LP Oregon Quote Pres. Jefferson; Seek Attorney Fee Reimbursement from PAC 16869

OregonLibertyPortland Oregon: In the attached 126 page “RESPONDENT / CROSS-APPELLANT LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OREGON’S ANSWERING BRIEF, SUPPLEMENTAL EXCERPT OF RECORD, AND CROSSOPENING BRIEF” filed yesterday, 31 December 2014, in the Clackamas County Oregon Circuit Court in response to the “Appeal from the General Judgment of Dismissal” entered on October 25, 2013, and the “Supplemental Judgment” entered on May 30, 2014, by Oregon Political Action Committee 16869 (which is also doing business as “The Libertarian Party of Oregon”), Defendants (Wes Wagner, Harry Joe Taylor, Mark Vetanen, Bruce Knight, Richard Skyba, Jeff Weston, the Libertarian Party of Oregon), among other things, through their attorneys, quote President Thomas Jefferson and petition the Court to reconsider its prior denial of their request for reimbursement of attorney fees.

President Jefferson is quoted in Footnote 5 in support of the following argument (beginning on page 50 of the above referenced Answering Brief):

” Judges, much like the Founders (5) have long recognized that an entity’s governing documents do not constitute a “suicide pact,” and that the rules of necessity and self-preservation may ultimately trump a rigid adherence to written laws. . . . Courts have thus excused actions taken to preserve an organization that do not comport with the letter of the organization’s governing documents. . . .

“(5) From Thomas Jefferson: “A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.”

“T. Jefferson Letter to John B. Colvin Sept. 20, 1810, available at:

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a2_3s8.html.”

Beginning on page 62 and continuing onto page 63, the above referenced Answering Brief states:

“Plaintiffs’ claims lacked an objectively reasonable basis when they were made. If that was not obvious to plaintiffs at the time they filed their claims, it should have become so during the course of the litigation, when the issue preclusion and constitutional issues were raised in responsive pleadings. Yet, plaintiffs pushed forward in the face of briefing and undisputed evidence establishing those defenses. Pursuant to ORS 20.105(1), defendants are entitled to recover the substantial attorney fees they were forced to incur in response to plaintiffs’ objectively unreasonable claims.

“Plaintiffs were very aware of the financial strain that litigation would cause the defendants. In August 2011, they discussed ways in which they could create a party website with a new domain name without violating trademark laws. Plaintiff Burke concluded that discussion by observing, “I don’t know if Jim is correct about the possible outcome of [sic] trademark dispute, but I doubt
Wagner’s crew have the financial resources to push the case so far against the LNC’s retained lawyers that the trademark gets thrown out.” Dkt 163, Ex 6 (Steringer Decl). Plaintiffs might have underestimated the defendants’ wherewithal to mount a defense to their objectively unreasonable claims, but the expense of that defense should not be borne by them.

“The LPO respectfully requests that this court reverse the circuit court’s denial of the LPO’s Motion for Findings under ORS 20.105.”

See: Answering Brief and Cross-Opening Brief with SER 1-49 (P0470283xA8AA7)

PRIOR IPR COVERAGE (2014 only)

Project Groundswell Press Release from Oregon PAC 16869 DBA the Libertarian Party of Oregon

Libertarian Candidate in Oregon Receives Letter from Richard Burke Recommending He Vote for Republican

Oregon Republican Party Files Brief, Backs Burke Reeves

Libertarian Party of Oregon Disputes Claim That They Have Endorsed Republican Candidate Jason Yates

Oregon Secretary of State and LPO Respond to Filing of Candidates by Reeves Group

Libertarian Party of Oregon Passes Resolution Regarding Convention Actions

Oregon’s Burke: Helping Other 3rd Parties Benefits LP

Aaron Starr Revealed to be Primary Source of Funding for Oregon LP’s Lawsuit

Wes Wagner Writes to LP State Chairs List Re: Oregon LP Activity

Oregon Secretary of State Responds to Tyler Smith’s Letter Insisting Reeves Group is the Correct LPO

Reeves Group’s Attorney Writes Oregon SOS Still Insisting They Are the Official Libertarian Party of Oregon

“Official” Libertarian Party of Oregon Website Relaunches

Reeves is Ordered by Secretary of State of Oregon to File as a PAC Against the LPO

Burke/Reeves faction of Oregon LP planning convention

Geoff Neale reaffirms that the LNC recognizes Wes Wagner as LP of Oregon chair

(ED-NOTE: Articles related to the above issues published by IPR prior to 1 January 2014 can be found by searching within the site for OREGON, WAGNER, REEVES, etc.)

