George Phillies Slams LNC for Giving Member and Donor Database to LNCC

George Phillies writes at GoldUSAGroup:

In 2010, Libertarians made decisions.

They decided that Wayne Root was totally unacceptable as National Chair, and “Anyone But Root” was better. They decided the Aaron Starr was totally and completely unacceptable as Treasurer, and voted him out to raucous cheering from the convention floor when the vote was announced.

Now the LNC has turned those decisions on their heads.

They created the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC), a body legally co-equal with the Libertarian National l Committee. They sat unperturbed when Wayne Root, rejected by the LNC’s own convention, became its Chair, and Aaron Starr, rejected by the LNC’s own convention, became its Treasurer.

The LNC gave Wayne Root and Aaron Starr, in their roles as LNCC officers, the complete LNC member and donor lists. The LNC was to give the LNCC your phone numbers and email addresses, as discussed in the next issue. They made the handover after Executive Director Wes Benedict warned that the handover would let the LNCC cannibalize LNC fundraising. As previously explained by this newspaper, that handover was totally unnecessary for FEC compliance.

Now the LNC has handed LNC Vice Chair Mark Rutherford the right, whenever Wayne Root decides it is necessary, to fly to D.C. at LNC expense – your dues money – and be “empowered with all executive powers of the [LNC] Chair” needed to recover fresh copies of those lists for the LNCC.

Root and Starr were overwhelmingly rejected by our National Convention. Now the LNC has given them their own National Committee, one that legally has all the powers of the real National Committee, and no need for either of them to face election by the Libertarian Party’s membership.

IPR notes:

George Phillies ran for LNC national chair in 2010 against Mark Hinkle, Wayne Root, John Jay Myers and Ernie Hancock. The results of that election are here. Phillies comments regularly at IPR, as does Wayne Root, and Aaron Starr is an article writer for IPR as well.

Phillies has also run for chair several other times, and both Root and Phillies ran for the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2008.

IPR welcomes opinions on different sides of this issue, both in the comment section of this article as well as articles submitted for publication if anyone wishes to submit any.

53 thoughts on “George Phillies Slams LNC for Giving Member and Donor Database to LNCC

  1. Robert Capozzi

    gp, would you have a different opinion if Root and Starr were not the players involved?

  2. inDglass

    “Why can’t we all get along?”

    Because CIA Babar infiltrated the LP, won its 2008 nomination only to run in into the ground, and passed the torch to WAR to finish the party-ruining campaign in 2012.

  3. matt cholko

    In a general sense, I tend to agree with Phillies on this issue. While I believe that the LNCC is a well intentioned group, the two players that GP mentioned (Root and Starr) were rejected by Libertarians at convention, so they bought themselves into leadership rolls on the LNCC. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does amount to them taking on leadership rolls in the Libertarian Party without the consent of the membership.

    As for the LNC handing over the donor info…. Considering that the LNCC seems to be well intentioned, I can understand why the LNC would be inclined to turn over that information. However, in doing so they are empowering a group of unelected Libertarians to move the party in the direction of their choosing.

    For the record, I have not received anything from the LNCC. I have been donating regularly to the LP since 2008. Is the LNCC only interested in big money donors?

  4. Rodney King

    “Because CIA Babar infiltrated the LP, won its 2008 nomination only to run in into the ground, and passed the torch to WAR to finish the party-ruining campaign in 2012.”

    Yes, well… I guess that’s it then.

  5. Brian Holtz

    Root and Starr were overwhelmingly rejected by our National Convention

    Some relevant numbers:

    LNC Chair 1st round:

    201 Root
    114 Hinkle
    82 Hancock
    70 Myers
    56 Phillies

    In the LNC Chair final round, Root won 44% of the vote.

    LNC at-large results:
    250 Root
    225 Redpath
    202 Ruwart
    183 Nolan
    177 Knedler

    Number of months Oaksun served in his 24-month Treasurer term after winning the job from Starr: 7.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Why the editorial slant in the headline?

