Removal of Lee Wrights from Libertarian National Committee appealed to Judicial Committee

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.com. Posted to IPR by Paulie. See previous IPR coverage for background.



To: LNC

Subject: I have received an appeal to an action you have taken in your roles as Secretary and Chair of the Libertarian Party

Chair Redpath and Secretary Sullentrup,

In my capacity as Chief Justice of the Libertarian Party Judicial Committee, I am in receipt of an appeal of your actions suspending Lee Wrights from his position on the National Committee. I am forwarding the appeal and supporting documents to you in 3 additional emails.

Article 8, Section 5 describes the process we will be undertaking. Please send your responses to me and I will distribute them to the other members of the Judicial Committee. The sooner I receive your responses, the sooner we can move through the process, so I thank you for all due speed.

I will keep you appraised of our actions.

For Liberty,

Ruth E. Bennett

Chief Justice

Libertarian Party


Judicial Appeal

Jurisdictional Claim. Article 8, Section 5 and Article 9, Section 2c of the Bylaws of the Libertarian Party, give the Judicial Committee the power to hear appeals on the suspension of National Committee members-at-large. I was elected to an At-Large position at our 2008 Denver convention and was recently suspended without the prerequisite vote of the LNC. I am formally appealing this action.

Basis of Appeal On April 14 of this year, I was notified by the Secretary Bob Sullentrup (Exhibit 1 sent in follow-up e-mail) that 1) my membership dues ?lapsed? as of April 7; and 2) I was taken off the LNC as of April 8 because I was no longer a sustaining member as required by Article 8, Section 4 of the bylaws.

My suspension was not the result of a ?for cause? vote by the LNC, as required by Article 8, Section 5 of the bylaws. Instead, it apparently was made by the Secretary and affirmed by Chair Bill Redpath.

Libel and Slander. The advertising process for my replacement began within minutes of notifying me of my suspension (Exhibit 2 sent in follow-up e-mail) and included the Secretary?s notice to me (Exhibit 1). In that notice, the Secretary mentions a statement presumably made by me at the last LNC meeting that I ?would never again give a dime to this Party.? He concluded, based on that statement, that I deliberately withheld my dues. I never made such a statement.

Financial Endangerment of the Libertarian Party. The Secretary?s notice, along with the fabricated statement was sent out to the State Chair?s list asking for nominations for my ?vacated? seat. Consequently, as illustrated below, some individuals believed that I had was rebelling and decided to join me by repudiating their membership as well (http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/04/applicants-sought-for-lnc-vacancy/comment-page-1/#comment-54731):

John // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm
It?s about time a true radical showed some true leadership and told the LP to *&%$ off. What a brilliant move! The Boston Tea Party could do well with men like Lee at the helm.

Outlander // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:55 pm
Lee has always been one of my heroes, but never more than today! The national lp is not worth the money. I just sent an email to the national lp office resigning my membership too. If Lee goes to the boston tea party, I?ll follow.

beetlejuice // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm
Real leaders, like Lee, show the way by their principled actions, not by pontificating about what others should do. Either the LP will take this as a warning and give up trying to be Republican-lite or more long time activists will follow Lee, hopefully over to the BTP, but surely somewhere good in the libertarian movement.

Fearing an exodus of my supporters from the LP, I went on the blogs and explained that this was a clerical snafu; I had never gotten the snail-mail renewal notices because I?ve been moving around a lot lately. I even posted the confirmation notice I received from paying my dues on April 14, the date I was notified of the delinquency. Had I not done this, I fear that the false information conveyed by the Secretary would have resulted in a loss of membership and contributions for the LP.

Summation. I believe that my suspension from the LNC was in violation of our bylaws. The manner in which it was done endangered the Libertarian Party?s membership and financial roster and is still creating division.

Unfortunately, I have no choice but to appeal my suspension. An e-mail vote to overturn the Chair?s ruling or reinstate me takes at least 2 weeks; the bylaws give me one week to appeal.

In addition, I do not wish this precedent to permit a sitting At-Large member to face suspension because their dues are late. LNC members commit a great deal of time and money to serve; it seems illogical and unappreciative to overturn their election by convention delegates because of a late $25 dues payment.

If you require more information from me to facilitate this appeal, please do not hesitate to call (336-403-1036) or write ( rleewrights@gmail.com ).

Submitted respectfully to the chair of the LP National Judicial Committee,

R. Lee Wrights, At-large

81 thoughts on “Removal of Lee Wrights from Libertarian National Committee appealed to Judicial Committee

  1. Eric Dondero

    Wow! Talk about internal baseball. About a Million libertarians and conservatives rallied against Obama and his tax and spending increases Wednesday, and what did the National LP do? Sent out one press release in support of the Rallies.

    They’re too occupied with an internal battle over some Nobody Dude named Lee Wright, over his affiliation with the super-ironically named Boston Tea Party.

    What a circus.

  2. paulie Post author

    Also, I’m not aware of any involvement that Lee Wrights has with the Boston Tea Party. I’ve not seen him on any BTP communication channels, nor anything from him about the BTP.

  3. volvoice

    Could it be retribution from Mr. Redpath stemming from articles on “Liberty for All” taking a stance against Bill and his policies? I bet so. Personal opinions about our bylaws coming from the chair and secretary, confirmed by our parliamentarians, is about to meet the judicial committee. This ought to be good! Kudos too Lee for standing up for himself. I am waiting to see how long it takes the parliamentarians to point out something in Robert’s Rules that says Lee is not able to appeal his suspension. Mark my words the hamster wheels are turning at full speed over in the reformer camp. LOL!

