist which I guess makes me a “reformer”. But in my opinion no matter where your “sub-group” stands, the first step…is…well… the first step.

    It’s rather frustrating seeing the various “discussions” here and in other threads. Except for absolute anarchy which I don’t see as a good idea, any thing in between would have to “travel” through Constitutionalism and if I am alive and have an opinion at this time, then…I will have to decide my next step…

    T. Knapp actually wrote an article about this, I forget where I saw it, but, it basically used a train analogy. If he or someone else (probably Paulie) sees this, how about posting the link…

  89. libertariangirl

    **They wanna kick out anyone who is an activist, but trip all over themselves to ensure that sexual harrassers stay in the party at the highest levels.

    me__ oh god not this tired argument again?
    how can pursuing sexual harassment allegations against Angela be frivilous yet at the same time ones against M Carling are deemed to be valid?
    seems like more of the double standard again.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bryan,

    You write:

    “T. Knapp actually wrote an article about this, I forget where I saw it, but, it basically used a train analogy. If he or someone else (probably Paulie) sees this, how about posting the link…”

    I’m not the inventor of the “train” analogy — it’s been around far longer than I have. I’ve probably used it in at least 10-20 articles and some unknown but very large number of comments 😉

    Regards,
    Tom

  91. George Phillies

    @99

    Filings by LIBERTARIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE – C00255695
    2600 Virginia Ave NW
    Suite 200
    Washington
    from the FEC web pages.

    Actually, sending money to a Federal candidate is not one of the enumerated classes of Federal Election Activity. In fact, you don’t need to have a candidate, just a Federal election, and do any of the enumerated things.

  92. Dick Clark

    adp: “Radical” isn’t a pejorative. It just means something or someone that proceeds from a central point. A radical libertarian is someone who is libertarian “from the roots up.” The word “radical” descends from the Latin “radix,” which means “root.”

    The Libertarian Party is a political party built around a political philosophy, for the promotion of liberty. We need more “radicals,” not fewer of them.

  93. volvoice

    …..how can pursuing sexual harassment allegations against Angela be frivilous yet at the same time ones against M Carling are deemed to be valid?…..

    Its one way or the other LG, if it is a big enough deal to run one person out of the party then these same people should be principled enough to apply these “standards” to one of their own. Your argument can be reversed:

    …..how can not addressing sexual harassment allegations against M be considered sound party policy yet at the same time ones against Angela are deemed to be of utmost importance in addressing in an LNC meeting?…..

    Again, it’s one or the other…guys that want to play both sides of the fence are not very principled IMO.

  94. Bill Wood

    Once again LP Membership is not going down. Here is part of a report posted in Nov. after the election.

    “The total number of “Sustaining” donors from 04/04-10/04 increased by 3.45 percent, for a total of 727 net donors. Compare this to the total number of Sustaining donors from 04/08-10/08, which increased by 17.71 percent for a total of 2,587 net donors.

    New donors from Apr-Oct 04 were 2438, but compare this to Apr-Oct 08 where we had 4,694 donors—a 92.53 percent increase.

    Renewals on membership are also up 108 percent compared to the same time period in 2004.

    This is a sure sign that we are growing, and we are growing strong.

    Top ten states for growth (by percent) from Apr 08 to Oct 08:

    RI 56%
    KY 45%
    NE 43%
    AL 42%
    TN 34%
    ND 33%
    MS 30%
    LA 30%
    TX 29%
    MA 29%

    We are growing, and we are growing fast”

    Also Donny Ferguson reported that in the first three months of this year “New” Members increase each month.

  95. libertariangirl

    VV__Again, it’s one or the other…guys that want to play both sides of the fence are not very principled IMO.

    I happen to have the opinion that the charges against M and Angela we’re both bullshit.

  96. paulie

    I’m not the inventor of the “train” analogy

    Oddly enough, I actually am – I thought of it and started using it before I ever read it anywhere. However, I’m not the first inventor of it.

  97. paulie

    understand what you’re saying but I think you need to understand that the mythical ‘mainstream’ probably equates ‘radical’ to ‘nutty,’ and a third party constantly has to prove to non-members it isn’t nuts.

    People who equate radical to insane are not our target audience. It’s a lot easier to recruit people who equate radical/extreme with hip/cool/awesome. There’s lots of those – way, way more than there are of us.

  98. paulie

    I am a radical. An ACTUAL Libertarian. I am also a “big tent” guy and a pragmatist to a certain extent.

    Radicals are not holding the LP back in any way. It is obvious from these disputes and many other things, that the LP itself and its leadership is a fucking joke- from a practical political standpoint.

    Becoming a substitute Republican Party will not do anything to make the LP more viable. Most people are pretty happy with the “2 party system,” despite claims to the contrary. I think to the extent people seek out alternative political homes they are looking for something that is actually ALTERNATIVE- a party that takes principled stands on issues that are different than the typical “bipartisan” non-stances.

    I used to somewhat of a political “reformer” despite being personally radical/anarchist. However it is obvious there is really no reason to sacrifice principles for the illusion of a political gain that does not exist in reality.

    I am sad to say that most of society is not yet ( if ever) interested in the product and will not rush out to sign up for it if it is simply “sold” as some smooth Republican-lite concoction.

    We are probably stuck at our < 1% whether we sell out ( if you are familiar with “sell-outs” in the music/entertainment industry, you are probably aware of many bands/artists that ended up selling LESS in their attempts to “sell out” when they alienated supporters and miscalculated their attempts at broader appeal) or not. So if we are stuck at <1 % or whatever it is, it makes more sense to me to actually take hardcore principled positions. There is no benefit to chasing non-libertarians. There is some benefit to working with allies on single-issues, but no need to throw out all other beliefs and agree on everything.

    Exactly!

  99. paulie

    is it not better to change what you can, in order to achieve your ultimate goals?

    If you give up your ultimate goals, how do you ever achieve them?

  100. paulie

    It was mentioned that the founders of the LP were/are what would be called radicals today.

