Dear Mr. Epstein:
The 2016 LP Credentials Committee has considered your April 16 submission of delegates from Oregon for the convention in Orlando. We regret that we cannot accept these delegates for Oregon.
Since 2011 the national Libertarian Party and the State of Oregon have recognized the Wagner/Hedbor group as the official Libertarian Party in Oregon. State Chair Lars Hedbor has notified the Credentials Committee that the LP of Oregon will not be sending a delegation to the national convention. We must respect that decision and therefore will seat no delegates in Oregon unless we get specific instructions from him before the April 27 deadline.
We are aware of the ruling of the Judicial Committee in the fall of 2015, however that did not change which group is considered the official party in Oregon. When the LNC had the opportunity to validate and implement the Judicial Committee’s ruling at its November 2015 LNC meeting in Orlando, it chose to take no action. We follow the LNC’s lead.
As this committee did in 2014, we strongly encourage Libertarians in Oregon to cooperate and settle this long-standing dispute. We agree with the Oregon court that things must be resolved internally: that is, among the folks in Oregon. We encourage the Libertarians listed below to seek spots in other states’ delegations. At this moment, California has a relatively large number of empty delegate seats.
Emily Salvette, Interim Chair
2016 LP Credentials Committee
On Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 10:27 AM, Ian Epstein
Dear Ms. Salvette,
As Chair of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, I hereby submit the names shown at the bottom of this email as Oregon delegates to the 2016 Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando. They are provided in the body of this email and also within an attached Excel file.
I recognize there is controversy regarding the status of the Oregon LNC affiliate. At the 2014 convention, you opposed seating the delegation we sent you on the grounds that a 2011 ruling by the national Judicial Committee nullified four LNC resolutions previously passed supporting the legitimacy of our bylaws and leadership in Oregon.
Although we argued that the 2011 Judicial Committee decision was inoperative because it deferred the matter to the Oregon Secretary of State who said she would not adjudicate the matter, you maintained that the ruling made it impossible for you to support seating our delegates.
As you may be aware, the situation with respect to the national Judicial Committee has since changed. Attached you will find PDF copies of the September 12, 2015 ruling by the national Judicial Committee, and a February 20, 2016 clarification issued by that same body, which unambiguously establish that our leadership and governing documents are legitimate with respect to the LNC’s Oregon affiliate. The September ruling also explicitly states that the 2011 resolutions passed by the LNC and it’s Executive Committee stand as valid.
We recognize that LNC Chair Nick Sarwark has refused to abide by the 2011 LNC resolutions and the September Judicial Committee ruling. We see this is improper as, so far as we can see, the LNC Chair does not have the unilateral authority under the LNC bylaws to make policy which overrides or supercedes policy made by the LNC in such matters.
The other side in this dispute has claimed victory in court. This is not true. The ruling, currently under appeal, was that the courts do not have jurisdiction and that our dispute needs to be decided internally. I also understand that the other side has declared a boycott on attending this convention. I will state that, should some of our opponents make it to Orlando despite the boycott, we would be pleased to include them in our delegate list as space allows. We made the same offer at the 2012 and 2014 conventions when our delegate configurations were adopted on the floor. We want to be reasonable and inclusive.
While we disagreed, for reasons stated above, with your decision to stand by the ruling of the 2011 national Judicial Committee ruling, we hope that you will be consistent and act in accordance with their September 2015, and their February 2016 clarification, and recommend that our delegation, as provided below and possibly amended in the future, be seated at the 2016 Libertarian Party National Convention.
Ian Epstein, Chair
Libertarian Party of Oregon
The Libertarian Party’s National Convention will be in Orlando, Florida the weekend of May 27th through 30th.
A history of the Oregon dispute can be found here