  4. Michael Seebeck

    Dondero, pull you head out.

    Lee Wrights is not affiliates with the BTP. Where you came up with that is another dimension.

    Lee is hardly a “nobody” in the LP. He is a former National Vice-Chair, longtime activist, outspoken leader, and does more for this Party in one day than people like you do in one year.

    When you finally get an idea of what is going on, then you can talk. In the meantime, go back into your hole and educate yourself.

  5. Michael Seebeck

    volvoice,

    They’ll try that tactic.

    But it won’t work, since the Bylaws trump Robert’s Rules, despite their claims to the contrary, and this situation is spelled out pretty clearly (as has been gone into in-depth here). Ruth is a Bylaws guru and she knows her stuff, so this is gonna be quite thorough.

  6. paulie Post author

    I am waiting to see how long it takes the parliamentarians to point out something in Robert’s Rules that says Lee is not able to appeal his suspension.

    Shouldn’t take long.

    I think the tack will be that the period to appeal started when the dues expired, so the one week appeal process ended when Sullentrup’s letter first went out. In fact I am going to guess that is exactly why it went out seven days after the dues expired and not before.

  7. Michael Seebeck

    Paulie, they may try that tact but it won’t work. A member cannot appeal a suspension if he isn’t aware of it. There is a reasonable expectation of a week from receiving notice. If they claim otherwise, then they’re just digging their own political graves.

    The same will be true if the JudComm rules in favor of Lee and they ignore the ruling. Oh, how I’d love to see them try that one!

  8. paulie Post author

    Ah, but you forget -“it was not a suspension, it was a resignation.”

    I wonder what happens if JudComm makes a ruling and LNC doesn’t abide by it?

  9. LibertarianNotConservative

    I predict that the Judicial Committee will conclude that it lacks jurisdiction because the vacancy was self-executing based on the lapse in Lee Wrights status as a sustaining member, not because of any action to suspend by the Libertarian National Committee.

  10. paulie Post author

    Anyone have the names of all the current Jud Comm handy? How many does it take to conclude they have jurisdiction, and how many does it take to override an action of the LNC?

  11. Eric Dondero

    Again, the point is why in the bloody hell are you all talking about this in the first place???

    Who cares?

    This is stuff for email groups; Not for a political blog.

    This site should be swamped right now with reports on the various Tea Parties around the country. But instead it highlights some obscure internal struggle on the LNC.

    BORING!

  12. George Phillies

    If the Judicial Committee exercising its review finds that Lee is still on the LNC, and the LNC affects to claim that they have replaced him, there is then a clear claim that they were not properly constituted when they acted, and that any actions it takes are invalid. Mind you, there is some rationale for supposing that the LNC is marginally more intelligent than this.

  13. paulie Post author

    Eric, thanks for your opinion.

    We have several article about tea parties.

    This one is getting more comments than many of them, so obviously some people do find it interesting.

    If you happen to not find any topic on IPR interesting, the simple solution is to ignore it. If you still wish to participate in the discussion here, not to worry; we have over 3,000 posts and all of them are still open for comment.

  14. George Phillies

    The Tea Parties appear in large part to have been a Republican anti-Obama stunt of no particular purpose. Indeed while one was held locally, efforts to find what it was about — after all, real tea does not come in bags — prior to the event got no place, and several people looked.

    If you want to hold a rally against the Obama tax reductions, Eric, you might usefully include that in an effective way in the publicity. You may correctly answer that if you read the LNC press releases you are still left mostly in the dark.

    Meanwhile, our MA Republican Party appears likely to have a three way civil war, which I see as good news.

  15. Jim Davidson

    To my knowledge, R. Lee Wrights is not now affiliated with the Boston Tea Party. Since the database from 2006-2007 has been destroyed, I cannot speak definitively about whether he ever was, but he was not a member of the party during my tenure as chair.

    Naturally, I would invite Lee to join the Boston Tea Party. I think he would provide excellent leadership. It is rather painful watching decent, sincere, and effective libertarian activists like Angela Keaton and Lee Wrights be defamed by the evil villains such as Aaron Starr, Bob Sullentrup, and Bill Redpath.

  16. Michael Seebeck

    To my knowledge the JudComm had not changed any, but the Bylaws are silent on a JudComm vacancy.

    LNC @11: The alleged vacancy of Wrights was not a self-executing resignation as that only applies to consecutive meeting absences, which we all know isn’t true. So that idea is out. And Lee has never resigned, either.

    George @15: “Mind you, there is some rationale for supposing that the LNC is marginally more intelligent than this.”

    There is?

  17. Andy

    Lee Wrights as a person is a phoney backstabbing two-faced lying chickenshit weasel and a hotheaded jackass. The fact that he even made it to the LNC is a joke. Don’t let his rhetoric, the guy is a piece of trash. I got suckered into believing that he was a good guy at one time too, but this was before I found out what a backstabber, liar, and asshole he really is.

  18. Andy

    “Don’t let his rhetoric, the guy is a piece of trash.”

    Should read, “Don’t let his rhetoric fool you, the guy is a piece of trash.”

  19. paulie Post author

    Andy,

    What does your opinion of Wrights have to do with the way he is being removed from LNC?

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w91.html

    …. a refrain similar to that put in the mouth of Sir Thomas More in “A Man for All Seasons” after his son-in-law William Roper urged a similar clear-cutting approach to the law.

    More, suspected of disloyalty by King Henry VIII, is approached in his home by Richard Rich,* a contemptible opportunist known to be a royal spy. Rich fishes for a bribe, baiting More with the implied threat of blackmail, only to be rebuked and sent away. As Rich leaves, More is urged by his family to place him under arrest.