    Some. Not all.

    At the same time there had to be an agreement in 1974 which toned down the language of the platform.

    No, the 1973 platform was more radical than the 1972 platform.

    Maybe the players have changed, and the sub-groups are slightly different, but I would like to know how may reformers were part of the overall party then…does anyone have even a very rough estimate?

    As someone already pointed out, “reformers” does not make sense when talking about the party then. And the categories are very loose and intersecting.

    Also I have noticed that the large majority of vocal LP/libertarians are of the radical bend. If you look at the posters/commenter’s here and elsewhere, or at blog owners, they are for the most part radical or of the opinion that the reformers are not correct.

    Depends on where you go.

    My question here is; If radicals make up the majority, why has the platform changed in the last 6 years? Why was Barr successful at the ‘08 convention? Why is the national not made up of largely radicals?

    I don’t think we are the majority.

    But even if we were, all the above could still happen due to better organization among the “other side” and better convention attendance.

  101. John Famularo

    Bill Wood wrote,
    “We are growing, and we are growing fast”

    To what end? What the hell does an infinitesimal increase in an insignificant number?

    Would membership incease more if we purged all the LNC members?

  102. volvoice

    ….I happen to have the opinion that the charges against M and Angela we’re both bullshit….

    It’s not so much about the players involved or even the issue of sexual harrassment itself, but instead it is about the consistency with which our chair handles these issues. One gets hush hush treatment and “slap on the wrist” punishment while the other gets full blown LNC action complete with powerpoint presentations and forced expulsion. If certain people on the LNC want to have a purging agenda, then fine have at it, but don’t expect some of us to sit around with our thumbs up our ass and not call it like we see it.

  103. libertariangirl

    I agree the charges we’re handled differently but I also believe the maliciousness that brought both charges we’re equal in their ridiculousness and factionalism.

  104. Rocky Eades

    @ #112 – Paulie wrote: “People who equate radical to insane are not our target audience. It’s a lot easier to recruit people who equate radical/extreme with hip/cool/awesome. There’s lots of those – way, way more than there are of us.”

    Amen, brother!

  105. Gene Trosper

    I’d personally like to thank the LNC for going out of its way to continually do whatever is humanly possible to rip away my motivation to do *anything* for this party.

    Now if only the lot of you would focus on actually regaining liberty instead of pissing all over each other….

  106. Jim Davidson

    Why is it that whenever anything by or about Aaron Starr is published, I have a newfound enthusiasm for beating him to death with a length of rebar?

  107. a different paul

    “People who equate radical to insane are not our target audience.”

    The electorate is your target audience, and I think that equation holds for most of them.

  108. a different paul

    “We are growing, and we are growing fast”

    I think about eight years ago membership was over 30,000. What’s it today?

  109. a different paul

    To answer my own question, I see its not a clear cut thing. According to Wikipedia, “As of December 31, 2006, Libertarian Party reported that there were 15,505 donating members.”

    So 15k seems like its a lot smaller than the 30k number I remember. However, Wikipedia says something like 115k have signed the dumb pledge, which means they are non-dues paying ‘instant members’… is that the right terminology?

    Anyway, 115k is a lot bigger than 30k. So I guess its open to spin.

  110. paulie

    The electorate is your target audience, and I think that equation holds for most of them.

    No, no, no, no, no.

    The electorate is not all equally our target audience.

    Parts of the electorate that are most likely to switch to a new party (one which like all non-duopoly parties is believed to have “no chance of winning” by most people) are our target audience.

    90% of voters never switch their party after age 30, and there are a whole host of other factors.

    Acting as if the entire electorate is equally our target audience is very dumb, because some parts of the electorate are much more susceptible than others. This is why companies do market demographics, etc.

    In our case, the factors that could make us more appealing to certain segments of the market that we have a much higher chance of getting are the same ones that will turn off a larger segment of the market that already either feels adequately served by the larger parties, or is already too set in their ways or resigned that this is the way it is and will always be, or afraid of the “greater evil,” to ever make a switch.

    We can either embrace that dichotomy and use it to our advantage, or piss it away by turning off the people we actually have a shot at, in a massively misguided attempt to court voters who will never, ever, in the overwhelmingly vast number of cases make the switch, not even if they grumble about the big parties a lot.

    Failure to understand and utilize this market segmentation to our advantage has to be the biggest, most fundamental error the LP makes in its branding efforts.

  111. paulie

    Anyway, 115k is a lot bigger than 30k. So I guess its open to spin.

    No, because the 30k were dues paying members, and there were about as many (possibly more) non-dues paying members even then. So, it’s definitely declined since then.

    It did grow in 2007-8, but declined again in the last few months – I have month by month numbers in one of the comments above.

  112. paulie

    Jim,

    Why is it that whenever anything by or about Aaron Starr is published, I have a newfound enthusiasm for beating him to death with a length of rebar?

    The answer, Brutus, is not in Starr, but in yourself.

  113. Thomas L. Knapp

    Why is it that whenever anything by or about Aaron Starr is published, I have a newfound enthusiasm for beating him to death with a length of rebar?

    Mason Verger: I guess now you wish you’d fed the rest of me to the dogs.

    Hannibal Lecter: No, Mason, I like you just the way you are.

  114. robert capozzi

    the “rebar” comment underscores the desperate need for the Rodney King Caucus.

    it’s also potentially assault. makes Smith’s “walk into traffic” comment seem almost civil!

    brownshirt-like intimidation has no place among the “anything peaceful” crowd.

  115. libertariangirl

    JD__Why is it that whenever anything by or about Aaron Starr is published, I have a newfound enthusiasm for beating him to death with a length of rebar?

    me__ because you are a flippin idiot . its easy to talk big and make threats over the internet.

  116. Jim Davidson

    No, little girl, I didn’t make a threat. I made a comment about a feeling.

    I’ll have any feeling that I please, and I’ll say anything I want about my feelings. In the very unlikely event that Starr doesn’t like the way I feel, perhaps he should examine what behaviors are inspiring my feelings.