    While it’s true and obvious that Phillies opposes the LNC giving the LNCC a duplicate set of keys to the whole house, its seems to me that the more important part of the story is that that is in fact what has happened, not that Phillies doesn’t like it.

  7. JT

    As a reporter for years, I think that headline is fine. People can often take issue with individual words in news reports, but as long as it’s not a gross misrepresentation, it’s up to the writer. And that headline is certainly not a gross misrepresentation.

    What I don’t understand is why this is news. Did sharing the lists recently happen? Or did Phillies recently write this?

  8. JT

    What IS a gross misrepresentation, as Holtz pointed out, is that Root was “overwhelmingly rejected” by the national convention.

  9. paulie Post author

    Why the editorial slant in the headline?

    I intended no editorial slant.

    Your alternate headline suggestions welcome.

    As well as other people’s opinions of whether it was slanted.

    If Trent, or a perceived consensus, says I exhibited bias, it will be changed. It may also be changed if I hear a suggestion I like better.

  10. paulie Post author

    What I don’t understand is why this is news. Did sharing the lists recently happen?

    Last LNC meeting, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t think we’ve done a separate story about that yet, but I could be wrong.

    Or did Phillies recently write this?

    I saw it posted to his site today.

  11. paulie Post author

    What IS a gross misrepresentation, as Holtz pointed out, is that Root was “overwhelmingly rejected” by the national convention.

    I linked the election results in the story.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@11,

    “What I don’t understand is why this is news. Did sharing the lists recently happen? Or did Phillies recently write this?”

    The list-sharing began relatively recently.

    The expansion of the list-sharing, from “we will share lists” to “Root’s people can take whatever they want if they think the chair isn’t giving it to them” is more recent.

    Anyone outside the LNC itself paying much attention to that (or to the other piece of it not mentioned in this article), not until now, which is the “news” angle.

    The other piece of it is that the Root-coopted LSLA is moving to take over the list updating mechanism. Which means that even if the LNC ever cuts Root off from formally co-owning all of LPHQ’s data, he can just get it from somewhere else.

    Basically the only thing the LNC has full ownership of now is an expensive office lease and an indefensible trademark claim.

  13. George Phillies

    56-44% is fairly overwhelming, especially when you look at the vote redistributions. The audience response to Oaksun beating Starr was the loudest cheering I ever remember hearing at an LNC convention for a candidate victory. You may choose your own definition of overwhelming, but an argument about your definition would be, well, underwhelming.

    There is another piece that has not yet been covered, which happened effectively at the last LNC meeting.

    Which list data do you think are being shared or not shared? (8^))

    I just got this article up yesterday on http://GoldAmericaGroup.com

    You can read much more in the complete magazine

    http://libertyforamerica.com/201201.pdf

  14. Sane LP member

    @ 17
    Root has NOTHING do to with LSLA.
    State chairs and leaders run that group.
    So they are creating a national database.
    Time they got some new technology.
    The LNC or LP national isn’t the answer to all the challenges. There needs to be more libertarian-minded groups joining together and rowing in same direction.

    Overwhelmingly rejected?
    That would be George Phillies.
    He didn’t come back from getting the smack downs to take any other office on the LNC.
    Isn’t he the dude that turned the LNC into the FEC?
    Who would trust this guy anyway?

  15. George Phillies

    “He didn’t come back from getting the smack downs to take any other office on the LNC.”

    You mean I should have run against one of my friends who had already stepped forward to run for that office as part of the New Path? Are you an idiot, or do you just play one on the internet?

    New Path had a complete slate of candidates, as you clearly do not remember. For me to have run for, say, Vice Chair, would have meant that I would have been running against New Path candidate Rob Power.

  16. George Phillies

    @19 Your description of Saratoga is, let us say, incomplete. Furthermore, they appear to have no plans to create a database rather than procuring the LNC data base … names, addresses, emails, etc.

  17. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Why can’t we all get along?

    If the Root/Starr faction has won in 2010, I doubt they’d of created a co-equal body led by the radical opposition.

    More likely, the Root/Starr coalition would have tortured the bylaws in every possible way to disempower their opponents to the greatest extent possible.