    When More points out that Rich hadn’t committed a crime, and that even “the Devil himself” is entitled to the protection of the law, Roper angrily exclaims that he would “cut down every law in England” to get to the Devil.

    “And when the last law was down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?” More inquired. “This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – man’s laws, and not God’s – and if you cut them down – and you are just the man to do it – do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes – I’d give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety’s sake.”

  20. John Famularo

    paulie wrote
    “I wonder what happens if JudComm makes a ruling and LNC doesn’t abide by it?

    Nothing. The JudComm has no enforcement powers. This will simmer until the 2010 convention and another LNC will be elected. Most of the interest will center on the 2012 presidential nomination. I predict another Bednarik type will be nominated and will get 400K votes. Any bets?

  21. Andy

    “paulie // Apr 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Andy,

    What does your opinion of Wrights have to do with the way he is being removed from LNC?”

    Lee Wrights’ ethics are too low for him to have even been on the LNC in the first place. He initiates fraud which is anti-Libertarian. I also think that he sucks as a political strategist and I know that he sucks as a fundraiser as well. The guy is worthless.

  22. paulie Post author

    Lee Wrights’ ethics are too low for him to have even been on the LNC in the first place.

    If so, shouldn’t the proper method for removal for cause by 2/3 of the committee be followed?

    Or do you think it should become standard procedure not to email members that their dues are about to expire, then remove them after an accidental one week lapse in dues?

    Try to see beyond your personal dislike. We are setting a precedent here.

  23. libertariangirl

    Andy // Apr 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Lee Wrights as a person is a phoney backstabbing two-faced lying chickenshit weasel and a hotheaded jackass. The fact that he even made it to the LNC is a joke. Don’t let his rhetoric, the guy is a piece of trash. I got suckered into believing that he was a good guy at one time too, but this was before I found out what a backstabber, liar, and asshole he really is.

    Me__could you please clarify your real feelings , your a little vague

  24. G.E.

    Yeah, I’m confused… I thought Andy and Lee Wrights were friends. Did they have a falling out?

  25. libertariangirl

    paulie // Apr 18, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Hey LG

    Missed ya

    Me__ thanks P-daddy ,my home internet access was gone 4 bout a week. I felt like i was isolated and alone with nowhere to turn …lol
    seriously though Id rather lose my phone then the internet.

    I hated logging back and seeing all the juicy , controversial threads and all the comments made . I feel like i missed out on the fun.

    Las Vegas Tea Party was awesome!!

  26. libertariangirl

    BTW , attention all petitioners , MPP has opened an office in Vegas , started the only MPP state chapter in Nevada and indicated they will try to to an initiative for 2010

  27. Andy

    “If so, shouldn’t the proper method for removal for cause by 2/3 of the committee be followed?

    Or do you think it should become standard procedure not to email members that their dues are about to expire, then remove them after an accidental one week lapse in dues?

    Try to see beyond your personal dislike. We are setting a precedent here.”

    Wrights didn’t give a damn about proper procedures or ethical standards when he stabbed me in the back and told lies about me, so to hell with him.

    Wrights is such a weasel that he pretended to act like a friend, then act like a rude jackass and stab me in the back just to cover up for the crimes of his fellow irrational nutcase slimeball bubby, Sean Haugh. Then I had a couple of conversations (which I initiated) to try to clear the air and patch things up with him (I gave him the benifit of the doubt at first). He once again acted like he was my buddy. He then did a 180% and stabbed me in the back and lied about me years later. I confronted him about this at the National Convention in Denver. I went up to him in a friendly manner and acted like I didn’t know that he talked shit and lied about me behind my back. He acted friendly at first, up until I asked him why he said things that were not true & trashed talked me behind my back (which actually caused damage to the party). His response was to become irrate and start screaming like a maniac and then run away. He said that he was going to have security remove me from the convention even after I told him that I was a delegate that was supporting the candidate for whom he was working, Mary Ruwart (I still like Ruwart, but it makes me sick to see her hang out with that lying piece of trash Lee Wrights. I suppose that Wrights has her conned too.). Wrights was not capable of having a rational conversation. He’s NOT a decent guy. He gets angry and screams and throws a temper tantrum like a child. I’ve seen this pathetic loser at two LNC meetings, the last one in Denver and the one in San Diego, and everyone needs to know what a hotheaded jackass he is. He has to get up and walk out of the room multiple times during meeting because he can’t keep his composure (he was the only person that I’ve seen do this at LNC meetings, and I’ve attended 3 of them). There is something mentally wrong with this guy. He’s a wacko.

    The ONLY reason that I ended up having a problem with Lee Wrights is because Wrights will do anything to cover up for and protect his incompetent nutjob lying weasel buddy, Sean Haugh. Haugh can fuck up royally or do any unethical thing, going so far as being the co-author (along with Shane Cory) of the infamous “kiddie porn” press release that was meant to smear Mary Ruwart, and Wrights will still stand by his side.

