Caryn Ann Harlos’ Letter to the LNC: Motion to Rescind the Authority of the Chair to Negotiate a Contract with the Johnson-Weld Campaign

fb_img_1474520509105Letter submitted to the LNC by Region 1 Representative and IPR contributor Caryn Ann Harlos to the LNC, co-sponsored by at-large members Daniel Hayes & Starchild, as posted to Facebook by Kimberly Ruff:

“Submitted just now. Motion to Rescind – request for co-sponsors.

“Fellow LNC members, it is with great regret that I have to present this Motion and ask for support, but I feel this is our duty – our duty to our Bylaws, this Party, and its members. I will give my narrative support following.

“Move to rescind the authority granted to the Chair to negotiate and execute a campaign contract and the Joint Fundraising Agreement and rescind any signatures already executed.

“Procedurally, I note I voted to grant this authority and thus have standing to bring this Motion. I note the contract has not yet been signed by the campaign, and thus, there is no agreement. This motion should put the campaign on notice that there is a dispute in the LNC, but at least one member.

“To recap the events of the last few days. On Friday we learned that the Chair had signed a campaign contract and the Joint Fundraising Agreement with the campaign and that he had decided, upon advice of counsel, to keep them confidential until Inauguration Day. When I requested to see the documents, I was presented with an NDA, and this whole thing began. It is, to me, without dispute, that we agreed to keep the negotiations confidential until they were signed but were silent on any silence afterwards. On these grounds and the over-reach of the NDA, I refused to sign it. I asked if the contract itself required confidentiality until Inauguration Day as arguably we granted the authority to negotiate that term when we granted this authority to the Chair. On Saturday, at 14:28CDT, the Chair responded to me and us that this provision to keep the contract confidential was NOT a provision of the contract but was a decision reached unilaterally by him on advice of counsel. Starchild and I objected that the Chair did not have this authority and that such would require a vote of the LNC in Executive Session or otherwise. Starchild in fact proposed a Motion for that very thing. However, a mere forty minutes after advising me that the contract did not contain such a provision, the Chair advised us that the contract did, in fact, contain an eternal secrecy clause, a fact which he verified with counsel today. When I saw all this happening, and in light of my earlier lack of information in which any earlier agreements would be rendered null, I formally withdrew my request to see the documents until these issues could be resolved.

“This should be very disturbing, because one thing has become patently clear. The Chair did not know there was an eternal secrecy clause in the contract when he signed it. There is then quite obviously some negligence here. I do not know if it is negligence of the Chair or professional negligence of LNC counsel to advise of all the potential and reasonable implications, but a contract was signed in complete ignorance of one of the key terms. This is unacceptable and is reason enough for the LNC to take control of this situation and rescind the authority and the signatures. I argue that it is our fiduciary duty to do so.

“But let’s put that reason aside, though that is justification enough. Let’s stipulate that the Chair and LNC counsel knew full well that there was an eternal secrecy provision and went ahead with it. Such a provision must be repudiated as it usurps and abrogates our rights and privileges as Committee members to be able to publicly enforce our Bylaws and represent our members, and further is in direct conflict with our fiduciary duty to this Party, its members, and our Bylaws. How so? Well I can think of a few ways it is possible, and this is not intended to be exhaustive as the unknown can contain quite a few subjunctives.

“Does the contract create potential financial liabilities for the current committee, its members, or future committees? If the answer is “I can’t tell you” unless I waive my rights, the contract makes the budgetary process impossible and thus we abrogate our public duties.

“Does the contract create potential liabilities that could be visited on state affiliates that are not separately incorporated? If the answer is “I can’t tell you,” why should that be believed? Why should the state affiliates and members, who can never see it, be assured?

“Does the contract potentially violate the Statement of Principles? Well if I am sworn to secrecy, I have lost my right to press this case to the Judicial Committee and through the appeal process in the Bylaws (as well as the same right of the membership), then such rights are rendered null and void making a mockery of our Bylaws.

“I would also note that this completely hobbles the membership from being able to judge for itself if either side is upholding their sides of the bargain. It is opaque and completely unaccountable. It further prevents the members from using the lessons learned from the successes and failures of this contract (as all things can be improved on) in negotiating and crafting future contracts with future campaigns and thus is a complete abrogation of our duty to the future of this Party and the members’ rights to ensure the same.

“There is the further issue that I am being ask to agree to a secrecy provision in order to see the contract to judge for myself whether it is there, in effect having to “pass it, to see what is in it” and to proactively waive my rights and bind myself to a repellant stipulation. This is the way the corrupt state and duopoly behave, and should not be the way the Libertarian Party is conducted.