86 thoughts on “LP Oregon Quote Pres. Jefferson; Seek Attorney Fee Reimbursement from PAC 16869

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Good job of posting background of this meandering dispute, Joe. I’ve read through page 42 so far, and it’s a good telling of the story so far. Good luck in getting your attorney fees reimbursed, Wes. Perhaps that would finally impress on the Burke group what everyone else knows, and that is that they have lost.

  2. Joseph Buchman Post author

    It seems to me they should be forced to pay the other side’s attorney fees related to the appeal, at the very least. That said, I very much doubt they would have pursued this if it had not been being funded by an outside agency (Aaron Starr). That probably skewed their thinking/cost-benefit analysis.

  3. Wes Wagner

    I have my doubts that the ultimate source of the money is actually Starr and that he is not just an agent of someone else.

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    If someone was making the payments to the lawyer through Mr. Starr (for example, the Republican Party), wouldn’t that be illegal?

  5. Wes Wagner

    It would be but someone would have to care enough about it to prosecute it. Our government is not there to protect us or give us justice. It has other loyalties.

  6. Andy

    So Wes, when are you going to put in a Freedom of Information Act request on this stuff as I suggested on another thread?

  7. Andy

    “George Phillies

    January 2, 2015 at 3:52 am

    FOIA only works on governments that have agreed to it.”

    I know that the ACLU has sued when government agencies have declined FOIA requests. Sometimes it works and it has revealed some very interesting information. You don’t know if you don’t try.

  8. paulie

    FOIA requests have to be directed at a specific government agency. You could spend a long time trying different ones. If that’s what you wan to do, have fun.

  9. Richard Winger

    The Republican Party of Ohio arranged for a particular individual (who had a mid-level state job) to pay the attorney for the dupe who challenged the Libertarian Party primary petitions in 2014 for Governor. The dupe was a carpenter who had voted in the Libertarian primary (only someone who voted in a Libertarian primary was eligible to challenge a primary petition in the Libertarian primary). When the validity of the Ohio Libertarian gubernatorial primary petition was in court, the Libertarian Party’s attorney persuaded the court to force the dupe to reveal who was paying his attorney. It wasn’t easy because the dupe didn’t know who was paying his attorney. Our attorney had to persuade the court to order the person paying the attorney to instruct the attorney to tell the dupe who he was. If that hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t even know who paid the attorney, but now we do, but it was a struggle.

  10. Wes Wagner

    We similarly had to fight for quite some time with the Oregon SoS to get them to realize that paying an attorney to oppose a minor political party in court was actually a campaign finance expenditure. It took 2 years to get them to order the group that is suing us to disclose their spending as a miscellaneous political committee.

    It was then Aaron Starr was revealed as the person writing checks to the GOP attorney.

    Previously whenever he was interrogated on that matter he denied being the person funding the lawsuit.

  11. Wes Wagner

    (Ergo, Aaron Starr was either a blatant liar when he made those denials… or justified his denial because he is duplicitous by nature and could rationalize that he is just an intermediary)

    In either respect, he is a direct enemy of the Libertarian Party.

  12. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I recall Aaron denying paying for the Oregon related legal battle (I asked him directly when we were both on the audit committee two years ago or so). Perhaps my recall is faulty because when I later challenged him about misrepresenting that to me, he said (as I recall), “No, Joe, all I said to you back then was that $100,000 sure is a lot of money for someone to have paid.”

    I have the distinct impression that Mr. Starr is not someone who wastes any of his own funds, for what that’s worth. So I too would find it more reasonable that someone else has an interest there that he may be in partnership with.

    He also, for what it is worth, now has access to all of the national LP books. As far as I am aware he is a consummate professional when it comes to his work as a CPA.