    I brought up Sean Haugh’s criminal act of trying to “burn (quite literally)” 2,000 high validity ballot access petition signatures whether they had been paid for or not that were collected by longtime Libertarian Party ballot access warrior Gary Fincher during the public comments session at the LNC meeting in San Diego, and that fucking weasel Lee Wrights had it added to the record that the signatures were not burned as if this excuses Sean Haugh. I SAID THAT THE SIGNATURES DID NOT END UP GETTING BURNED BECA– USE CAROL McMAHON AND GEORGE PHILLES OF THE MASSACH– USETTS LP ARE NOT WARPED LIKE SEAN HAUGH IS, YOU JACKASS! My point was that Sean Haugh had CRIMINAL INTENT. If one trys to get a hitman to committ a murder and the murder does not end up happening the act of trying to arrange the hit is still a crime. If a person trys to rob a jewelry store and they aren’t successful because an alarm went off they still committed a crime. Sean Haugh had the CRIMINAL INTENT to committ election fraud and to defraud either Fincher and the donors out of money. What Haugh did was WRONG and I’ve got ZERO respect for anyone who makes excuses for him. Haugh should have been shitcanned that moment (if not before this, but then again, he never should have been hired in the first place) and the fact that he remained on the job for about 6 months after this shows how pathetic this party has become.

    After Haugh was finally let go by LP National, Lee Wrights let him post an article that was filled with distortions and outright fabrications against Gary and myself (and he had a few things in there that were not accurate about Paul as well). We made several attempts to post rebuttals to Sean Haugh’s lies and Lee Wrights kept taking the posts down. Richard Winger and Steve Dasbach both joined the discussion to try to set the record straight and Haugh would still not recant his statements. Lee Wrights then made up this excuse to Winger and Dasbach that posts were being taken down due to “technical difficulties,” however, the only posts that got taken down were ones that were critical of Haugh and exposed his lies.

    I put out a public challenge to debate Sean Haugh either on-line or in person. Gary and another Libertarian who got screwed over by Haugh named Jake Witmer put out debate challenges to Haugh as well. Haugh showed what a coward and weasel he is by ducking these challenges (although this should have been clearly apparent when he threatened to sue this very website for reporting true facts about some of his actions as a Libertarian Party employee).

    TO HELL WITH LEE WRIGHTS AND SEAN HAUGH! The party is better off without these two clowns in ANY positions.

  28. John Famularo

    “…. as a person is a phoney backstabbing two-faced lying chickenshit weasel and a hotheaded jackass….”

    That in itself is not an impediment to service on the LNC. I have known quite a few who in my opinion fit that category.

  29. paulie Post author

    Andy,

    Wrights didn’t give a damn about proper procedures or ethical standards when he stabbed me in the back and told lies about me, so to hell with him.

    I’m sorry you can’t see beyond personal grudges to see that proper procedure is followed in removing LNC members.

  30. paulie Post author

    “>———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: <freeutahns@yahoo.com>
    Date: Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 3:08 PM
    Subject: [Lnc-discuss] Article 8.3 of the Bylaws, RONR, and two old court cases
    To: LNC-Discuss@hq.lp.org

    Article 8.3 of the Bylaws states: “The National Committee shall take office immediately upon the close of the Regular Convention at which they are selected, and serve until the final adjournment of the next Regular Convention.”

    In my opinion, Article 8.3 is relevant to the “for cause” vs. “automatic/self-executing” discussion based on RONR:

    “*If, however, the bylaws provide that officers shall serve only a fixed term*, such as ‘for two years’ (which is not a recommended wording; see p. 557), or if they provide that officers shall serve ‘for __ years and until their successors are elected,’ *an officer can be deposed from office only by members outside a meeting; that is, an investigating committee must be appointed, it must prefer charges, and a formal trial must be held*.”

    p. 643, ll. 6-14 (*my emphasis highlighted*)

    Mindful that LNC At-Large Members and Regional Representatives are not “officers,” the above paragraph suggests to me that a “for cause” process is called for given that Article 8.3 of the LNC’s Bylaws provides that LNC members serve a fixed term.

    To further help analyze the matter of whether a lapse in status as a sustaining member results in automatic/self-executing vacation of an At-Large Member’s seat, or a separate removal procedure is required, I found an interesting excerpt from an old court case:

    With respect to the right of Councilman Hejselbak to continue to hold office pending a hearing of the board, it is succinctly stated in McQuillin, Municipal Corporations (3d ed.), p. 424, that:

    “An office is vacant or not according to whether it is occupied by one who has a legal right to hold it and to exercise the powers and perform the duties appertaining thereto.”
    Thus, Hejselbak had a legal right to hold his office pending the hearing by the board, and therefore was capable of casting bona fide, valid votes in his capacity as a member of the council. In a discussion of the different ways in which an office can be vacated, McQuillin states:

    “In view of parliamentary law, it has been said that an office is vacated by the refusal of the elected member to accept it, and the communication of that fact to the
    proper authorities; *refusal to qualify*; resignation; and death. In all other instances, such as expulsion, adjudication of a controverted election, *disqualification by act of the
    party*
    , and acceptance of an incompatible office, *ascertainment of the fact*, and declaration of the existence of the vacancy are necessary.” (at p. 424; emphasis added) (*my emphasis highlighted*)

    Thus, an elected office is vacated by expulsion only after an ascertainment of the fact and the declaration of the existence of the vacancy.

    Source: Galloway v. Council of Township of Clark, 223 A.2d 644, 651 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law. Div. 1966)

    In my research of the law, “ascertainment of the fact” is not a role delegated to the LNC’s Secretary to discharge ministerially (i.e., without discretion). “Ascertainment of the fact” is a term of art describing an outcome of a process used by judges and juries AFTER (1) a complaint or cause of action has been brought, (2) evidence has been presented, and (3) a decision is rendered by the trier(s) of fact. I think such processes (one by the National Committe and another by the Judicial Committee) are contemplated in Article 8.5 of the LNC’s Bylaws.

    Some want to focus on the lapse in status as a sustaining member. I think the proper focus is whether the lapse in status as a sustaining member was intentional.

