Libertarian Leaders Send Brief To LP Judicial Committee

Eight members of the Libertarian National Committee have sent a brief to the LP Judicial Committee as it considers the question: “Does a lapse in dues require a ‘for cause’ removal described in Article 8, section 5?”

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party and tagged on by .

About wredlich

Warren Redlich is CEO of SpinJ Corporation, which became owner of IPR in November 2012. He was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York, and has run for office as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Liberal.

53 thoughts on “Libertarian Leaders Send Brief To LP Judicial Committee

  1. Michael Seebeck

    The brief makes itself irrelevant to the issue immediately because it tries to reframe the issue before the committee to be different from the one actually before them. To quote:

    “The Judicial Committee has decided to hear the appeal of R. Lee Wrights concerning the
    following question:
    “Does a lapse in dues require a ‘for cause’ removal described in Article 8, section 5?”
    We assert that the questions which more appropriately address the situation are as
    – Must a member of the LNC maintain eligibility requirements specified in Bylaw
    Article 5.6 in order to continue service on the LNC?
    – May the LNC through any act (or failure to act) ignore the eligibility requirements
    specified in Bylaw Article 5.6?

    From there they proceed to spend the duration of the brief answering the two questions not asked through a series of non-applicable strawmen and non-applicable hypotheticals. This shows that they have no case, because they are unwilling to address the facts of the present case and instead resort to irrelevancies.

    They also play far too much reliance on RONR to answer what is in fact a BYLAWS question and not a RONR question, showing again they have no case.

    And they still neglect to properly differentiate between status and process.

    This is the sad state of what these 8 people describe themselves as leaders make themselves out to be.

    This brief is easily good news for Lee.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    It is, indeed, a rather strange brief. The crux of its argument is that the LNC can’t be trusted to enforce the bylaws if they have to enforce it in the manner the bylaws require … but that the same people can be trusted to enforce the bylaws if they’re allowed to make up their own new process for doing so on the fly.

    I’m not sure why or how the availability of process is supposed to magically change the trustworthiness quotient of the LNC from “untrustworthy” to “trustworthy,” but the authors of the brief appear to believe that it does.

  3. Michael Seebeck


    I think that goes back to what Rachel referred to as “Rules for Lee, but not for me”.

  4. George Phillies

    We should be grateful to the eight signatories for making clear to all Libertarians why the signatories do not belong on our national committee, or in any other leadership role in any other libertarian organization. It appears that when Mr. Wrights was finally tendered his bill for his dues, he paid the bill.

  5. Jim Davidson

    Therefore, the enemies list is:
    Patrick Dixon
    Stewart Flood
    Dan Karlan
    Alicia Mattson
    Bill Redpath
    Rebecca Sink-Burris
    Aaron Starr
    Bob Sullentrup

    Got rebar?

  6. John Famularo

    Tom Knapp wrote,
    “…the LNC can’t be trusted to enforce the bylaws if they have to enforce it in the manner the bylaws require …”

    In my experience, this has been the case since the reduction in size of the LNC due to the 1991 bylaws changes. It fundamentally changed the balance of power in the LNC from the regional reps to the at-large members. The LP started out as a top down organization and has gotten more centralized and authoritarian with time.

    What kind of example is this for a “libertarian” organization? What could the LP possible achieve in affecting or effecting change in public policy?

  7. Susan Hogarth

    In case anyone is not paying attention, Jim Davidson is not a member of the LP and is, besides, a thorough ass. Therefore his pronouncements of ‘enemies’ and his juvenile pseudo-swaggering (how easy it is to evoke ‘rebar’ from the other side of a keyboard) should probably be taken for exactly what they’re worth: nothing.

  8. Susan Hogarth

    Well, Matt, look at the next-to-last paragraph. Of *course* they’re enemies!

    After all, they eschew the serial comma. Horrors! What next!

  9. robert capozzi

    sh, also prefer serial commas!

    some grammar books say otherwise. oh well, win some, lose some.

  10. robert capozzi

    sh, 2x in a day do we agree! I’m liking this trend!

    Brother Davidson seems unconcerned about his credibility. what horror he seems to be acting out we can’t know, but ’tis a blessing that his rebar fantasies REMAIN behind the keyboard, possibly in a rubber room.

  11. Becky

    That anyone cares one whit about this quite technical legal question regarding the procedural operations of a political party that has never cracked one percent of the popular vote, is one of the big reasons it never will break that electoral barrier.

    Just so full of themselves–work on issues, reach out to teabaggers or whatever—but who cares about this?