    Joe

  13. Andy

    “paulie

    January 2, 2015 at 4:33 am

    FOIA requests have to be directed at a specific government agency. You could spend a long time trying different ones. If that’s what you wan to do, have fun.”

    They should start with the FBI, then maybe the CIA, DHS, state and local police, etc…

  14. Wes Wagner

    Andy,

    I will tell you the same thing I tell all LP activists who have a great idea that they think the party or other people should do.

    Great idea Andy… let me know how your implementation of it turns out and what ancillary support you think you need.

  15. Wes Wagner

    In all seriousness… the LNC should never had reappointed Starr to any committees while he is funding the general counsel of the Oregon Republican Party to sue an LNC affiliate.

    The people who are the elected representatives of this organization are absurd, and deserve the bankruptcy and dissolution that is coming.

  16. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Wes.

    “In all seriousness… the LNC should never had reappointed Starr to any committees while he is funding the general counsel of the Oregon Republican Party to sue an LNC affiliate.”

    Did you learn nothing from Clinton’s “It depends on what is, is”?!?!

    🙂

    I think you meant:

    “In all seriousness… the LNC should never had reappointed Starr to any committees once he was outed for having funded the general counsel of the Oregon Republican Party to sue an LNC affiliate.”

    Whether he is still doing that or not, and given his likely continued deflection of full transparency regarding it, shouldn’t matter (at least not in terms of having access to the books, influencing the platform, planning the convention, serving on the LNC, or any other state party, etc, etc, etc.

    Or so it seems to me.

    Joe

  17. paulie

    Great idea Andy… let me know how your implementation of it turns out and what ancillary support you think you need.

    Exactly.

  18. George Phillies

    Andy, Your analysis is sensible, but is a bit off point. FOIA only works on government agencies. There is no indication that any of the Oregon business involves government agencies as opposed to private groups and persons. And happy New Year. George

  19. paulie

    Andy is engaging in conjecture that it’s part of a government operation. That’s possible, but I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion.

  20. Wes Wagner

    It is far more likely to be a political operation done by people similar to a Stone.

  21. Andy

    “Wes Wagner

    January 2, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Andy,

    I will tell you the same thing I tell all LP activists who have a great idea that they think the party or other people should do.

    Great idea Andy… let me know how your implementation of it turns out and what ancillary support you think you need.”

    I am not in Oregon and I have spent little time in that state, and I have never been a part of, or had any dealings with, the Libertarian Party of Oregon. You have been battling in the epicenter of this dispute, so it would be appropriate for you to do the FOIA request.

    Here is a link to help you get started:

    http://www.foia.gov/how-to.html

  22. Andy

    “George Phillies

    January 2, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Andy, Your analysis is sensible, but is a bit off point. FOIA only works on government agencies. There is no indication that any of the Oregon business involves government agencies as opposed to private groups and persons. And happy New Year. George”

    I am speculating that the individuals in question are undercover government operatives, or that they are being “run” by government handlers.

    Sound crazy? I can see how it would sound this way to people who have not done any homework on the subject, but it is a known fact that the government spies or and infiltrates political activist groups, for the purpose of keeps tabs on and sabotaging them.

  23. Martin Passoli

    I guess if no one who actually lives in Oregon and is involved in this drama is as suspicious about possible government involvement as Andy, no FOIA requests will be forthcoming.

  24. Martin Passoli

    Did you know that tin loses is power to deflect space rays, electromagnetic fields, mind control, and mind reading when it crosses state lines? It’s true!

  25. Andy

    “Wes Wagner

    January 2, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    We are renowned for our low tin content.”

    So you automatically believe that all of this dysfunction that has happened in Oregon has no connection the government?

    It is a documented fact that the government has sent infiltrators into political activist organizations to sabotage them, There is a documented case of it happening north of you in Washington a few years ago when it came out an individual who had joined a peace group and become a meeting Chair was really a government plant.

    The refusal to even bother to investigate the possibility has now got me wondering if there are government operatives on both sides of the Oregon dispute, as in controlling both sides of the Oregon dispute to make sure that the party does not get anywhere. There is of course the possibility tat there are government operatives on one side and not the other, or no government operatives at all, however, all of the weird and dysfunctional stuff that has happened in the LP of Oregon over the last several years has all of the hallmarks of government infiltration and sabotage on it.