    — On Fri, 4/17/09, Aaron Starr <starrcpa@pacbell.net>
    wrote:

    >Lee Wrights was never removed by the National Committee from his position. He >removed himself by failing to maintain his status as a sustaining member.

    In my view of the evidence, Mr. Wrights neither refused to qualify, nor acted in a manner to become disqualified, nor “removed himself” merely by the inadvertent lapse in status as a sustaining member.

    This episode motivated my inquiry to the national office as to when my membership expires. The date I was given conflicts with both the date on my membership card, and the date of the March 2009 data dump to the Libertarian Party of Utah. I suggest that others make the same inquiry.

    Perhaps a list of LNC members and their corresponding membership expiration dates can be posted to this list, so that LNC members can be proactive in preventing similar inadvertent lapses from occurring in the future.

    — On Fri, 4/17/09, Aaron Starr <starrcpa@pacbell.net>
    wrote:

    >Now that Lee Wrights has reestablished his sustaining membership, for him to regain his >position on the LNC, the only path we have available to us as a body is to re-appoint him >to the vacancy that he himself created.

    I disagree that appointment/reappointment is the only path.

    “We are here to get at the will of the assembly. This is the only valid reason for holding a meeting,” wrote Henry M. Robert.

    “Ultimately, it is the majority taking part in the assembly who decides the general will ….
    RONR, p. XLVII; see also RONR, pp. 4, 387.**

    In my opinion, if a majority of the LNC desires to declare that Mr. Wrights has not
    vacated his at-large seat by voting in favor of Dr. Ruwart’s appeal of the ruling of the Chair, see RONR, pp. 247-252, and then a majority votes in favor of Ms. Fox’s motion, see RONR, pp. 95-120, that path is authorized by RONR and the principles of parliamentary law.

    Rob Latham

    **”When a question of order is raised, as it may be by any one member, it is not stated from the chair and decided by the assembly like other questions, but is decided, in the first instance, by the presiding officer without any previous debate or discussion by the assembly. If the decision of the presiding officer is not satisfactory, any one member may object to it and have the question decided by the assembly. This is called appealing from the decision of the chair. The question is then stated by the presiding officer on the appeal, namely, shall the decision of the chair stand as the decision of the assembly? And it
    is thereupon debated and decided by the assembly in the same manner as any other question, except that the presiding officer is allowed to take part in the debate, which on ordinary occasions he is prohibited from doing.” Cushing’s Manual, § 154. In Mr. Cushing’s larger work this same parliamentary law is stated in this way: “If the opinion (of the presiding officer) is acquiesced in, it stands as the judgment of the assembly, and is to be
    enforced or executed accordingly; but any member, who obtains the floor for that purpose, may appeal from it, and if the appeal is seconded, as it must generally be, and allowed, it then entirely abrogates the decision of the presiding officer, and refers the point of order to *the decision of the assembly itself, whose decision thereof furnishes the rule to be pursued afterwards*.” Cushing’s Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies, § 1464. The whole topic is treated in that work. Part VI, Chap. 6, Art. 2, sub-title, Questions of Order, §§ 1457 to 1471.

    At the meeting of the board of public works of the city of Bridgeport held on the 20th day of May, 1898, the mayor was present and willing to preside. If he did not preside, then the board was not organized as the charter commands. When at that meeting the mayor, as the presiding officer, ruled that the motion made by Mr. Waterhouse was not in order, and sustained the point of order raised by Mr. Downer, *it was the privilege of Mr. Pierce, if he objected to that ruling, to appeal from it to the assembly. If, as is now contended, a majority of the board was of the same mind as Mr. Pierce, then, on an appeal the decision of the presiding officer would have been reversed.* Had that been done it would have become the duty of the presiding officer to put the motion made by Mr. Waterhouse. *To appeal would have been regular and lawful.* Not to appeal, but to take another course, was irregular and in violation of parliamentary law.

    — State v. Lashar, 71 Conn. 540, 549 (Conn. 1899) (my emphasis highlighted)

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  31. Brian Miller

    There’s the Roberts’ Rules nonsense question, and the real-world question.

    The latter is more important to most members.

    That question is:

    “How is a so-called political party national committee that appears focused on removing popularly-elected members and replacing them with popularly-rejected political allies of a small clique in the leadership representing me as a paid-up Party member?”

    I would suggest the answer can be found in the plunging membership rolls and apparently collapsing revenues (which cannot truly be analyzed, since the Treasurer can’t be bothered to produce useful and transparent financial documentation).

  32. Brian Miller

    And Dondero, why are you reading this blog anyway? It, unlike yourself, doesn’t wash Republican derriere with its tongue.

    Go back to FOX News and Little Green Footballs, where there won’t be pesky facts to trouble your tiny little brain.

  33. Rich M

    The answer to my question may already be out there somewhere. If so, I apologize.

    Mr Wrights is clearly now well aware of the lapse in his sustaining status. Has he since submitted his $25 dues?

    I believe a true supporter of the party would immediately act to fix the situation regardless of whatever the circumstances may or may not be with respect to the LNC seat.

    I’m aware that participation on the LNC is expensive – travel isn’t cheap – and I tip my hat to all those who have/do/will shell out for that. But I find myself wondering: If I could manage the costs of LNC participation, surely I’d send off a check for $20 or $30 now and again to the LP since God knows they ask often enough. Just sending $25 once/year when you’re probably already spending $1,000 or more over the 2-year LNC term?? Yes, one has already given plenty, but why not just 3% or 5% more??