  12. Rocky Eades

    @ #13 – Becky, many of us who care about these procedural questions are, at the same time, doing hard time working on issues and reaching out to all kinds of people that we can ally with and hopefully make some changes on all sorts of freedom issues.

  13. mdh

    @13 – When these issues have a larger impact which many outside the party don’t fully comprehend, it can be very worthwhile to deal with these technical matters.

    I would pose the following statements:

    1. The LP is a valuable vehicle for achieving a free society.

    2. The LP has more membership, gets WAY more earned media, and generates way more interest in libertarian ideals than any other organizational entity.

    3. If the LP becomes somehow less in tune with what is necessary to achieve our goal of a free society, then it loses value, and the libertarian community at large loses one of our best organizational entities.

    4. These technical issues could lead to the LP being less in tune with what is necessary to achieve our goal of a free society.

    With these four facts in mind, reconsider your statements.

  14. Jim Davidson

    @9 “In case anyone is not paying attention, Jim Davidson is not a member of the LP”

    In case anyone has not paid attention, Jim Davidson is not a current dues-paying member-in-good-standing. But he did sign the oath and he is a libertarian. And if you jac wipes in the LP would ever get your act together, he might return to paying dues and being involved. It is also noteworthy that he is widely recognised as a libertarian activist, one who does things. Sometimes, even, extraordinary things like travel to Somalia to see what things are like there.

    “and is, besides, a thorough ass.”

    Oh, sweetheart, it takes one to know one. lol

  15. Robert Capozzi

    mdh 16:

    1: Yes.
    2: Not way more media would be my guess. Ron Paul by himself gets way more than the entire LP. Cato Institute is on major media weekly, getting way more. Reason probably gets way more, too. I’m even seeing LvMI people occasionally on major media.
    3. Yes.
    4. Possibly. Hard to say. Personally, I’ve little interest in these technical NatCom issues, but I suppose someone should watch these things.

  16. mdh

    @19 – Ron Paul has of course done great things for our causes, but I said organizational entity, not individual. If we look at individuals getting attention for libertarian issues, then no organizational entity can even begin to compare (since lots of people bring libertarian ideals to the table every once in a while – socialists are anti-war, some neocons oppose gun control, etc.)

    I would say that since Reason is a media entity in and of itself, it’s hard to qualify that. I would disagree that LVMI and Cato get more earned media than the LP.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    mdh, we’re both guessing, of course, but the standard measure is “gross impressions” in media pickup.

    Cato and Reason (outside it’s own media…they get op-eds like Gillespie’s in the NY Times recently) tend to focus on major pubs and TV, where the viewership/readership impressions is large. Yes, in Paul’s case, he’s an individual, but he represents an organization of sorts: House seat from a TX district, so I’d count him.

    Barr and Root both have done WAY better in media pickup than the LP has in the past, esp with national, high-profile media.

    The farm team seems to be getting more media savvy, too. Monds and Munger come to mind.

    Overall, though, I don’t see much media pickup for the LP and its candidates. Perhaps a lot of small circulation papers…maybe that aggregates into larger numbers, though I doubt it.

  18. mdh

    Root’s doing good work. My opinion of him has changed a lot (for the better) over the past year.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp


    I’ve got to go with Bob on this one.

    “Membership” is a pretty malleable term. Based on their “sponsorship” contributions from individuals, even if those contributions average four times LP sustaining dues, then Cato has about 186,000 dues-paying “members” — more than ten times the LP’s current membership and six times its highest point.

    On earned media, it’s not even close, either. Cato is routinely cited and quoted in the mainstream media, and its personnel routinely appear on television news shows. On any given day, Cato probably has at least 5-10 times the media presence that the LP does.

    I believe that the LP has the potential to operate at that level, but it hasn’t realized that potential yet.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    tk, in theory, the LP could swamp Cato, if it started electing people, fo ex. Like it or not, sober opinions are nice, but pols still get WAY more coverage than think tanks.

    I spose a hybrid party/think tank, which the LP sorta is, could get think tank or public interest group type coverage. That would be the upper bound, is my take.

  21. Denver Delegate

    Conspicuously absent from the brief’s signatories based on their vote on L’Affaire Wrights are Vice Chair Michael Jingozian, At-Large Representative Admiral (“Thousands fell as I stood astride multi-billion dollar federal war machines and uttered the order ‘Kill””) Michael Colley, and Region 5 – South Representative James Lark.

    A real libertarian, Carl Vassar, has been elected alternate in Region Five – North. Perhaps its state members can replace parliamentary procedural obstructionist Dan Karlan to make the balance more closely divided between the Deformers and principled Libertarians.