  18. Marc Montoni

    You know, in 2005-2006 when the LNCC was first created, I had pretty high hopes for it. High enough that I accepted a position with it, intending to manage the LNCC’s database and do other in-kind work as needed. I was anticipating that the organization would have full sharing of databases between it and the LNC, if possible. Not only was I anticipating it, but I suggested it and agitated for it. At the time, the board’s consensus was to eschew that relationship and maintain its own separate donor list.

    Things didn’t work out as I hoped they would. I was never given any data to manage, or anything else for that matter, despite asking for work to do. My term expired, which was fine with me because I didn’t see much happening with it. In fact I continued to see very little from it until 2008 — they gave a bit of money to Morey Straus and a few other campaigns, then went silent again until 2010, when until Nick Youngers, a long-time LP activist, announced the “Libertarian Donors Club” to pick good races for Libertarians nationwide to pool money into. As soon as Youngers’ effort began, the LNCC burst back onto the scene with a similar message as Youngers’. That year, the LNCC donated to 13 different LP campaigns (unfortunately none of them were winners).

    As I recall, Root was appointed Chair of the LNCC a short time after the 2010 National Convention. The LNCC has since been converted into a Root mouthpiece — just take a look at the LNCC’s “Media Room”.

    No one in their right mind who has read my past comments will think I am in any way a Phillies partisan. However, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and on this issue, I think Phillies is correct to raise questions about the wisdom of turning over the LP database to an organization that is tightly controlled by a few likeminded individuals.

    At this point, however, the deal is done. Root, Starr, & company now have full access to the LP database. Past behavior of the individuals involved strongly suggests there will be instances of attempting to use that access to find people favorable to Root or his preferred candidate (Gary Johnson, as far as I know) and get them lined up to fill up as many delegate slots as possible, to the exclusion of others not so inclined.

    There is an ethical expectation on LP officers to not engage in biased activities favoring one candidate or another, but it is doubtful any such ethical constraints will hinder the LNCC.

  19. Marc Montoni

    I’ve mentioned before that it’s pointless to question the LNCC. Just ignore them, instead. It’s not like we question the RNCC or the DNSC.

    LNCC Board members don’t care and aren’t listening. The LNC, which has oversight over the LNCC, has officially refused to take any responsibility for what comes out of the LNCC. For a taste, the following is from the LNC Meeting Minutes, San Diego, December 6-7, 2008:

    LNCC Report (Hawkridge) Rachel Hawkridge quizzed Alicia Mattson and Aaron Starr on the LNCC. Bob Sullentrup moved to end discussion. The motion passed 8-4.

    In other words, you’re free to ask questions, but the majority on the LNC will just shut down the discussion and move on.

    Yes, I believe the LNCC **should** be answering questions at LNC meetings. After all, it’s doing things in (essentially) the LP’s name and the Party is the founding organization of the LNCC. I also now agree that the LNC should not be sharing its donor list with the LNCC, simply due to the LNC’s refusal to ride herd on the LNCC; as well as the questionable behavior exhibited of the individuals involved.

    The LNCC should be developing its own donors — and they **should** share their information with the LNC. But that ain’t happening and nothing is going to change as long as the current LNCC officers are in charge. I’m personally making little or no effort to convince them to do anything differently. On the other hand, I’m not supporting them with my dollars, either.

    Who is part of the LNCC is no great secret. Last I heard, anyone who donated at least $1,000 in a one-year period was ipso facto an LNCC Board member. Unless they’ve changed their corporate bylaws, all you need to do to find out who is supposed to be on their board this year is to look at their FEC filings.

    While I see donors who obviously I don’t care to have “speaking for the LP”, the Board also has other members I regard as above reproach, like George Whitfield and Jim Lark.

    But again, it’s all good. Since about 2003, the LNC has become the single biggest inspiration for people to leave the party, with almost a full decade of poorly-thought-out decisionmaking which often seems intentionally designed to either 1) anger large fractions of the membership or 2) bore everyone to death.

    So what should a concerned Libertarian do?