    I’m sure the fine points of by-laws and Rules of Order matter (hell, I was on the JC myself for a few years), but I would really like to know: Is Mr Wrights’ $25 check in the mail?

  34. paulie Post author

    Rich,

    He paid up and it was received on the same day he learned it was due – that is, when he received the “notice of vacancy” along with the rest of us. Confirmation was posted here and on the “ticker” at LP.org. I assume it was with a card, since it was so instantaneous – no need to wait for checks in the mail in today’s day and age.

  35. Rich M

    Geez… What a moron. Barely got my #41 comment posted and I trip over the answer to my question. Sorry.

    It matters to me that he’s paid without waiting to see what happens to his situation. No threatening to go home if things don’t go his way. Just send the money and then deal with the rest. He may have faults (although I doubt he’s quite the devil incarnate some of you seem to see him as), but that’s the honorable thing to do.

  36. Rich M

    Personally there’s nothing about these internal dust-ups that I enjoy. So, I’m just going to say my one little piece and then move on.

    I’m reminded of ballot access. So much bureaucratic BS. So many fine technical points to trip over. So much law and so little justice. But I know I don’t need to tell the people on this site about the stupidity and injustice that goes with having every single “t” crossed and every single “i” dotted.

    Mr Wrights clearly and without question and without denying it, failed to dot an “i”.

    Some folks will cite the rule of law and insist his seat is vacant. They’ll probably be right, but to my ear they’ll sound an awful lot like Rs & Ds when they do it.

  37. Mik Robertson

    I believe the Judicial Committee is quite capable of evaluating the situation and will come to the right conclusion.

  38. Starchild

    Aaron Starr’s opinion on this is so predictable. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he was the one who suggested Sullentrup’s underhanded move to kick Lee Wrights off the LNC in the first place.

  39. Rocky Eades

    In discussing with LNC Regional Rep Stuart Flood and others today, I mentioned the 3 questions which a “Fully Informed Jury” would ask in court case and added one to fit the LNC/Wrights situation. 1) Was the law (rule) broken?; 2) Was the law (rule) just?; 3) How would justice best be served in this particular incidence at this particular time? – and the corollary question for Sullentrup, et al, 4) What is the best course of action for the LP? The only thing he (they) were interested in was the answer to the first. Having determined that, in Mr. Wrights’ case, the rule (as interpreted by them) that Mr Wrights no longer had status to serve on the LNC, there was no room for asking the other questions.

    I suggested that Mr Sullentrup and Mr Redpath, in the interest of “harmony” given the recent affair with Angela Keaton and the divisive fallout from that situation, could have simply used some personal discretion, called Lee Wrights (or had someone else do it for him, if that action would have been so intolerable to them personally) and offered a way out of a sticky situation – “pay the dues and it ends here”. The reply was that Mr Sullentrup’s (and Mr Redpath’s) hands were tied; he had no discretion in the matter once Mr Wrights’ membership had lapsed.

    I’m sorry, but EVERYONE ALWAYS has some wiggle room when it comes to the application of laws and rules. Do what you think is right and if it is contrary to the law/rules, throw yourself on the mercy of the governing body. I doubt seriously that the LNC would have held much of a sledgehammer view of a minor lapse in strict adherence to the by-laws on the part of Mr Sullentrup and Mr Redpath had they decided to take it on themselves to work out some solution with Mr Wrights in order to avoid the kind of firestorm which they knew the action they eventually took would cause.

  40. Rocky Eades

    I found out a few days after our last LP/CSRA quarterly meeting that one of the “members” who was seated – accepting his word that he was current – had in fact lapsed before the meeting. I was notified a couple of days after the meeting that he had renewed his state party membership. According to our bylaws, his participation in the quarterly meeting was illegitimate; therefore, all business conducted at the meeting – including the election of officers – was void. Fuck it; it’s fixed. Next problem!

  41. Peter Gemma

    I was briefly a registered Libertarian and tried to become an activist … the shock and awe insider bickering and ego trips chased me away very quickly. Professionally and as a volunteer, I’ve been on the front lines of politics and campaigning all my life. I understand how parties, political leaders, and candidates can be difficult to deal with. Libertarians, however, have made such human foibles a science. I’m now an independent who leans Libertarian in my voting habits.

  42. Joe

    The bylaws should be amended to allow for a grace period following nonpayment of dues or other technical issues. Perhaps there’s a more general Parliamentary precedent that already allows for this. In the absence of that, I don’t see how the LNC can reinstate Mr. Wrights without violating the bylaws. And, while disappointed by the distraction and wasted time involved compared to what the LNC ought to be about, I’d like to see them follow their own internal rules.

    Joe
    http://www.buchmanforcongress.com

  43. Michael Seebeck

    Joe, there’s an even simpler solution than that. A Bylaws change isn’t needed.

    Simply amend the Policy Manual so that membership status update of all LNC members is part of the usual roll call or conflict of interest report, and for all convention delegates at registration. It’s something they should be doing anyway.

  44. Michael Seebeck

    Joe, the problem with your premise is that Lee doesn’t need reinstating because he was never properly removed in the first place.

  45. Jeff Standish

    Peter Gemma said:

    I was briefly a registered Libertarian and tried to become an activist … the shock and awe insider bickering and ego trips chased me away very quickly. Professionally and as a volunteer, I’ve been on the front lines of politics and campaigning all my life. I understand how parties, political leaders, and candidates can be difficult to deal with. Libertarians, however, have made such human foibles a science. I’m now an independent who leans Libertarian in my voting habits.