    I didn’t say that I planned to act on this feeling. And as you note, I am a long way from this jackass evil vicious jerk Starr, so my opportunity to act on my feeling is insignificant.

    Aaron Starr is an idiot. I am not the only one who holds this opinion. The actions of Starr, Sullentrup, Redpath, and others in this matter are hateful and evil, and again, I am not the only one who holds this opinion.

    I am not currently holding a length of rebar, and I am not currently looking for any of these idiots. Therefore there is no threat.

    It should be obvious to anyone, including a dimwit like you, LG, that the comment was meant in jest. If you don’t like dark, macabre humor, don’t read my posts.

    Or, go fuck yourself.

  117. Jim Davidson

    Capozzi, see my comments to LG.

    I would dearly love a lawsuit or criminal charge of assault. That would make my day. Just what the world needs, the assholes in the Libertarian Party invoking the aggression of the state to deal with a comment about feelings. Whee!

  118. Kimberly Wilder

    Oh, well. Guess somewhere in here is an important issue, or people would not get so hostile.

    I would request that Libertarian Girl and Jim Davidson please chill out and write more civil things.

    Do we keep up cuss words? (And, isn’t it silly with the level of articulation and sophistication people have here, to have to ask that question?)

    Peace and struggle,
    Kimberly Wilder
    (as a community member)

  119. paulie

    Jim: Starr, Sullentrup, Redpath, and others in this matter are hateful and evil

    Paulie: That’s a cue for the Evil theme song

    Jim to LG: go fuck yourself.

    Paulie: No, don’t start yet, wait for me!

  120. paulie

    I would request that Libertarian Girl and Jim Davidson please chill out and write more civil things.

    I think LG was quite civil.

    Do we keep up cuss words?

    You mean, as in change or remove comments? No, we don’t change or remove comments for cursing.

  121. paulie

    Paulie: No, don’t start yet, wait for me!

    LG__ too late , I should always start my day like this … makes everything else just gravy!

    Your gravy will be even better when mixed with my special secret Jewish-Mongolian salad dressing.

    😛

  122. George Phillies

    Libertarians launch Judicial Committee Petition to reject false claims Wrights is not an LNC member

    The PDFs are at
    lpmass.org/publicbb2/viewtopic.php?p=3231#3231
    in the second story. Note that web addresses have been tuned to avoid the spam issue

    You can read more at The Daily Liberty DOT com. The petitions and cover texts — they are on line — read

    A caucus of concerned Libertarians has launched a petition drive to the Libertarian Party Judicial Committee, asking that the Judicial Committee overturn fraudulent claims by part of the LNC that Lee Wrights has ceased to be an LNC member. There are two petitions. One is for anyone who is a sustaining member. The other is for anyone who attended the 2008 National Convention as a delegate. You can sign them on line at

    petitiononline.com/LPsust/petition
    (members)

    petitiononline.com/08dlgts/petition(delegates)

    or you can print the text below, sign, and mail.

    You can also sign this petition on line at petitiononline.com/LPsust/petition

    If you sign the paper petition, please return it to the circulator or mail it to Rachel Hawkridge, 10522 Lake City Way NE #C-103, Seattle, WA 98125

    Petition To The Judicial Committee To Overturn Actions Of The Libertarian National Committee Falsely Claiming To Have Removed R. Lee Wrights From The Libertarian National Committee.

    I am a Sustaining Member of the Libertarian Party. Pursuant to Article 8, Section 5, I find that the attempted removal of R. Lee Wrights, At-Large Member of the Libertarian National Committee, from the National Committee, without a 2/3 vote of the National Committee, contravenes Bylaws Article 8, Section 5. I affirm his position as an At-Large Representative and ask, per Article 8, Section 12, that the Judicial Committee overturn this attempted removal and direct that Wrights be recognized as an At-Large Member of the National Committee.

    Please sign this petition.

    You can also sign this petition on line at petitiononline.com/08dlgts/petition

    If you sign the paper petition, please return it to the circulator or mail it to Rachel Hawkridge, 10522 Lake City Way NE #C-103, Seattle, WA 98125

    Petition To The Judicial Committee To Overturn Actions Of The
    Libertarian National Committee Falsely Claiming To Have Removed R.
    Lee Wrights From The Libertarian National Committee.

    I was a Delegate to the Libertarian Party 2008 National Convention. Pursuant to Article 8, Section 5, I find that the attempted removal of R. Lee Wrights, At-Large Member of the Libertarian National Committee, from the National Committee, without a 2/3 vote of the National Committee, contravenes Bylaws Article 8, Section 5. I affirm his position as an At-Large Representative and ask, per Article 8, Section 12, that the Judicial Committee overturn this attempted removal and direct that Wrights be recognized as an At-Large Member of the National Committee.
    _________________

  123. Erik Geib

    Kimberly,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    To others,

    Being “pragmatist” and finding “electable” candidates sure worked out for the Dems in ’04 and the Repubs in ’08.

    The LP is much better served staying true to its core. This isn’t to say that it should become a party of hardcore anarchists, but it also shouldn’t be overtaken like the Movimiento Libertario was in Costa Rica. I more than welcome anyone into supporting the party that isn’t a ‘full convert.’ After all, as libertarianism is a philosophy and not a smattering of opinions (like the coalition-based republican and democratic ‘ideologies’), it can take a while to grasp the full concept. That being said, one must still have an open mind towards libertarian goals. Ok, fine, you don’t fully agree (yet) on gay marriage, but you better at least have an open mind about it. If you have a hardcore ‘family values’ approach then hit the road and reform your own party or join the CP.

    Few people are ever fully satisfied with all of a party’s or candidate’s viewpoints, and that’s a good thing. It means we aren’t all sheep (not yet, at least). The one major issue I do have with the ‘pragmatist’ approach is having candidates who aren’t fully libertarian. Fine, one’s living in rural South Carolina – paint the message that appeals (limited govt., low taxes, etc.), but don’t compromise your beliefs (gay marriage, anti-interventionism, etc.). LP candidates would be much better served running smarter, more focused campaigns than compromising libertarian ideology. After all, when you do that you just wind up a smattering of coalitions like the GOP or DNC, with no ‘real’ connection to your views.