  22. John Famularo

    Robert Capozzi wrote,

    ” in theory, the LP could swamp Cato, if it started electing people”

    In practice also, but it would have to solve the “mission” problem. The LP wants to be all things in the libertarian movement, except a real political party. People are told their home is the LP if they score in the upper right quadrant of the political quiz, but are not accepted as “real” libertarians unless they are anarchists.

  23. Jim Davidson

    @22 Oh, sweetheart, you don’t even know most libertarians. You’ve never met most of them. You’ve never heard their names.

    Most. What a crock.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    jf, personally, my take is there IS NO “mission problem.” We don’t need a mission, per se.

    Your second point is right on. The litmus testing has got to end. Look at the post above yours. Dan Karlan IS an anarchist, and even HE is besmirched by “Denver Delegate.”

    Rodney King, call you office!

  25. Marc Montoni

    The litmus testing has got to end.

    You mean like the litmus testing done when selecting replacement LNC members?

    There are essays on the reform caucus website advocating never again electing anarchists / radicals to any leadership position in the LP. Do you mean that kind of litmus testing?

    Yeah, we’re all against litmus tests — I guess except those that would prevent a libertarian’s libertarian from having any say in the organization we’re nevertheless encouraged to support with our time and money.

    We get it.

  26. George Phillies

    Capozzi propagates the notion that the *only* fissure in the party is between the purist wing and the Republican-lite wing (mind you, as Marc Montoni correctly notes, there certainly is such a division).

    The issue with Mr. Karlan is not that he is an anarchist or a socialist or a Pastafarian but that he is part of the good old boys group that currently runs our party. Mind you, he also voted on the LNC motion in favor of helping a Republican in a primary, though he stated to our state committee here in Massachusetts that the ballotbase digital object was entirely the private property of Stuart Flood, and did not belong to the LNC.

  27. robert capozzi

    mm, I’m not familiar with the essay(s) you reference, nor do I recall them. A lot of essays were posted there. If they say what you say they do, I disagree with them.

    Nor do I know what you mean by “a libertarian’s libertarian.” Could you elaborate?

  28. robert capozzi

    gp, how do you figure that I propogate any such thing? There probably are multiple camps.

    I just wish we could all get along.

  29. robert capozzi

    gp, is the Republican you’re referring to Ron Paul? I’ve not studied the issue, but that may well have been the fiduciary thing to do AT THE TIME. (I’d say it was NOT the fiduciary thing had the facts of Newslettergate been known at the time.) Sometimes, I’d suggest, the fiduciary thing is employing a big-picture perspective, not a narrow, isolated, technical one. Your presidential ballot dispute seemed to me to be more in the latter category, with no upside that I could discern.

  30. Michael Seebeck

    Robert, offering Dr. Paul the Party’s nomination was nothing resembling a fiduciary thing to do. That nomination belongs to the national delegates to award, and no one else. The controversy lies in that direct conflict if not outright violation of the Bylaws, and had nothing to do with the newsletters in the slightest.

    If the Party cannot follow its own rules, then it might as well shut down operations.

    (That’s a blatant hint for certain people on certain national committees!)

  31. Jim Davidson

    @31 It is a very good point that many of us stopped sending money when it became clear that the LP at the national level had ceased to represent our interests. For me that was back in 1998.

    Since then, I’ve provided funds to a number of state Libertarian party groups.

  32. robert capozzi

    ms, refresh my memory, because I don’t recall that the LNC did what you say. My vague recollection is they tried to support Paul for the GOP nod, and were signaling him of their interest in his bolting back to the LP after he failed to get the R nod. I don’t recall a specific offer of the nomination, which of course is beyond their charge.

    It was a tightrope for the LNC, and my impression at the time was they did a pretty good job.

    I only brought up NewsletterGate because IF that content was known about, and with RP’s subsequent (poor, IMO) handling of that event, I felt RP would have HURT the LP if that data had come out during subsequent his LP run. IOW, my support for RP was dramatically dampened due to his handling of NewsletterGate.

    Hope that’s clear, if complicated.

    For me, I appreciate the LNC’s often thankless, volunteer work. Have they made mistakes? Surely, don’t we all?

    Perhaps L’Affaire Lee mistake in judgment will turn out to be a blessing in disguise…

  33. George Phillies


    Paul: As was well known prior to the discovery of his racist newsletters, he is a homophobic bigot, an antiabortionist, a Christian dominionist who believes the Bible trumps the Constitution, an opponent of the Constitution who rejects the 14th amendment etc.

    More important, though unsurprisingly, he is a Republican.