    That’s easy — concentrate instead on finding new libertarians in your own locality and building up a good local group of real libertarians, and ignore the infinitesimally small group of people who now control the LNCC and a majority of seats on the LNC.

    We are, after all, discussing roughly twenty individuals, who happen to have found themselves in the right place at the right time to seize the steering wheel of an organization of 14,000.

    This stuff is always going to happen, you know. Newcomers and “experts” will always periodically burble forth, Johnny-come-lately-like, informing the twenty-year, year after year, wallet-openers and petition-signature-gatherer long-time committed activists that we’ve been doing it all wrong all this time.

    Put it this way: If you sit down to dinner with one of these know-it-alls, and the first words out of the “expert”‘s mouth are “the problem with the LP…”, followed usually by some cheap-shot drunken stumblings about debating societies, then all you have to do is snicker, point, and laugh for the remainder of the evening.

  20. Libertarian Party Needs Your Support

    Last {year} the Libertarian National Committee voted to give $50,000 to Ed Coleman’s re-election campaign for Indianapolis City-County Council. Ed Coleman is currently{was} the highest partisan elected Libertarian in America, and I’m very hopeful about his re-election. But now I’ve got a $50,000 hole to fill!
    Please help {us} out!
    Please…make a donation…by…this weekend,

    visit LP.org and donate online.

    Thanks and take care. Sincerely,

    Wes Benedict {former}
    Executive Director
    Libertarian National Committee
    Please call 202-333-0008 x222
    P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership
    carla.howell@lp.org.

    Ol’ Wes left town with that HOLE still to fill ! Won’t you give a little help TODAY ?!?

  21. Brian Holtz

    44% of the convention delegates voted for Root to be Chair, and Root received more votes for LNC At-Large than any other candidate. Thus Root was “overwhelmingly rejected by our National Convention”.

    Note that in both his Chair and At-Large races, Root defeated all of his New Path opponents by wide margins.

  22. LibertarianGirl

    GP_In 2010, Libertarians made decisions.
    They decided that Wayne Root was totally unacceptable as National Chair, and “Anyone But Root” was better.

    Me , no wonder everyone gets annoyed at me , no matter what I gotta set this straight.. They did not decide he was entirely unacceptable , he came in 2nd and anyone but root only applied to those dropping off BEFORE Wayne .he came in 2nd , period , and he accepted it graciously..

    GP_They decided the Aaron Starr was totally and completely unacceptable as Treasurer, and voted him out to raucous cheering from the convention floor when the vote was announced.

    me_ they did but not because he failed in his duties , was incometent or broke any laws . He was defeated because in the Dungeons and Dragons game we think were playing , he was/is Dr Evil . Anyone that does anything that affects the anti-Starr Pac always assumes AAron is behind it , orchestrating everything. I voted for him not because we were allied or even becaause I wanted any favor , plain and simple he did his job well and the dudes earned it . Id like to add the replacement was not a good decision after all. How come we cant make BUSINESS decisioons based on logiic and reason instead of cult of personality.

    GP_Now the LNC has turned those decisions on their heads.

    They created the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC), a body legally co-equal with the Libertarian National l Committee. They sat unperturbed when Wayne Root, rejected by the LNC’s own convention, became its Chair, and Aaron Starr, rejected by the LNC’s own convention, became its Treasurer.

    me _ wayne came in 2nd for christs sake that means the majority of delegates thought him suitable for service thats not disrespecting the will of the delegates at all , plus as I see it , he runs his mouth about how much he can raise and id like to put that buck in his hand and see if he delivers…

    as for AAron , just pretend for a sec that theres not the legend of the Starr Cabal and that removing him , thought to be great victory , wasnt so bright afterall…he has put in his time with the LP and with all Starr watchers , if he fucks up , well hear about it.I dont have to like someone to admit they can do the job…( but I do like AAron ,,..