    I think just marketing ourselves better (without compromising our beliefs) is a much better approach then bringing in the Bob Barrs and Wayne Allen Roots of the world. No, not everyone will always agree with what we have to say – that’s fine. If they find they agree with us more than they agree with others, hopefully we’ll get their vote. I find it absurd that there are things like Log Cabin Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats (the blue dogs that are ‘socially liberal’ at least).

    The LP should focus more on breaking down the barriers that hold us back (first person past the post, ballot access, gerrymandering, debate access) and marketing than finding ‘pragmatist’ approaches that compromise our ideals.

    The trick, of course, is something I don’t know the answer to: How to bring in more money and people (the aforementioned folks who aren’t ‘full converts’) without them changing the party’s beliefs or candidates. I think marketing would be better served at attacking this issue (yes, the ‘conversion’ idea that so many ‘pragmatists hate), so as to slowly open people’s eyes over time and stand true as a beacon of liberty when they’re ready for us.

    If the Ron Paul supporters can’t change the GOP, I don’t want to see them change the LP. I’d rather be an alternative that they can choose to vote for (again, no person should or does usually agree with all of a candidate or party’s platform).

  124. Erik Geib

    Dr. Phillies / libertariangirl,

    Question on the petition:

    Is one saying (by signing this) that they think what the committee did was petty and ridiculous, or that its okay to have non-members of the party on the committee (which is what they’ll try to argue).

    I don’t think Wrights should have been removed, as this was obviously a paperwork error. However, I also don’t want to set a precedent of saying its okay for future committee members to be elected that aren’t members. So that I feel comfortable, can you point me to something that says people cannot be elected in the first place if they’re not a party member (and no, I don’t buy the idea that Wrights wasn’t a member and wasn’t eligible to begin with. As I’ve said, I think he should remain on the committee)? I’d hate for the very people trying to do this to be able to expand their power by using this very petition as an impetus for appointing non-members unless they can be voted off by a 2/3 majority.

  125. Thomas L. Knapp

    Trying to make this easier with direct links:

    Petition for signature by credentialed delegates to the 2008 Libertarian National Convention only:

    Click here

    Petition for sustaining members of the Libertarian Party:

    Click here

    In order to appeal to the Judicial Committee, the signatures of either 1% of sustaining members, or 10% of credentialed delegates to the last national convention, are needed.

    I suspect that the delegate petition will be easier to achieve, and also easier to verify, but both are available. Please sign either or both petitions, depending on which you’re qualified to sign.

    Best regards,
    Tom Knapp

  126. robert capozzi

    jim, when you are feeling and thinking violent, aggressive thoughts, it’s wise not to deny them…internally. when you articulate them in public, however, you have careened into highly inappropriate behavior.

    imagine if the situation were reversed. if aaron had made the same threat you have made, how would that make YOU feel? under that circumstance, you might feel justified in launching a pre-emptive attack, yes?

    can we all just get along?

  127. Thomas L. Knapp

    Erik,

    Several issues seem to be getting intertwined here. Let me try to untangle them.

    1. The purported removal of R. Lee Wrights from the LNC was done on the basis that he was late with his dues for the current period. The appeal’s claim is that the process of removal required by the bylaws was not followed, and that the removal was therefore improper and must be voided.

    2. Additional allegations of past ineligibility came later. Those additional allegations were not the basis for the purported removal; therefore they are not reasonably admissible as evidence versus appeal of the purported removal as it actually happened.

    As to the additional allegations:

    3. In the process of nomination and election, anyone would be perfectly free to make allegations of ineligibility. Those allegations could then be the basis of a ruling of ineligibility for nomination by the chair or, even if unproven, could be taken into account by voting delegates.

    4. If at any point subsequent to an LNC member’s election allegations of ineligibility are made, there’s a process for hearing, evaluating, and acting on those allegations. The bylaws do not empower the Secretary, or any other particular member or combination of members of the LNC, to remove LNC members without following that process. Until the allegations are proven to the satisfaction of 2/3 of the LNC in the form of a motion to suspend, they are allegations, not facts of record.

  128. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “if aaron had made the same threat you have made”

    Mr. Davidson made no threat. Articulating a feeling or “enthusiasm” is not a threat.

  129. Erik Geib

    Thomas,

    Thank you for untangling that for me. #2 is particularly helpful. I just wanted to make sure someone couldn’t make the later argument about eligibility to try and put someone on the board as long as they couldn’t get a 2/3 vote off.

    Consider me signed.

  130. Thomas L. Knapp

    Erik,

    I can’t promise that nobody will ever try to make that argument, but if so I don’t think the current petition, or any likely outcome of it, would provide a reasonable foundation for the argument.

    If eligibility concerns are brought up and documented at the time of nomination/election, then the chair could presumably rule “this candidate is not eligible for nomination because X.” It would then take a majority of voting delegates to overrule the chair, and even then the candidate would still have to be elected after that in order to get on the board.

    In a post-election scenario, it would take an affirmative majority to select someone to fill a vacancy — not just lack of a 2/3 majority to keep that person out of the vacancy.

  131. robert capozzi

    jim, further thought on civility: publicly threatening males is poor form and potentially illegal.

    suggesting in a public forum that a female “f” herself is feral behavior.

    surely you know better.

    more surely, do you REALLY believe that you attract allies to your anarcho cause when you act out in this nihilistic, crude manner?

    deep down, you have to know better. I wish you nothing but the best, but I urge you to reflect on this incident and consider a less caustic approach. you might consider taking a sabbatical from posting until you get some clarity on these matters.

  132. Michael Seebeck

    BTW, if you are a national sustaining member and were a credentialed national convention delegate, you can sign both petitions.