    The Libertarian Party was founded to establish a party separate from all others. Attempting to use party resources to support a Republican was a gross breach of the fiduciary duties of the national committee.

    The LNC had a choice as to whether or not to support homophobia, racism, dominionism, seeking the death of our daughters via back room abortions, not to mention attaching ourselves to a candidate who courted the conspiracy folks on Alex Jones.

    They made the wrong choice.

    They also sought to recruit this person as our party’s presidential nominee.

    They, not Ms. Keaton, should be expelled from the LNC.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    gp, interesting take. I spoke with Angela at the last Arlington VA NatComm meeting and she was absolutely jazzed about her experience at the Rally for the Republic, Ron’s counter GOP convention. My sense was she absolutely LOVED the experience.

    How did Angela vote on the LNC’s “invitation” to Ron Paul? Do you, or anyone, know?

    Anyone who follows your line of thought knows you are no fan of RP’s. I share SOME of your concerns, although not nearly as intensely. It sounds personal with you, is it?

    I dunno, while I personally don’t think the Bible is the “word of God,” many do. I’d think they’d be hypocrites if they DIDN’T believe the Bible trumps the Constitution. God vs. words concocted by white male slave owners…pretty easy one, if you ask me.

    What you’ve not done here is make the case that the NatComm acted against its fiduciary duties (with or without Keaton). Your grievances against RP are irrelevant. At the time, would a Paul campaign’ve been in liberty’s interest, or against it? My take was with, although I’m big enough to admit that — in light of NewsletterGate — not so much.

    Or do you want to be the other side of the Dondero coin, whining about grievances you have with Dr. Paul?

  35. Robert Capozzi

    ms, I’m sure I do, as selective amnesia is the human condition. Still, Keaton DID resign:

    According to LRC, the invitation for Paul to run on the L line was unanimous, and the motion was made by Barr. Was Keaton not there? I couldn’t find the answer in my search.

    So, Mike, what am I not remembering correctly?

  36. Robert Capozzi

    ms, to be fair, I’m guessing what I DIDN’T mention was that some on the LNC were pressuring her to stop divulging closed-session goings on. She resisted that pressure.

    I’ve not shared my view of those events to date, in part because she’d mentioned me in one of her public releases of information, so I felt it inappropriate to share my views on the matter. Enough time has passed, in my judgment, so my take was that Angela WAS inappropriately publicly disclosing NatComm information. However, I also believe that some on NatComm overreacted as well.

    I would have suggested that they should have used Executive Session to say to Angela something along the lines: “Angela, do I have your word that you will not disclose what I’m about to say?” After a while, perhaps the inappropriate behavior might have ended. Instead, a “federal case” was made out of it.

    It was not the Rodney King approach, which always works. Peace works every time!

  37. Michael Seebeck

    Robert, your perception is not one of a person who knows the situation well and tends to apologize for the statist quo.

    The situation is well-documented in the archives here at IPR and elsewhere, so I don’t need to rehash it. Do your own research.

    Yes, a federal case was made out of it, but had the people making that federal case decided to exercise a little common sense in how they do things, the situation (and not coincidentally, the Wrights situation) was avoidable. It isn’t incumbent on Angela or Lee to roll over and let them walk all over them either. Ditto for anyone else.

  38. robert capozzi

    ms, yes, I apologize/forgive all dysfunction, e.g., lapses of common sense. Even for Jim “Rebar” Davidson, although his seems to’ve gone way passed mere common sense glitches!

    Blame and vengeance ain’t how I roll, and I suggest we consider whether it EVER works (I vote no).

    Can we all just get along?

  39. robert capozzi

    ms, it’d be helpful if you would summarize how my summary of L’Affaire Angela is off.

  40. Michael Seebeck

    Robert, it has been summarized ad nauseum. Why should I waste my time doing that? Simply go back in the archives to last year from the DC meeting to the SD meetings of the LNC for the raw and the analyzed stuff. It’s all there.

  41. robert capozzi

    ms, because you’ve made an unsubstantiated assertion, claiming incorrectness. If I claimed YOU were incorrect, would you not want the same from me?

  42. Michael Seebeck

    Yawn. It’s not unsubstantiated, just unlinked. I choose to not rehash and repeat what has been done before. Libertarians spend way too much time refighting past battles to no end. So I see no reason to waste my time, because the outcome will not miraculously change.

    Do your own research. I know you know how.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    ms, I HAVE done my own research, sir. My facts sure look correct to me. I’ve included links.

    But I certainly agree that the past is past. I’ve not seen an indication that you and gp have recognized that MOST important fact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.