    Me_The LNC gave Wayne Root and Aaron Starr, in their roles as LNCC officers, the complete LNC member and donor lists.

    me_ well when Barr didnt share his list we shit bricks and seriosly we all have data dumps and lists and insiders and they would have could have obtained it likely anyways…plus isnt the money for electin

    The LNC was to give the LNCC your phone numbers and email addresses, as discussed in the next issue. They made the handover after Executive Director Wes Benedict warned that the handover would let the LNCC cannibalize LNC fundraising.

    me_ I agree here , there should have been protocol ground rules for use so donors werent bled dry…however id rather see money go to ballot access first and electable candidates 2nd .

    GP_As previously explained by this newspaper, that handover was totally unnecessary for FEC compliance.

    me_unnecessary but illegal or unethical is the question , if proof of that comes up id listen intently

    GP_Now the LNC has handed LNC Vice Chair Mark Rutherford the right, whenever Wayne Root decides it is necessary, to fly to D.C. at LNC expense – your dues money – and be “empowered with all executive powers of the [LNC] Chair” needed to recover fresh copies of those lists for the LNCC.

    me_ why cant they be sent electronically , this seems hinky and wasteful

    GP_Root and Starr were overwhelmingly rejected by our National Convention. Now the LNC has given them their own National Committee, one that legally has all the powers of the real National Committee, and no need for either of them to face election by the Libertarian Party’s membership.

    me_ thats how ExComs do it , they can appoint . id too like to see these positions elected by the deleagtes

    IPR notes:

    George Phillies ran for LNC national chair in 2010 against Mark Hinkle, Wayne Root, John Jay Myers and Ernie Hancock. The results of that election are here. Phillies comments regularly at IPR, as does Wayne Root, and Aaron Starr is an article writer for IPR as well.

  23. George Phillies

    “illegal or unethical is the question ”

    Well, not in my opinion. My original title on the article “Surely We Can Do Better” is more to the point. Also, stupidity will never be a crime, because legislators have this sense of self-preservation.

    “Anyone But Root”, like “Anyone But Mitt”, refers to voting schemes in which the voters are there to vote against someone, so long as there is someone else for whom to vote. Look at how the votes distributed after each candidate was eliminated.

  24. LibertarianGirl

    I get the anybody but root reference , I was in a room counting straw polls and thats exactly what happened , he recieved very few converts after elimination according to our prediction which was spot on , however he did still come in 2nd and get the most at large votes….mind you im not a root supporter , at all really after he stabbed me in the back and deaffiliated so much effort , im just sayin

    as I understand the LNC appoints committee members and then the board elects its own officers , that makes perfect sence in that protocol

  25. George Phillies

    @34 err, not quite.

    The LNCC Board at least some years back was elected by the dues-paying LNCC members, not by the LNC. The link between the two boards is that the LNC Chair is an ex officio member of the LNCC board (I may of course be out of date on this). Yes, the LNCC has or at least had its own dues-paying members.

  26. Here's a radical idea

    “New Path” got one candidate elected at 2010 national convention and then he quit a few months later. The “New Path” led us to where?
    Aaron Starr with all his “issues” at least got the job of treasurer done with professionalism. He just needs to not pick up a microphone–somebody gag him except during business meetings of the LNC.

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    Historical revisionism is all in good fun, but Starr’s performance as treasurer, not just his other activities was very much at issue in the 2010 LNC election.

    Among other things, he had imperiously declared that only his final reports, not the material from which he worked, were of legitimate interest to the LNC. Or, to put it a different way, that they were to accept whatever he told them without any ability to know how he arrived at his conclusions or to hold him accountable for performance.

    He had also selectively used claims of what FEC compliance required to manipulate the availability of the member list during the 2008 presidential cycle — then turned around in 2009 and provoked an FEC investigation by not only refusing to answer a legitimate question about an apparent reporting discrepancy, but holding an in camera denunciation session versus the LNC member who had the temerity to ask said question.

  28. George Phillies

    @36 He had severe personal issues, whose details I am not at liberty to disclose, and was unable to continue. Another of the people we elected had catastrophic medical issues and was unable to continue.

    Hmm…being elected as a New Path candidate seems to be really bad for the health. Perhaps I should be grateful

  29. George Phillies

    @36 The New Path led us where?