  26. Rob Banks

    Well, both sides do seem to have hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s all I am saying.

  27. Andy Craig

    Unless Wagner and Reeves supporters are going to start clashing in the streets and smashing storefronts, I doubt any government agency outside of the Secretary of State’s office is even aware of the dispute, and even they seem less than interested, to put it charitably.

    Though if you want to file frivolous FOIA requests to unspecified government agencies, like Wes said you’re welcome to start going down the list of all the possible state and Federal departments which might be involved. Nevermind that law enforcement investigations, like covert informants, aren’t covered by FOIA laws and never have been. Also the fact that the scenario you describe is so blatantly illegal that no official records of it would be kept at all, much less released to a FOIA request. But I’m sure if you file the right form they’ll just come out and admit their nefarious conspiracy and multiple felonies. The fact that other people won’t do the job for you is just evidence that they’re in on it.

    While you’re at it, you should file a FOIA request with the CIA to see if we can clear up this whole JFK assassination business.

  28. Andy

    “Andy Craig

    January 3, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Unless Wagner and Reeves supporters are going to start clashing in the streets and smashing storefronts, I doubt any government agency outside of the Secretary of State’s office is even aware of the dispute, and even they seem less than interested, to put it charitably.”

    The government is most definitely aware of the dispute. The only question is are they directly involved with creating it or not. Whether they are or not, a state LP affiliate being embroiled in internal controversy holds the party back, so it does serve the government agenda (as in by slowing the libertarian movement in this country).

    “Though if you want to file frivolous FOIA requests to unspecified government agencies, like Wes said you’re welcome to start going down the list of all the possible state and Federal departments which might be involved. Nevermind that law enforcement investigations, like covert informants, aren’t covered by FOIA laws and never have been. ”

    Some of this type of stuff has been revealed in FOIA requests before, such as when it came out that the FBI was spying on anti-war.com a couple of years or so ago, or when government plants were outed in peace groups in Washington, Minnesota, and Iowa a few years back.

    It is better if one of the parties who is involved in the dispute makes the FOIA request since they’d be doing the FOIA on themselves.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    a: some of you people out there assume that they leave the Libertarian Party alone.

    me: Might be insulting if the LP is not being infiltrated! 😉

  30. fred

    Lets assume (and it seems like a gigantic stretch of the imagination to make this assumption) that the government is so interested in stopping the LPO that they want the Reeve’s faction to control it, that they are willing to secretly funnel money into a lawsuit against the party. (Which seem like a very ineffective and costly attempt to accomplish very little) If they really are willing to illegally and duplicitously commit this act–do you really think that if we submitted a FOIA form that suddenly they would expose themselves?

  31. Wes Wagner

    Since the bylaws change the LPO has been growing like wild and posting record numbers of candidates each election cycle.

    The people who claim the most damage from it are known republican sympathizers and the leadership of the oregon republican party post election on talk radio.

    The people who initially opposed us at the LNC level were known republican sympathizers.

    I know who to suspect.

  32. Andy Craig

    All of those organizations you listed are involved in street protests, direct action, civil disobedience, leaking classified documents, and the like. It might be pretextual, but it does give law enforcement a pretext for their involvement. An informant/provocateur could quite plausibly uncover/provoke a violation of statutes, because anti-war protesters and the like are in fact pushing the envelope of the law, and they say so.

    Try to find or provoke a crime at your local LP meeting, and get back to me after you’re laughed out of the room. We’re a political party. We run candidates for office, we file lawsuits, we write letters to the editor and press releases, we gather petition signatures. There’s nothing to uncover, because anybody who cares to pay attention can see it all happen as a matter of public record, and there’s nothing to provoke, because the LP qua LP by and large doesn’t engage in any of the types of activities that draw law enforcement attention. On the relatively rare occasion that we do participate in a protest, we’re a minority presence within a regular, permitted, totally legal event.