    Also, to avoid multiple signatures, if you sign the paper versions, don’t sign the online ones, and vice versa. 🙂

  133. Rocky Eades

    @ #156 – it isn’t Jim’s anarcho cause, Bob. Whether or not he attracts allies to the cause of anarchism depends a lot on how much those potential allies respect individual liberty – warts and all!

  134. Rachel H

    @126 – So 15k seems like its a lot smaller than the 30k number I remember. However, Wikipedia says something like 115k have signed the dumb pledge, which means they are non-dues paying ‘instant members’… is that the right terminology?

    Yeah, big difference. See how effective we are at running ’em off?

  135. robert capozzi

    rocky, you may be correct, but, all else equal, I’d prefer Tom Hanks to Charles Manson as a leading exponent of my cause, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Manson may well have a following, but his baggage seems to make him highly self limiting.

    Bad Manson impressions are unattractive in most civilized circles, I’d suggest.

  136. Thomas L. Knapp

    Erik,

    You write:

    “It’s sad that people aren’t willing to give a meager $25/year.”

    A lot of that larger number of pledge signers DID give $25 a year, sometimes more, until they decided — for whatever reason — to stop doing so.

    When you sign the pledge certification, you become a member of the LP.

    You remain a member of the LP thereafter unless you specifically withdraw the certification. You may, however, cease to be a “sustaining” member if, at some point, you decline to continue paying annual dues.

  137. Jeremy Young

    As an outsider to all of this, I want to point out that I think Dr. Phillies, who disagrees with Mr. Wrights on a whole host of issues, shows a lot of class when he consistently defends the rights of LP radicals to speak and hold office and such. Dr. Phillies strikes me as one of the most scrupulously fair people I have ever heard of. If I were a radical/anarchist such as G.E. or Lee Wrights, I would be honored to count as a member of my party someone like Dr. Phillies who is capable of disagreeing with me in a forthright and respectful way. I also think that for a number of reasons Dr. Phillies would be the ideal candidate for LP chair against Mr. Redpath (I know he’s tried that before, but that was before his Presidential campaign increased his name recognition).

  138. robert capozzi

    tom, you may be right…”enthusiasm for beating to death” may technically not be the same as “I plan to beat to death.”

    whatever it is, it sounds like a sick mind calling for help to me.

  139. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I’m simply pointing out that words mean things, and that no threat was made.

    Having worked for a decade for an organization which placed high value on its employees’ willingness to incur certain death on command, I tend toward charitable constructions of others’ mental states.

  140. Erik Geib

    Thomas,

    I’m aware of that (remember, I do spend a good portion of my week in the national office).

    I’m simply stating that it’s sad people don’t want to give $25, be it because they are dissatisfied with the party, or simply choose to withhold their $25 because they can be a member without paying.

    I’m not saying there isn’t a reason not to pay, nor am I saying you should have to pay to be a member. I’m just saying it’s sad.

  141. Rocky Eades

    Erik, I can send $25 to national to become a “sustaining” member, or I can use that same $25 to produce flyers for my local libertarian meetup group to distribute at the monthly street festival. You pays your money, you takes your choice.

  142. mdh

    @156 – There are advocates of every philosophical point of view who are “feral”, and those who are eloquent and intellectual. I can name off dozens of well-respected, intellectual anarchists in the LP. I can also name off plenty of “feral” minarchists.

    Jim probably owes Debra (lg) an apology, if not Aaron Starr, as well. I realize that he likes to post every single thing that pops into his head in public and not show very much restraint, and I accept that that isn’t going to change, but the least he can do is apologize after the fact.
    I don’t know Mr. Starr very well, but I happen to like Debra a lot.

  143. mdh

    @168 – Erik, I think that a lot of us would be a lot more likely to donate a LOT more money to the national party if it showed more fiscal responsibility. I know I would. As it is, I toss in my $25 a year, however I’d probably be inclined to do all that I possibly could muster if I knew it was going to worthwhile activities and not to renting an office in the watergate, paying for things that it could get for free, etc.

  144. Thomas L. Knapp

    Erik,

    The last time I recall contributing to LNC in excess of minimum dues was when Ron Crickenberger was still alive … and in at least a couple of years, this last one included, I’ve been too disgusted to “sustain” the circus.

    As it happens, I was right on the point of going back to “sustaining member” last week. While I have my problems with the tone/slant of some material coming out of LPHQ, there seems to be a work ethic there that could be put to good use if LNC, Inc. could be bothered to provide the needed guidance. But apparently it can’t be so bothered, preferring instead to play “screw with the radicals” games.

    I donate hundreds of hours of labor and hundreds if not thousands of dollars, to libertarian movement groups (including my state and local LP organizations) each year. The LNC will start getting my $25/year again when they’re prepared to start earning it.

  145. Jim Davidson

    @170. I don’t mind keeping you and others up to date on my feelings. If you don’t want to read what I report about them, the scroll bar works great.

    I really enjoyed the “not in our Starrs but in ourselves” comment, Paulie. But, I did come up with a sound reason “why.”

    Mr. Starr’s actions against Keaton and Wrights function as attacks on liberty and property. He clearly focused his attack on Keaton with respect to what she would be allowed to say while he’s running roughshod over the rules. His attack on Wrights is an obvious property attack on Lee’s membership, properly paid for.

    As previously, I reserve the freedom to use up to deadly force, as I see fit, and at times and places of my choosing, to defend life, liberty, and property, without let or permit.

    LG can go fuck herself.

  146. Jim Davidson

    @156 Asked and answered. I’ve told Gary Fincher and Andy Jacob to go fuck themselves. I see no reason to discriminate against women. The rules of chivalry never did apply to women who are being assholes.

  147. Robert Capozzi

    tom 167,

    yes and no. words and the language evolve…read Beowolf, Shakespeare and L. Neil Smith, and I’d say the language has changed mightily.