    Ummh, that’s like complaining about the Libertarian Party platforms (any or all of them) not having an effect, when the Libertarian Federal candidates were, like, not elected to be in a place to put their platform into effect.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    If it was Phillies as chair and Hogarth as Treasurer, would the LNC’s action be appropriate?

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    @41,

    “If it was Phillies as chair and Hogarth as Treasurer, would the LNC’s action be appropriate?”

    Whether or not actions are appropriate is dependent on what those actions are, not on who does them.

    If this particular set of actions is inappropriate, it would be inappropriate regardless of who was taking them.

  32. George Phillies

    @42 You got that one right.

    The appropriate Phillies position is somewhat closer to “This was done wrong from the beginning, complete with the parallel organization and the thousand-dollar-a-year dues (this number may be out of date).”

  33. Robert Capozzi

    42 tk, thx. I wonder if WB’s cannabilization take is necessarily correct. On its face, the 2 orgs have different charters.

    Is the contention that this is contra the bylaws, or simply poor business judgment?

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@44,

    “Is the contention that this is contra the bylaws, or simply poor business judgment?”

    Certainly not the former. The bylaws give the LNC pretty broad authority to dispose of party assets, delegate its own authority, etc.

    Whether or not it’s “poor business judgment” is a matter of opinion, but given that the LNC’s member/donor/contact list is probably its single most valuable asset, I could make the case.

    Normally the LNC rents its list according to a very exacting set of requirements and controls, and has gone to court to protect that list.

    In this case, it just handed the list over without, so far as I can tell, any of those requirements or controls, on the initial basis of specious FEC requirement claims (like those used by Starr in the past to cover the LNC’s ass on doing whatever it felt like doing), then doubled down by giving the vice chair authority to personally intervene to make sure that the handover meets the recipients’ standards.

    So far as I can tell, there’s nothing at all to stop the LNCC from, for example, giving (or selling for a dollar, or whatever) a completely unencumbered, unrestricted copy of the list to a candidate it likes, while candidates it don’t like will have to go to the LNC, hope they get approved, pay full price, and get heavily restricted use of the list.

    Nor can I tell that there’s any requirement that, should the LNC change its mind, or even cease to recognize the LNCC at any point, that it could stop them from keeping and using the list for as long as, and for whatever purposes, it wishes.

    Finally, it appears to me — although I could be wrong — that the LNCC is working through Carling at LSLA to ensure its access to future updates of the list regardless of what the LNC does.

    Apart from that list and whatever cash reserves it may have on hand, the LNC’s assets pretty much consist of its rented office space — an asset offset by costs — and its likely indefensible trademark claim to the name “Libertarian Party.”

    Personally, I’d classify what’s happening as poor business judgment at best, and quite possibly an intentional transfer of important party assets to persons unaccountable to, and unremovable by, the party’s membership or national convention delegates.

  35. George Phillies

    @42 That depends. Are you in the habit of blaming LNC members who vote against imbecilic ideas for the ideas’ passages?

    Mind you, if I had been chair I would have noted the motion tried to hand off some of my authority to the Vice Chair, and would have appealed the vote to the Judicial Committee as a de facto suspension. Of course, Hinkle does have the disadvantage of having previously voted for the motion to call the Judicial Committee names, and might (in my opinion, unfairly) suspect that this would have prejudiced the Judicial Committee against him.

  36. Kevin Knedler

    M Carling is not even involved in the LSLA any longer. There were new elections back in September in Columbus, Ohio. Entire new setof officers.

  37. Steven R Linnabary

    Last {year} the Libertarian National Committee voted to give $50,000 to Ed Coleman’s re-election campaign for Indianapolis City-County Council.

    It’s easy to spend OTHER people’s money, I suppose. On an election that couldn’t possibly have been won. Indiana has the “straight ticket” device which prevents voters from choosing candidates of a different party.

    But even worse, it wasn’t the LNC’s money to give. It was the MEMBERS money, money that could have been used for something important. Such as ballot access.

    If the LNC members really believed that Coleman was such a good candidate, they could have reached into their own pockets. It would have sent a message to the membership that this was a good candidate that was worth the cost.

    PEACE

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