    Republicans and Democrats and their henchmen have a reason to care about what we do, and could plausibly (indeed, factually) be posited as having led efforts to disrupt the LP. Your hypothetical FBI agent or state trooper or whoever couldn’t care less about what goes on our meetings. The chances of a government informant, nevermind several government agents all pretending to be Libertarians so they can destroy the party, showing up at LP events ranks in probability somewhere between the “FBI infiltrator at local Rotary Club.” and “Government plots to cause factional split in Maryland Sierra Club.”

  33. Andy Craig

    If there have been any documented instances of a government agent participating in the LP under false pretenses, and I don’t know of any, then they were almost certainly there to fish for potentially violent militia types. In which case they would soon find what a ridiculous waste of their time that is.

  34. Wes Wagner

    There were alot of reports in the 70s of government agents… and they were just spying for the most part from what I had heard from people like Tonie Nathan.

    I think they gave up on wasting resources on us.

  35. Andy Craig

    That’s part of the backstory behind the membership pledge, because it was an actual concern at the time. There certainly is a history of such things happening to libertarian groups, and this was the Nixon era we’re talking about. But like I said, looking back now it seems almost quaint. It was probably a little paranoid even then, albeit not totally unjustified. Whatever infiltrators the government ever did send into the LP in the early 70s, went home disappointed, and certainly can’t be credited with any disruptions.

    Frankly, if I had an undercover FBI agent show up at our local LP meeting, I’d be thrilled that he increased our attendance by a double-digit percentage and invite him to join the party, after laughing at how silly/stupid/ignorant his bosses are.

  36. Andy

    “fred

    January 3, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Lets assume (and it seems like a gigantic stretch of the imagination to make this assumption) that the government is so interested in stopping the LPO that they want the Reeve’s faction to control it, that they are willing to secretly funnel money into a lawsuit against the party. (Which seem like a very ineffective and costly attempt to accomplish very little) If they really are willing to illegally and duplicitously commit this act–do you really think that if we submitted a FOIA form that suddenly they would expose themselves?”

    $100,000 is nothing to the government. The real goal is to make sure that the Libertarian Party is not too successful. If libertarian ideas ever become too popular, then it would pose a serious threat to the government.

    I could see an ineffective Libertarian Party (which is what we are in large part) as actually being kind of a good thing (to the extent that it remains ineffective) for the government. Why? Because it gives people who want more freedom and are not happy with the government a place that they can go to vent their frustrations without accomplishing much of anything productive.

    So the goal of the government is to allow the Libertarian Party to continue to exist, but also make sure that it never becomes too successful. Media bias (note that the big corporate press is in bed with big government), ballot access laws, gerrymandering voting districts, shutting minor parties and independents out of debates, etc…, are all ways of keeping the Libertarian Party down.

    Sending plants into an organization is a great way to make sure that it remains ineffective. Every state party that gets mired in dysfunction is a state party that is not growing (see Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, Nevada, etc….). I have been involved in, and observing this stuff for a long time. I suspect that a lot of the internal problems that the party has had over the years has not happened by accident.

  37. Kyle Markley

    The Oregon party is not in a state of dysfunction. Voter registration has been rising significantly for the past few years, we’re fielding candidates in record numbers, and in the last election we had two candidates pull about 9% in big-money 3-way races.

  38. Bob Tiernan

    “Defendants (…Harry Joe Taylor…)”

    Isn’t that Harry Joe TABOR?

    B. Tiernan

  39. Martin Passoli

    “The Oregon party is not in a state of dysfunction. Voter registration has been rising significantly for the past few years, we’re fielding candidates in record numbers, and in the last election we had two candidates pull about 9% in big-money 3-way races.”

    Relative to its potential, the whole LP nationwide and in every state is in a state of dysfunction.

  40. Wes Wagner

    Most of the alleged dysfunction that has occurred here was a result of spillover of the perverse politics of the national party and the petty power struggles there.

    It was the Starr factions politics and money interfering in this state .. and it has been finally overpowered and we are growing fast.

  41. Andy

    “Kyle Markley

    January 4, 2015 at 2:43 am

    The Oregon party is not in a state of dysfunction. Voter registration has been rising significantly for the past few years, we’re fielding candidates in record numbers, and in the last election we had two candidates pull about 9% in big-money 3-way races.”

    And how much further ahead would the LP of Oregon be right now if it had not been for all of this faction fighting which has been going on for several years?