“Lastly, this is indeed a rumour, but it was told to me, and I have to, in the discharge of my duties consider it- no matter how incredible, if there is any chance that it could be the case, particularly since I have to waive my rights to ascertain for myself, a source, allegedly from within the campaign, has relayed that there is a eternal non-disparagement clause in the contract. I find that difficult to believe (but I would have earlier thought the idea of an eternal secrecy cause to be ridiculous), and if so, absolutely repellant to the Libertarian principles we are supposed to be upholding in our modeling of transparency and integrity to the watching world, but if there was, I couldn’t tell anyone. And without waiving my rights, I cannot even know if I am supposed to be bound to any such thing. And if anything was done by the campaign (and I am NOT alleging anything would be) that while legal would be against our principles or our duty to the Party, I would be unable to say so to the membership nor pursue any redress. I do not think our Chair would ever agree to such a thing. But …. an eternal secrecy clause was agreed to unknowingly, how do I know this wasn’t too? Or what other clause that I cannot even imagine, and once I learn of it, I am bound to silence to the grave? This is unacceptable.

“All of this is reason enough. I have no desire to put a target on my back, and I literally am sick about this, but my duty compels me to protect rights and duties and the integrity of our judgment and our Party Bylaws, and potentially, our Statement of Principles which is the only charter for our existence. I feel I have been put in an impossible situation.

“I want to be perfectly clear here. This is NOT about the campaign. Anyone who uses this email to attack or belittle is doing so against my express intent. This is ONLY about the LNC, its rights and duties, and the members’ rights. This is on our doorstep and no one else. We have only ourselves to praise or blame.


In Liberty,
Caryn Ann Harlos
Region 1 Representative, Libertarian National Committee (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Washington) – Caryn.Ann. Harlos@LP.org
Communications Director, Libertarian Party of Colorado
Colorado State Coordinator, Libertarian Party Radical Caucus”

73 thoughts on “Caryn Ann Harlos’ Letter to the LNC: Motion to Rescind the Authority of the Chair to Negotiate a Contract with the Johnson-Weld Campaign

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Commenting mainly subscribe, but I couldn’t help noticing this in the last paragraph:

    “This is NOT about the campaign.”

    Please explain how the campaign suddenly and magically stopped being one of the parties to the contract that you’re calling for rescission of the chair’s authority to negotiate and execute. Because unless that happened, this most manifestly IS at least partly about the campaign.

  2. David Pratt Demarest

    Based on the information and sound reasoning courtesy of Ms. Harlos, I am inclined to support the Motion to Rescind. Let us be clear, however, about the primary responsibility to remedy this dispute. The good news is that the Libertarian Party is at the tipping point of attaining major party status. It is no surprise that reaching the threshold of this major achievement has resulted in growing pains for both the LP and the LNC. The Motion to Rescind is not about LNC leadership or Johnson/Weld campaign deficiencies. It is about the need to get our LNC bylaws house in order to ensure transparency and reduce the likelihood of similar unacceptable legal scenarios in the future.

    Let our Libertarian social tolerance sense of humor lead the way to a mutually acceptable settlement of this critical transparency concern in the spirit of friendly good will. Let us not be distracted by temporary growing pains as we leverage our attainable goal of major party status. A prompt and amicable settlement of this dispute will pave the way to refocus our efforts on getting Gary Johnson and William Weld elected and continue on our heroic journey to achieve the ultimate goal of the Libertarian Party, freedom for all.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    NAPSTER v NAPSTER. one foresees imponderable, incessant, persistent strife in the inner cadre of cult challengers.

  4. ATBAFT

    Horse, barn door???
    How about a boilerplate contract prepared by LNC is advance of presidential nomination, candidates for the nomination can look it over, and delegates can make an informed decision in advance of casting their vote based on the candidates’ willingness or unwillingness to sign the contract?

  5. Shane

    Just an FYI for Caryn: you can’t take votes in executive session.

    Valid points but Johnson will likely never sign. He has no reason to and nothing to gain at this point.

    Btw, the agreement between Trump and the RNC is public. Leave it to Libertarians to make things secret and overly complex.

  6. Andy

    “David Pratt Demarest
    September 22, 2016 at 07:13
    Based on the information and sound reasoning courtesy of Ms. Harlos, I am inclined to support the Motion to Rescind. Let us be clear, however, about the primary responsibility to remedy this dispute. The good news is that the Libertarian Party is at the tipping point of attaining major party status.”

    Going by what definition of major party status? Johnson/Weld could carry Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Tennessee, and the Libertarian Party still would not have major party status in those states. They are on the ballot as independents in Alabama and Tennessee (as in with no party label), and in Pennsylvania, the only way to get major party status is to get 15% of the electorate to register to vote under the Libertarian Party banner (unless the law gets changed, which has yet to happen), which would mean that the Libertarian Party would have to get over 800,000 people to fill in Libertarian Party on their voter registration form, and then even the party accomplished this, the party would get a primary, and would have to gather petition signatures to place its candidate, including presidential candidates, on the primary ballot.