    As this thread is mostly about technicalities, it MAY be technically correct that JD wasn’t himself threatening AS. He was, however, wishing ill on both AS and LG, in most caustic and graphic ways. This was a man who was — if I recall — acting Chair of BTP, a party that claims to want to change the social order. If this is how he comports himself in public, do you honestly expect that wider portions of the pop. are going to be attracted to our ideas?

    Or, if they read these postings, would vast percentages conclude that this is a man who is unfunny, uncivil and possibly needing a serious mental-health intervention?

    Talking about the gruesome death of a fellow traveler and hurling junior high epithets at women does not reflect well on the rest of us.

    He’s over the line…way over, in my book.

  148. Robert Capozzi

    JD 174: Do feel free to stop on by, Herr Doktor Capozzi.

    Me: I would like to be of service in your apparent hour of need, but I suggest you reach out to friends, as they are better positioned to aid in your intervention. Deep down, I suspect you know you need help, sooner rather than later. Hasn’t your venom-filled existence gone on long enough?

  149. Jim Davidson

    @150 Since Aaron Starr is only pretending to be a libertarian, I really don’t care at all how he feels. It would not hurt my feelings for him to reveal his feelings. Like many people who have written to me today, I think Starr is a reprobate, an idiot, an authoritarian, and an ass. Aaron Starr can go fuck himself.

    Can we all just get along? No. Clearly not. Evidently not in the case of those of us who want to be fully self-expressed. Since you don’t want to get along with me expressing my feelings, you can also go fuck yourself.

    Can we all just get along? No. Clearly not. Some, such as Starr and Redpath, are determined to attack the freedom of expression of members of the national committee and to use asinine tricks to attempt to subvert the election by delegates to the national convention of members of the committee. These are not things that you should seek to get along with.

    I suspect you aren’t very dedicated to the concept of freedom. It isn’t free, it isn’t easy, and it comes at a very heavy price. The blood of patriots and of tyrants has been shed again and again and again. And gutless vermin never seem to work out that they cannot expect to get away with endless abuses of power without paying a price.

  150. Jim Davidson

    @136 Yes there are important issues here. Nothing to concern a communistic environmentalist who seeks the prompt elimination of three fourths or more of the human race, though. The important issue in the attacks on Angela Keaton was her freedom of expression, something that vicious, evil LNC members like Stewie Flood and dastardly, villainous scum like Aaron Starr succeeded in depriving her of.

    At the time, I said, as pleasantly as possible, that having allowed these vermin to get away with eliminating Keaton, the LNC had failed in its duties to the members, and would face similar attacks on other members of the committee. My attempts at civility fell on deaf ears. I’m being much more direct in my language now.

    If you don’t like what libertarians write and think, by all means, don’t read what I write. I don’t like your ideology and I have no respect for your plans for the mass extermination of populations around the world. I despise your ideas for preserving an environment that you would enjoy more with far fewer people.

    On that note, your sign-off is contemptible. “Peace and struggle,
    Kimberly Wilder
    (as a community member)”

    There can be no peace without justice, no justice without freedom, and no freedom without weapons. Your struggle to rid the planet of most of the people on it is disgusting.

    As “a community member,” you have no authority to tell me what to say, nor how to say it. If you don’t like the words I use, don’t read them.

    I deny being in a community with you. I am not a nationalist socialist, I am not a communist, I don’t agree with exterminating most of the human race, and I object, vehemently to your anti-property, anti-liberty views. I don’t wish to relate to you, understand you, accept you, be near you, hear from you, or help you figure out the errors of your ways.

    And if you continue to believe that most human beings should be eliminated for the sake of a few species of plants or animals, I’m quite happy to direct you to the same (evidently enjoyable) activity as I suggested for LG.

  151. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, I see. Because I don’t want to die or shed blood, I’m not “very dedicated to the concept of freedom.”

    Are we to infer from this that you WANT to shed blood or die? This may explain your morbid interest in seeing other “beaten to death” or “f-ing themselves.”

    If you refuse to get help, at least consider reading up on psychological projection. Your “prescription” for others is very often what you want for yourself, is the cliff notes.

    Eye opening stuff.

    Peace unto you, my good man.

  152. Jim Davidson

    Paulie, I do think there is good in the world, as well as evil. Good people produce good works. Evil people produce corrupt things.

    By their fruits shall ye know them. Judging by the results of his behaviors, I have no difficulty identifying Aaron Starr as evil, vicious, and disgusting. His attacks on free expression and private property are despicable and entirely un-libertarian.

    And, yes, I think that’s a good general rule. By their fruits the LP shall be judged.

  153. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, as you seem to have anointed yourself as judge of all that is “good” and “evil,” tell us how far you’ll go with this?

    For example, I seem to recall that you favor the “right” to private nukes, yes?

    Are those of us (virtually all of humankind) who disagree with you on that one “evil”? Should we all be beaten to death for this “evil” view? Or should we merely f ourselves?

  154. Jim Davidson

    @176 “attracted to our ideas”

    Dude, my ideas are not your ideas. Get over yourself. I don’t represent you. I don’t represent Tom Knapp. I don’t represent (currently) the Boston Tea Party. Since I won’t accept any elected office, at any level, I don’t anticipate ever being in a position to represent you, the government, or any political party.

    I represent me. I represent my enthusiasm, my feelings, my ideas, and I do so proudly and without shame. If you don’t like my ideas, don’t. If you don’t want to be like me, do your own thing.

    It is idiotic peer pressure and team nonsense to suppose that libertarians are responsible for what other libertarians say. We aren’t.

    There is no team in individual. If you prefer team activities, go out for cricket or something.

    I will feel any way I choose and say exactly what pleases me. Given what a milquetoast you are, I really like the fact that you don’t like what I say nor how I say it.

  155. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, have I said I’m a pacificist? No, clearly not, and I’m not one.

    You seem to either believe that you have the ability to read minds (good for you!) or prone to grandiose extrapolation. The latter seems likely…part of the syndrome, perhaps?