  42. Wes Wagner

    Andy

    We will be taking a vote on whether or not to leave the current relationship with the national organization since it is the ultimate source of the dysfunction at our convention this spring.

  43. Martin Passoli

    Isn’t that pretty much a pro forma vote to officialize a decision which has already been made?

  44. Kyle Markley

    Martin,

    It will be a legitimate vote of the delegates at our convention. I expect there to be serious and perhaps vigorous debate about it. But I think you’re right about which way the winds are blowing.

  45. Rob Banks

    Government agents routinely infiltrate and often steer or disrupt all sorts of groups, both bigger and smaller and more and less extreme than the LP. But the LP must be an exception to this.

  46. Jill Pyeatt

    I think Andy might be on to something. Seriously, after all this time, what is the motive for Starr and Burke to continue this expensive, losing battle? Burke likes to say it’s an ethical matter, but, frankly, I don’t believe him. His background includes many episodes which show me that ethcis aren’t his top priority. It makes much more sense to me that the Republican Party, which has lost badly to Democrats in the state of Oregon over the past few years, are trying to eliminate any competition so they can concentrate on winning more votes than the Democratic party. Are they funneling money through Starr and paying Burke to disrupt the LP? It certainly is a possibilty, I think.

    Do I think Starr in an infiltrator? No, I don’t. Do I think some people he hangs out with are? Mmmm, I certainly think it’s a possibility.

  47. paulie

    I think Andy might be on to something. Seriously, after all this time, what is the motive for Starr and Burke to continue this expensive, losing battle?

    Sunks costs. Chasing good money after bad. Call it what you want to, but it happens all the time, even to smart and normally cautious people.

  48. Andy

    “paulie

    January 4, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    ‘I think Andy might be on to something. Seriously, after all this time, what is the motive for Starr and Burke to continue this expensive, losing battle?’

    Sunks costs. Chasing good money after bad. Call it what you want to, but it happens all the time, even to smart and normally cautious people.”

    I find this hard to believe, and it certainly does not strike me as libertarian behavior.

  49. Bob Tiernan

    Jill: “…after all this time, what is the motive for Starr and Burke to continue this expensive, losing battle?”
    .
    I don’t know about Starr, but Burke has such a tremendous ego and is such a prick that he is unable to stop trying to be the big fish in a little puddle.
    .

    ” Burke likes to say it’s an ethical matter”
    .
    He wouldn’t know an ethical matter from his ass. We have over 22 years of many unethical activities from thjs bastard, the ultimate one being how he tried to screw valid LPO members out of memberships a few weeks prior to the valid expiration dates, just to keep them from voting at convention.
    .
    B. Tiernan

  50. Rob Banks

    “And how much further ahead would the LP of Oregon be right now if it had not been for all of this faction fighting which has been going on for several years?”

    Hard to say. Maybe the infighting has hurt them or maybe it has actually motivated them more.

  51. Andy

    “Rob Banks

    January 4, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    ‘And how much further ahead would the LP of Oregon be right now if it had not been for all of this faction fighting which has been going on for several years?’

    Hard to say. Maybe the infighting has hurt them or maybe it has actually motivated them more.”

    There is no maybe about it. All of the time wasted on this bullshit is time and money that could be spent on building the Libertarian Party.

    The Libertarian Party right now has less dues paying members, less money, and less people elected to office than it did 15 years ago. This should tell you something.

    Dysfunction in multiple state LP’s – like Oregon, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, etc… – as well as dysfunction on the LNC, has hurt the growth of the Libertarian Party.

  52. Andy

    “paulie

    January 4, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    It’s human behavior. Libertarians are by no means immune to it.”

    I suspect that there is something more sinister going on with this situation.

  53. Steve M

    Andy… this seems to be on how you define the Libertarian Party. The California Libertarian Party has more registered voters then ever.. so if you define the party by the people who identify by registration with the party…. well the libertarian party is growing. yep quick check for Oregon same story party is growing…

    To market share is everything…

  54. Rob Banks

    “There is no maybe about it. All of the time wasted on this bullshit is time and money that could be spent on building the Libertarian Party.”