    Your alleged “libertarian” leanings are news to me:

    Today, the Tantons continue to ally themselves with racist figures and organizations. Just last year, US Immigration Reform PAC paid a far-right activist named Peter Gemma more than $7,000 for consulting services. According to the Center for New Community, a Chicago-based civil rights group, Gemma has helped organize numerous Holocaust denial conferences, at which he has spoken alongside the likes of David Duke and fascist author David Irving. Gemma is the former media director for the National Policy Institute, an avowedly white nationalist think tank in Northern Virginia posing as the answer to the question it asks presumably white visitors to its website: “Who speaks for us?”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31141-2005Apr6.html

    http://www.namebase.org/xgas/Peter-B-Gemma.html

    http://www.seekgod.ca/cnp.g.htm#gemma

    In addition, as one who has spent time “carrying the water” in the Republican Party many years ago, I can tell you that libertarians are rank amateurs at political infighting. The recent civil war in the Virginia GOP is a great example.

  46. paulie Post author

    Jeff,

    I have you signed up to write at Next Free Voice – not sure if you got the notice.

    I also saw Mr. Gemma listed as the author of an (upcoming?) book about segregationist former congressman and presidential candidate Rarick of Louisiana.

  47. paulie Post author

    Joe,

    The internal rules are in much dispute; see all the comments on this thread and the previous one.

    Even if we were to accept that Wrights had de facto resigned – a claim that I think fails on a number of different levels – it would of course be possible to reappoint him.

  48. Rocky Eades

    @ #55 – As I understand it, that is being considered by the LNC as we speak.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    Rocky,

    That may be — but it’s out of order and a waste of time insofar as there’s no vacancy to “re-appoint” Wrights to. He has not resigned, nor has he been removed.

  50. Peter Gemma

    Jeff Standish:

    A. this may sound a bit radical, but don’t always believe what you read in the Washington Post or even the bilge put forth radical outfits like the Chicago kooks who cloak themselves as “civil rights activists.”

    B. Yep, I carried water for the GOP as well as for Pat Buchanan, and I supported Ron Paul and Bob Barr too. I did it professionally, I did it well, and I did it in conjunction with, and sometimes in spite of, my libertarian leanings. You see, I’m a more practical extremist. But I suppose that doesn’t matter if the rule is “converts need not apply” and if things are going so well that Real Libertarians don’t need friends and allies.

    C. Your posting is exactly why I shouldn’t be an LPer and maybe why I don’t belong here either. When the definition is how many can fit on the head of a pin, I ain’t no angel.

    D. I’m sorry I frightened you … you can relax now and go on with the serious debate here.

  51. John Famularo

    Lee Wrights in his appeal wrote;

    ” I was notified by the Secretary Bob Sullentrup .. that 1) my membership dues ?lapsed? as of April 7; and 2) I was taken off the LNC as of April 8 ”

    When exactly (time and date) did Lee lose his seat.?

    At 12:01 am on April 8th, 2009 or at 4 pm on April 7th when the last input was processed into the membership system? During the time I was responsible for the membership system at LPHQ, the official tally of membership was delayed until late arriving mail was processed. Dues payment were entered with two dates, the process date and the effective date. In the case of snail mail the effective date was the postmark date on the envelope. In order for Lee to have been fully purged from the LNC web site on the 8th, someone (Robert Kraus?” would have to have been waiting and watching for the earliest opportunity to remove Lee. If it was not the LNC that removed Lee, who did, or was it the computer system and everyone else in the chain merely “recognized” the event? What if their was a computer bug and it reported Lee’s expiration date as 2010? Would he still be on the LNC even though he had not paid $25 in the last 12 months? What if the same computer system had reported that all the LNC members had lapsed? Would the LNC just cease to exist at that moment without recourse by anyone?
    I’m sure, given time you or I could come up many more holes in the tortured logic put forth by Bill Redpath for the expulsion of Lee Wrights so quickly.

    Whether Lee or Angela should or should not serve on the LNC is not the significant point. The sleazy way in which they were treated is the point.

    The LP will never get anywhere electing the socially and politically inept to positions of authority. Unless of course, the LP wants to represent itself as an organization of socially and politically inept persons.

  52. Michael H. Wilson

    John this sounds like a word problem from high school math.

    If Lee was on the West coast at 10 p.m. and the LP office is on the east coast and it three hours difference what time is it when Lee’s dues lapse?

  53. Rocky Eades

    @ #61 – John writes: “…or was it the computer system and everyone else in the chain merely “recognized” the event?” This seems to be the argument offered to me this past weekend by Stewart (sorry I misspelled it in an earlier post) Flood; not only did everyone else in the chain “recognize the event”, but at that point, there was nothing anyone could have done other than what was in fact done. 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.

  54. Rocky Eades

    @ #62 – And they call us “purists” and dogmatic and uncompromising and …

  55. Jim Davidson

    John @60 “Unless of course, the LP wants to represent itself as an organization of socially and politically inept persons.”

    At this point, if the national LP were to represent itself as anything else, it would be committing fraud.

  56. John Famularo

    @51 Michael Seebeck wrote;
    “… A Bylaws change isn’t needed.
    Simply amend the Policy Manual “.

    First, the Policy Manual is just a compendium of LNC resolutions and actions. It can change at any time. Second, the LNC has NEVER followed any of it’s policy manuals to the letter. Furthermore. the LNC has never followed the LP Bylaws to the letter.

    No document can insure “good governance” (dare I use that term), if a majority of the LNC is set against it and the minority on the LNC gives up without an all out fight.

    “They came for the ……, but I did nothing because I’m not a …. et cetera, et cetera.”