  156. Jim Davidson

    @183. Of course I’m a judge of good and evil. That’s the error of your democracy. You think that because someone is in the government or in the legislature, they have a capacity to judge good from evil and make laws to govern your behavior. I don’t think they have shown any tendency to be good judges of good and evil, examining only the corruption, wars, massacres, and war profiteering those in government exhibit.

    Every man has a conscience, and every woman, too. Henry David Thoreau wrote about this point in 1848 or so, in opposition to the war with Mexico. The government hasn’t educated the people, settled the West, built the railroads. All that ever happens is done by individuals. The government is just a myth. And legislators, judging only by the results of their actions, and not also partly by their stated intentions, would deserve to be classed and punished with mischief makers who place obstacles on railroads – to the extent that they have not advocated and funded torture, butchery, war, brutality, and violations of the constitution.

    Yes, Herr Doktor Mengele, I have the freedom to use up to deadly for where, when, as and how I think best serves the purpose of defending life, liberty, and property. If you don’t feel secure and happy relying upon my judgement and my ability to control my enthusiasm, then perhaps you should consider the benefits of not deliberately antagonising me for the sake of your buddy Aaron Starr. You might do better relying on the kindness of strangers than on their self-control.

    But, the truth of the universe doesn’t change, no matter what you prefer, and you cannot always be sure that other people have either the milk of human kindness or anything like self-control. For an examination of the extent to which willful and powerful people do whatever they please with their power, examine the behaviors of Aaron Starr, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Janet Reno, et al.

    Given that people often don’t have a better nature or self-control, you would do well to engage their self-interest. Everyone has that. There isn’t any such thing as a free lunch, pacifist.

  157. Caspar Milquetoast

    I am more convinced than ever that Jim Davidson is seriously mentally ill, and in need of counseling, medication and commitment to an institution before he harms someone.

  158. Jim Davidson

    @185 Yes, you have. You’ve said that you neither want to shed the blood of tyrants nor any of your own. If you aren’t a pacifist, what did you mean by that statement?

    @186 Do I identify with mass murdering thugs like George W. Bush, Janet Reno, Ted Kazynski (sp?), or Tim McVeigh? No, of course not. And, by the way, go fuck yourself.

  159. Michael Seebeck

    Tom @172, if you want the LP Prez nod, you gotta be a sustaining member per the Bylaws.

  160. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, yes, I agree with Thoreau…we all have consciences. This little exercise is to reach out to yours.

    You could easily back off and retract your statements about AS, LG, and now Ms. Wilder and myself, because they sound like the ravings of an imbalanced individual. And yet you persist, digging yourself into a deeper hole of overstated non sequiturs.

    Take a deep breath. Consider retiring for the evening. Review the totality of what you’re saying tomorrow.

    Tomorrow really is another day.

  161. Bryan

    And people wonder why I question anarchy…damn…

    There it is…but I question, is Mr. Davidson the only one with his views? Through his various comments, I have to agree, in a state of stateless society…might = right…

    However, in a civil society he is an asshole…but he doesn’t care…why should I?

  162. paulie

    I really enjoyed the “not in our Starrs but in ourselves” comment, Paulie.

    Glad you liked it.

    For anyone who did not get it, the reference was to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:

    http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/fault-dear-brutus-our-stars

    Cassius:
    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
    Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

    Cassius, a nobleman, is speaking with his friend, Brutus, and trying to persuade him that, in the best interests of the public, Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming monarch of Rome. Brutus is aware of Caesar’s intentions, and is torn between his love of his friend Caesar and his duty to the republic. Cassius continues by reminding Brutus that Caesar is just a man, not a god, and that they are equal men to Caesar. They were all born equally free, and so why would they suddenly have to bow to another man? On another level this phrase has been interpreted to mean that fate is not what drives men to their decisions and actions, but rather the human condition.

  163. paulie

    communistic environmentalist who seeks the prompt elimination of three fourths or more of the human race, though.

    I’ve seen no evidence, nor have cause to believe, that Kimberly is any of that – other than environmentalist.

  164. paulie

    Tom @172, if you want the LP Prez nod, you gotta be a sustaining member per the Bylaws.

    At the time of the convention, yes?

  165. Thomas L. Knapp

    Michael,

    Assuming that I remain a candidate as of the 2012 national convention, I’ll either ensure that I’m a sustaining member or else ask my nominators to seek a suspension of the rules.

    I rather expect that the former will be the case.

    I have several reasons for so expecting, but the main reason is that I expect several members of the cabal to fail of re-election/re-selection to the LNC at next year’s convention.

    It’s possible that the current treasurer may claw his way back onto the LNC as a regional representative, but the chair, the secretary, at least one cabal-affiliated at-large rep, and at least one cabal-affiliated regional rep are probably toast.

  166. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie, yes, excellent Shakespeare quote. He anticipated the concept of projection. Mr. Davidson appears to be playing this notion out for us. He provides a long list of grievances, of people he believes are “evil,” then he sits as judge and jury, even executioner. His perceptions seem to agitate him to no end, so he lashes out with wild accusations. He sees “fault” in the “stars,” not realizing that they remind him of the fault in himself.

    This is not to say that he doesn’t sometimes diagnose dysfuntional behavior in others. But his over-reaction is a symptom of a deep self loathing.

    Of course, my take could be incorrect. Perhaps it actually IS appropriate to suggest death by beating and f-ing oneself to those who may be acting dysfunctionally.

    In this case, however, I’m liking the odds that I’m warm.

  167. Robert Capozzi

    Bryan, while it’s easy to dismiss anarchists due to JD’s behavior, some anarchists can be quite civil, in my experience. Paulie (an anarchist) and I (a TAAAList) have co-founded the Rodney King Caucus, dedicated to promoting intra-L civility.

    We have to be able to get along IF we truly want to roll back the State. There are so few of us as it is, it stands to reason that politics need large numbers of people to reverse coercion.

    Making threatening or crude statements appears contra-indicated. When we have a disagreement (inevitable, I’d suggest), let’s discuss them like adults.