    It could be. Or it could be spent on something else completely. Why are you assuming that the people who are spending money on either side of the lawsuit would spend it on anything LP related otherwise? It could also be that they would keep that money and use it for something else completely otherwise. And it’s even possible that i they weren’t fighting over control of the state LP they would think about it less and be less active with it in other ways. Since we can’t run a controlled experiment, there’s no way to know.

  55. Andy

    “Steve M

    January 5, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Andy… this seems to be on how you define the Libertarian Party. The California Libertarian Party has more registered voters then ever.. so if you define the party by the people who identify by registration with the party…. well the libertarian party is growing. yep quick check for Oregon same story party is growing…”

    People checking the Libertarian Party box on their voter registration form is nice, but it has not resulted in more dues paying members in the party, nor has it resulted in increased funds raised, nor has it resulted in more Libertarian Party candidates, nor has it resulted in more Libertarians being elected to office.

    The Libertarian Party of California actually lost a lot of voter registrations for a number of years. They actually almost lost ballot access a couple of times because of it under the old ballot access laws. Libertarian Party registrations have gone up again in California in recent years, however, the actions of the Libertarian Party of California, or the national Libertarian Party, have little to do with this. One big factor in Libertarian Party voter registrations increasing in California was that a law was passed that allows Californians to register to vote online. California is the only state of which I am aware where the entire voter registration process can be done online. Lots of Libertarians are computer geeks, so this would naturally lead to an increase in Libertarian Party voter registrations. Another factor is that a lot of have heard the word Libertarian from Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, John Stossel, or a few other well known people. There were also Libertarians who registered Republican so they could vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, and then later switched back to Libertarian.

    The Libertarian Party of California is a shell of what it used to be. The LP of CA used to have a budget in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now they can’t even raise $50,000. The LP of California used to have paid office staff. Now they have an office that sits empty most of the time, except when volunteers go there maybe once or twice a month. The LP of California used to have meetings that attracted hundreds of people. Now they can’t even get 50 people to attend their state conventions.

    Just having a lot (relatively speaking) of registered voters does not mean much if it does not lead to more dues paying members, a bigger party budget, and an increase in Libertarian voters.

    There are over 40,000 registered Libertarians in Pennsylvania (another state LP that has gone through internal dysfunction), yet only a few hundred of these people are dues paying members, and the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania could not even get their candidate for Governor on the ballot in the 2014 election, even though the petition signature requirement in Pennsylvania was the lowest that it had been for Governor in a long time (probably since the early 1990’s or 1980’s).

    The fact that Libertarian Party voter registrations has been on the rise in most states is a good thing, but the fact of the matter is that it has more to do with people like Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, and John Stossel popularizing the word libertarian than anything else, and it is a rather sad commentary on Libertarian Party leadership that the party has failed to capitalize on this by having an increase in membership and in party funds.

    15 years ago the Libertarian Party of California had a budget of something like $350,000, the Libertarian National Committee had a budget of around $4 million, and the Harry Browne for President campaign had a budget of like $2.5 million.

    There are more people self identifying as libertarians today than ever, yet the Libertarian Party has failed to capitalize on this. It is obvious that the Libertarian Party has been screwing up big time.

  56. Martin Passoli

    There are many explanations for this. Some of them could be covert government sabotage, but there are many other ways to explain the same observed facts.

  57. Andy

    “Martin Passoli

    January 5, 2015 at 5:14 am

    There are many explanations for this. Some of them could be covert government sabotage, but there are many other ways to explain the same observed facts.”

    I agree that it is likely from a variety of factors, but I do suspect intentional internal sabotage to be one of them.

    The Libertarian Party should be and could be many times larger than it is right now.

  58. Martin Passoli

    Suspecting it is fine, and I am sure you are not the only one who suspects it, but if you are going to make that accusation you need more than a circumstantial case that could have other plausible explanations. Otherwise, you are not likely to convince most other people, except to take you less seriously. And that’s even if you happen to be right.

  59. Andy

    “Martin Passoli

    January 5, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Suspecting it is fine, and I am sure you are not the only one who suspects it, but if you are going to make that accusation you need more than a circumstantial case that could have other plausible explanations. Otherwise, you are not likely to convince most other people, except to take you less seriously. And that’s even if you happen to be right.”