    Some people keep repeating myths about what getting a certain percent of the vote will accomplish.

  7. Andy

    “and then even the party accomplished this”

    Should read, “and even if the party accomplished this…”

  8. Jill Pyeatt

    This is an unfortunate dispute that has come up, but I’m of the opinion that getting a contract signed at this point is an urgent matter.

    I will trust the chairman at this point. If the contract is okay with him, then it’s okay with me.

    In the future, a contract should indeed be ready to go at the convention, and no cooperation should come from the LP for the Presidential campaign until the contract has been signed by our selected candidates.

  9. robert capozzi

    jp, maybe you should put that requirement in the bylaws. It might, however, dissuade most credible candidates.

  10. Scott Lieberman

    “Bylaws and Rules Committee Report – 2016 Libertarian National Convention

    Define in Advance the Party’s Agreement with Presidential Campaign

    Adopted 9-0 by the Bylaws Committee.”

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    And how did the delegates vote on that Bylaws Proposal?

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

  11. Joseph Buchman

    Agreements with a pre-reading condition of “perpetual secrecy” are not part of any political party, campaign or process that I choose to support.

    Agreements with “perpetual non-disparagement” clauses likewise are not part of any political party, process or campaign that I choose to support.

    (It is my understanding, and I may be wrong on this, so perhaps someone from the campaign can correct me, — that paid staff (at least some, perhaps all) on the Johnson/Weld campaign have signed contracts with permanent non-disparagement clauses. They cannot offer any criticism of how the campaign was executed — ever. Is this true?

    Caryn’s point about the campaign, to which Thomas Knapp replied in the first comment in this thread, was that “perhaps the LNC asked for this secrecy and not the campaign.” A fair, if overly generous/naive assumption in light of the track record of lack-of-transparency by OAI/Johnson2012 and this campaign so far.

    When there are no candidates or campaigns that uphold the principles of transparency and accountability, then NONE OF THE ABOVE is the vote to cast; or where that is not possible, then not voting.

    So, LNC, the Libertarian Party IS the “party of principle.” What principles will you explicate, defend, uphold?

    Do they include the principle of hypocrisy? In this case calling on transparency and accountability in our federal government, but in our internal governance requiring permanent secrecy as a pre-condition for reading a contract?

    Really?

    Joe

  12. robert capozzi

    JP, depending on the contract’s terms, future campaigns might be restricted in how they conduct themselves. Since mounting a credible L campaign is tough enough, attaching more strings might dissuade otherwise-strong candidates.

  13. ATBAFT

    rp – 15:54
    LNC has four years to work on a contract, including getting feedback from Johnson and others who sought, or will seek, the nomination. Should be enough time to figure out acceptable ways to make sure the LNC has almost immediate post-election access to campaign contributor names. I seem to recall that Bill Hall, party counsel, suggested this back when getting info from the 1988 Paul campaign was problematic.

  14. dL

    “NAPSTER v NAPSTER. one foresees imponderable, incessant, persistent strife in the inner cadre of cult challengers.”

    The cult in this instance are those are those who have no problem w/ NDAs rivaling the Church of Scientology…lol

    The Pragmaticrat Church Of Credibility

  15. Chuck Moulton

    I certainly favor transparency and oppose both perpetual secrecy and non-disparagement clauses.

    However, the fact is the LP gave away the farm the moment they nominated Gary Johnson without a signed contract already in place. The Johnson campaign had a clear history of violating the platform; running away from the word “Libertarian”; funneling activists into parallel organizations instead of the LP; squandering money on overpriced, incompetent, conservative Republican consultants; and generally being opaque and secret in its operations. They were clearly doubling down on that failed strategy destructive to the party, as was obvious to anyone paying attention pre-nomination. The LNC continued giving away the farm by relentlessly promoting Johnson / Weld and giving them 50 state ballot access before a contract was signed. What do Johnson / Weld need with the LP now that we’ve already given them everything they want? Nothing.

    Nick was negotiating from a terrible position of weakness that the delegates and the LNC thrust on him. It’s a miracle he got a contract at all. Johnson / Weld (or, more likely, Ron Nielson) are signing out of the goodness of their hearts. Nick got a few really important provisions into the contract and I commend him for all his hard work making that happen.

    In a perfect world we wouldn’t have this secrecy in the contract. The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen again is to hope the delegates don’t continue to nominate candidates who don’t give a damn about the LP — or (more realistically) pass a bylaw that requires signed contracts pre-nomination so that the LNC can negotiate from a position of strength rather than weakness. Will that happen? Probably not. Delegates love giving everything we’ve worked for away to whoever has the shiniest badge (previous elected office), then blaming others for the mess they’ve left the party.

    Anyway, to sum up: I don’t blame Chairman Sarwark at all for turning the shit he was given into lemonade — even if it’s not the best lemonade we’ve ever tasted.