  168. a different paul

    “We have to be able to get along IF we truly want to roll back the State.”

    You have to learn to be effective just to have a slowing effect on the growth of government.

    Right now, you aren’t picking up your end of the rope, and the marker is pulling away from you. Forget about these utopian dreams for a while, and get in the game.

  169. volvoice

    ….Forget about these utopian dreams for a while, and get in the game….

    The problem with this is that the game is on a boat and when you get in their game you are automatically headed downstream in their direction.

  170. robert capozzi

    VV, and the alternative is…?

    the Mansons and McVeighs among seem to want us to join the Somali pirates.

    Get in the boat and let’s turn it around!

    “Purism” starts to feel like a religious movement, rather than a political one.

  171. Rick M

    The “legal” verification box at https://www.lp.org/contribute says the following:

    By checking this box “I acknowledge that contributions from corporations and foreign nationals are prohibited. I also acknowledge that this contribution is made on a personal credit or debit card for which I have the legal obligation to pay, and is made neither on a corporate or business entity card nor on the card of another.”

    I recall similar wording on Ron Pauls 2008 site and the DNC site says “The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.”

    One can only conclude that unless Mr. Haugh has recently married Mr. Wrights, in which case they might have a checking account for which Mr. Haugh and Mr. Wrights have a joint “legal obligation to pay,” that it certainly appears that Sean (knowingly) violated the intent of the FEC regulation (as a Libertarian I am not much for following the rules or paying my taxes, but please remember it was the FEC that put the Reformed Party out of business so it is best to adhere to the rules as much as possible until we can change them).

    Therefor, Mr. Starr’s actions in returning the funds donated by Mr. Haugh, appear appropriate since he must do so once he is “aware” that the LNC received funds contributed by one individual (who does not have a shared obligation) in the name of another or on behalf of another.

    So folks, please let us move on and concentrate on getting more people, from all sides of the spectrum, into the LP at all levels, so we can save this country. In other words stop fighting amoung ourselves and let’s forcus our attention on where it really belongs!

    In Liberty,

    Rick M, TX

  172. volvoice

    Bob,

    I love ya man, but you are always playin up the purist bs. What about these guys being bylaws and roberts rules purists? Bow to the almighty RONR some of these guys treat it like its the bible or something. About this Lee deal, do you agree that since his dues have lapsed that he should be removed from the LNC? It’s this ticky tack crap that is ruining the LP. There is going to come a day when all this stuff starts running off guys like Pat Dixon who is neither a radical or a reformer. When that happens we are going to be in trouble as a party. If this is what the LP is devolving into there are alot of people getting ready to move on to other venues in pursuit of freedom.

  173. Rocky Eades

    @#206 – vv writes: “What about these guys being bylaws and roberts rules purists? Bow to the almighty RONR some of these guys treat it like its the bible or something.”

    I wrote on another thread: It is a sad day indeed when libertarians are so enslaved to a computer printout and a set of rules that they will not consider what is the most just and the most politic thing to do.

  174. robert capozzi

    VV, I’ve already commented early on re L’Affaire Lee, something to the effect that I don’t generally get involved in LNC squabbling, but it seemed appropriate to call about the lapse as a courtesy.

    It all underscores the need for the Rodney King Caucus.

  175. a different paul

    “The problem with this is that the game is on a boat and when you get in their game you are automatically headed downstream in their direction.”

    And when you don’t, the boat floats away.

  176. Erik Geib

    Thomas/Rocky,

    I didn’t say you should donate $25. I also didn’t say it was wrong that you didn’t. I said it’s sad that people don’t give a meager $25.

    I also said that I acknowledge this could well be due to the party squandering said money, or disbelief by party members in the purpose such dues would enact.

    I think you’re both being entirely too sensitive if you think I’m implying anything about those that don’t donate. I support your right to do as you wish with your money, and am especially supportive of you taking other means to help libertarian causes. What you both missed, apparently, was my thinly veiled criticism of party operations. I wish the party was run more in a manner that people would be more willing to give up a ‘meager’ $25.

  177. Thomas L. Knapp

    Erik,

    Explaining myself in response to something you said shouldn’t necessarily be construed as being responsive to something you didn’t intend.

    I think you’re being entirely too sensitive if you think that I think that you’re implying anything about those who don’t donate 😉

  178. Dave Brady

    …. And it took the treasurer and secretary a full year to realize he wasn’t eligible to be elected? I don’t buy it.

    Time to get leaders that are real leaders. Bill, Bob and Aaron lead or step down.

  179. Scotty Boman

    I just sent this message to the Chair…

    Dear Chairman Bill Redpath:

    I have recently read a memo in which you say Lee Wrights removal was a direct application of this part of Section 8, Article 4, which states, “A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party, and shall not be the candidate of any party except the Party or an affiliate.”

    It is my understanding that Mr. Wrights has paid his dues and is currently a sustaining member. This renders the provision you quote mute, unless he is the candidate of a party other than the Libertarian Party or an affiliate.

    Furthermore, your own memo clearly implies that sustaining membership was the only qualification in question; you said he met all qualifications prior to the lapse.

    Since there was not even a formal suspension (Article 7, Section 8), this vacancy doesn’t exist, Lee Wrights is a current LNC member, and the lp.org webpage needs to be updated.

    In liberty,
    Scotty Boman
    Michigan Delegation
    313-247-2052

  180. G.E.

    Most everyone has $25. The problem is they don’t have infinite bundles of $25. “It’s only $25” can only apply to a finite number of causes. Even if something costs “only a penny” you can’t do 10 trillion things at that cost. I have $25. But I sure as fuck won’t even donate it to the National LP; at least not so long as Redpath and his neocon criminal cronies are in charge.

  181. Peter Wilkie

    I expect the next LNC meeting to entertain a motion to remove Starr and Redpath from their offices, due to their roles in this scandal and others.

    If this doesn’t happen, I will have lost all hope that the LP is interested in promoting Liberty, and will discontinue my membership and my donations.

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