    People should get off their ass and do some of their own research. Libertarians around the country should all start filing Freedom of Information Act requests.

  60. Martin Passoli

    Lead the way. If you find anything interesting, other people may be more inclined to join you in the pursuit.

  61. paulie

    I suspect that there is something more sinister going on with this situation.

    Maybe. If so, maybe we’ll know for sure one day. Or maybe we’ll never know.

  62. paulie

    People should get off their ass and do some of their own research. Libertarians around the country should all start filing Freedom of Information Act requests.

    Does that include you?

  63. Bob Tiernan

    Rob Banks: “Hard to say. Maybe the infighting has hurt them or maybe it has actually motivated them more.”
    .
    Any motivation is by people who come along after an exodus from the crap, and who stay (at least for a while). Few old timers are involved. So the answer is that it has hurt the LPO, and badly. Since 1992 or 93 when Burke came to power as chair (in a 9-8 victory !), all through his sabotaging of opponents’ activities, plans, etc, I’ve seen many, many good people leave the party and never come back. Anyone who thinks that lose-two, gain one is progress has no idea what motivation is about. And more than a few of the people who left along the way were people who were brought in by Burke (some of them were actually libertarian-minded) but who gave up when they realized that Burke’s perpetual civil war was draining energy from the party and for no reason other than that Burke needed to be in charge because he was right and his opponents were wrong.
    .
    B. Tiernan

  64. Martin Passoli

    I won’t dispute that it drives existing activists away, and wastes their time, but it’s also possible that it makes them work harder on LP related matters and drives them to recruit more new people. Either that, or Oregon is just naturally more libertarian than other states, although I doubt that.

  65. Wes Wagner

    We are more libertarian 😉 People here are more naturally liberal, and libertarianism is a liberal political ideology – not a conservative one. Now that we have ousted the republican faction we are doing very well.

  66. Bob Tiernan

    Martin Passoli: “I won’t dispute that it drives existing activists away, and wastes their time, but it’s also possible that it makes them work harder on LP related matters and drives them to recruit more new people.”
    .
    .
    Again, we are talking about mostly newer people who come along. For most of the years Burke was doing his damage people were busy fighting him because without a party there was nothing to recruit for. Scores of people got sick of the fighting and left forever because they saw no end to it. And it’s not that they weren’t motivated to do other work for the party, or had no plans for the party. If Burke caused people to work harder and get more motivated, then most of the members from the early to late 90s would still be there. But they aren’t.
    ,
    B. Tiernan

  67. paulie

    I guess the hypothesis is that he makes the existing members who are sticking around, and who are on the opposite side from him, work harder. The other hypothesis offered so far is that it’s because Oregon is a progressive/blue state, but there are lots of those, and the LP is not doing nearly as well in many of them. Perhaps there’s another explanation we have yet to consider.

  68. Bob Tiernan

    Paulie: “I guess the hypothesis is that he makes the existing members who are sticking around, and who are on the opposite side from him, work harder.”
    .
    .
    Well sure, some can say that and even believe it. It’s a pretty inefficient way to get people to work harder even if they do that. This kind of logic reminds me of what Clinton’s first Sec of Treasury (Bensen) said during the Missouri-Mississippi flooding of the 1990s: That the flooding is good for the economy because gee, look at the way it’s gonna make so many people work hard and harder to replace washed out towns.
    .
    Problem is, there’s a lot of damage done, and when the hard work is done you’re back where you were earlier.
    .
    The LPo would have been better off had Burke never arrived in Oregon and was instead in jail back in Nebraska.
    .
    I mean jeez, are we supposed to honor Burke by saying that overall he was good for the party? I can just see Wes at the podium at the next convention to announce such an award for Burke, and the latter getting a standing ovation for essentially screwing over a bunch of people for over 20 years now (for the benefit of the party!).
    .
    Please.
    .
    B. Tiernan

  69. Rob Banks

    That which doesn’t kill you can make you stronger. Maybe LPO is like the drug-resistant superbacteria that’s survived all the antibiotics and has been naturally selected to be the toughest, most motivated of all state LPs.

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