  57. Michael Seebeck

    John, not so. I have a copy, and it has nothing to do with resolutions and actions, but how they conduct business. it includes job descriptions, a SH policy, and a few other things.

    Ask your regional rep for a copy and you’ll see what I mean.

  58. George Phillies

    Mike,

    John is correct. All those rules on LNC doing business, the policy manual, are LNC resolutions, e.g., to insert in paragraph N a sentence “…”. That’s what the policy manual is, a compendium of the resolutions the LNC chose to store.

    George

  59. Jeff Standish

    Peter Gemma:

    Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend your tender sensibilities.

    Are you saying you didn’t organize those holocaust denial conferences the Washington Pravda says you did?

    Are you saying that you weren’t once involved with the National Policy Institute, which once listed you as a media relations person?

    Did you in 2005, or do you now deny the holocaust? Which holocaust, too — after all, socialists in the twentieth century racked up quite a bloody record.

    It isn’t clear to me how a holocaust denier could be a libertarian.

    Show me a “liberal” libertarian who denies the commies have sent somewhere between 45 to 100 million people to early graves in the past 100 years, and I would ask the same questions.

    If one blue-collar working stiff like me asking what sweeping genocide under the rug has to do with libertarianism leaves you so disturbed that you’re ready to run away and cry, then yes, you should go sit next to Jeff Frederick of the Virginia GOP or Kirk Sullivan of the Idaho GOP. Then you can commiserate with them about how much better Republiboobs treat their own, compared to those nasty Libertarians.

    By the way, I meant to ask:

    I was briefly a registered Libertarian and tried to become an activist

    When was that, precisely? Has anyone outside of the now-discredited Barr campaign office staff ever heard of you?

    the shock and awe insider bickering and ego trips chased me away very quickly.

    And of course the corollary question: When was that, exactly?

    I’m just interested in the time lag between when you “tried” to become an activist, and when you were “chased” away.

    Oh, and did your criticism of others who were busy actually being activists (vs your “trying to become an activist”) chase them away?

    Libertarians, however, have made such human foibles a science.

    Unlike the Republicans surrounding Frederick and Sullivan?

  60. Michael Seebeck

    Technically, George, you could say that. But that’s not how I define resolutions.

  61. John Famularo

    Michael Seebeck wrote;
    “But that’s not how I define resolutions.”
    But that is how the rest of the world describes corporate board resolutions. You are only thinking of a subset of the LNC resolutions which deal with entities over which the LNC has no control , such as “Impeach Bush” or “Get out of Iraq” or “End the Federal Reserve”.

  62. Pingback: Petitions of Denver Libertarian National Convention delegates and sustaining members against the removal of Lee Wrights from the LNC | Independent Political Report

  63. paulie Post author

    Sustaining members

    9. Rob Latham
    8. Paul Frankel
    7. Darryl W. Perry
    6. Erik Geib
    5. Debra Payne-Dedmon
    4. Larry Nicholas
    3. Morey Straus
    2. George Phillies
    1. Rachel Hawkridge

  64. paulie Post author

    Denver Delegates:
    34. Michael R. Edelstein CA
    33. Thomas Hill N.C.
    32. Glenn Jacobs Tennessee
    31. Rob Latham Utah
    30. Tom Ruks NH
    29. Steve LaBianca Florida
    28. Christiana Mayer Oregon
    27. Steve Kubby CA
    26. Michelle Shinghal TX
    25. Raymond James Duensing Jr. Sin City Nevada
    24. Raymond James Duensing Jr. Sin City Nevada
    23. Kelly Wall TN
    22. Michael Acree CA
    21. Tony Wall TN
    20. Paul Frankel Alabama
    19. Gene Hawkridge Washington State
    18. Less Antman California
    17. John Schultz Missouri
    16. Larry Nicholas Washington
    15. Debra Payne-Dedmon Nevada
    14. Dodge Landesman New York
    13. Glenn Nielsen Missouri
    12. Christopher Maden California
    11. Harland Harrison California
    10. Angela Keaton California
    9. James Lesczynski New York
    8. Carolyn Marbry California
    7. Richard Winger California
    6. Michael Seebeck California
    5. Brian Miller Pennsylvania
    4. George Phillies Massachusetts
    3. Morey Straus NH
    2. line voided
    1. Thomas L. Knapp Missouri

  65. 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

  66. Kate O'Brien

    >Aaron Starr’s opinion on this is so predictable. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he was the one who suggested Sullentrup’s underhanded move to kick Lee Wrights off the LNC in the first place.<

    Entirely possible; especially if Mr. Wrights rebuffed Mr. Starr’s romantic overtures 😀

  67. Pingback: Why? « Liberty’s Wing

  68. Gary Fincher

    Paulie: “Andy,

    What does your opinion of Wrights have to do with the way he is being removed from LNC? ”

    What does Wrights’ opinion (and that of his partner-in-crime Sean Haugh) have to do with removal of petitioner-contractors?

    Petitioners can be blacklisted permanently because Wrights/Haugh THINKS they MIGHT have done something, yet Wrights can’t be removed because Wrights/Haugh DEFINITELY did something?

    Ok, I see your logic. Not.

  69. paulie Post author

    Gary, this thread is from April and I personally consider the issue moot. I’m sure I already laid out my reasoning above, and I doubt I could add anything to it now, nor do I feel like going over it.

    I think your failure to see may be beyond the corrective power of any lenses I have or could order, so you shall have to remain sightless.

  70. Pingback: George Phillies reviews recent Libertarian National Committee meeting in St. Louis | Independent Political Report

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