  16. John Burd

    In no universe is eternal non-disclosure an acceptable term to a Libertarian. I would not only be open to reading a statement from LP council on how we arrived at this point, I suggest their continued holding of the position should require it.

  17. itdoesntmatter

    Can someone briefly translate/summarize this for regular folks who aren’t .. um, not really sure how to put it… party procedural nerds, maybe? Like, hey I’m a Libertarian. I vote. I read this site. I have no interest whatsoever in running for office or holding some formal party position or spending more time on Robert’s Rules of Order than I do with my wife and kids, etc. What does this mean?

  18. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Robert Capozzi: NAPSTER v NAPSTER. one foresees imponderable, incessant, persistent strife in the inner cadre of cult challengers.

    I assume you think you’re making a point? Or that you’re being clever? But I have no idea what you’re trying to say. You’re just spouting an illiterate stream of words.

  19. robert capozzi

    rtaa, sorry you didn’t grok it. Basically, this sounds to me like there is strife among the deontological NAPster set in the LP at the highest levels. Like “itdoesntmatter,” this sort of literalistic Robert’s Rules stuff sounds like much ado about nothing, but it often leads to protracted bickering, in part I believe because the deontological NAP philosophy lends itself to sanctimoniousness, often highly passionate sanctimoniousness over even the most minor of issues.

  20. George Dance

    itdoesn’tmatter: “Can someone briefly translate/summarize this for regular folks who aren’t .. um, not really sure how to put it… party procedural nerds, maybe?…. What does this mean?”

    Indeed. I have only the basic notion of what it means – that the LP/LNC and the J/W campaign are separate legal entities interacting; that their terms of interaction should be governed by contract; and that no contract is in place.

    What I don’t know, and what I think itdoesn’tmatter is asking, is: What does it matter? What’s the difference if there’s a signed contract, and no signed contract?

    A good place to turn is to ask what’s in the standard contract (if there is such a thing). What does it require the LNC to give J/W, and what does it require J/W to give the LNC?

    The best way to answer these questions is to look at the contracts in the past, which (given the complaints about ‘secrecy’ in this thread) all have to be publicly accessible somewhere. (I’ve done some searches and not found any, but of course that’s no reason to think they’re not accessible.)

  21. George Dance

    CAH: “This is NOT about the campaign.”

    TK: “Please explain how the campaign suddenly and magically stopped being one of the parties to the contract that you’re calling for rescission of the chair’s authority to negotiate and execute. Because unless that happened, this most manifestly IS at least partly about the campaign.”

    It was clear to me what Caryn meant: that her motion had nothing to do with how the campaign is being conducted (such as the complaints in this thread that it’s not using the word ‘Libertarian’, “violating” the Platform, et al.

    Was it unclear to you, or where you just being picky?

  22. Rebel Alliance

    Agreed with Chuck Moulton on this. There needs to be a Bylaws change in 2018 to require a signed contract before a presidential candidate can even be listed on the website, let alone voted on in convention. Let’s fix this perpetual problem, and put some teeth in it.

  23. Shane

    Chuck, does Sarwark know what’s important regarding the contract? The most valuable part of a campaign that will serve an organization for years is the data along with aggregate and hpc totals.

    At this point, Johnson has no carrot or stick to share his file, so if they do sign, it will be simply out of good faith.

  24. dL

    “deontological NAP”

    lol…did you learn that term from a fortune cookie? I don’t subscribe to deontological ethics nor do I find much usefulness in the Non-Aggression principle(insufficient b/c no one agrees on what aggression is). However, I find it obvious the public choice problems of eternal NDAs in political parties.

  25. Starchild

    I agree with the suggestions here for having a pre-nomination contract for LP presidential contenders to sign. However as I posted to the Libertarian National Committee email list – which you can follow at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/lncvotes – I would not want to make signing mandatory.

    Scott Lieberman (September 22, 2016 at 12:48) notes that 2016 convention delegates rejected such a required contract proposal despite a unanimous recommendation by the Bylaws Committee (generally made up of insider/leadership types) to support it, and I think they were wise to do so. A candidate might have good, principled reasons for not wanting to sign, for instance due to an LNC either inadvertently or deliberately including some clause that might turn off a principled libertarian (case in point, this current contract allegedly having a secrecy clause).

    What I’d prefer is the approach suggested by ATBAFT (September 22, 2016 at 07:55):

    “…a boilerplate contract prepared by LNC is advance of presidential nomination, candidates for the nomination can look it over, and delegates can make an informed decision in advance of casting their vote based on the candidates’ willingness or unwillingness to sign the contract”

    One twist I’d like to add is to require candidates to give their reason(s) for signing or not signing the contract. These answers, I believe, would be invaluable to delegates in evaluating candidates and seeing how they respond to real-world choices.

  26. robert capozzi

    dL: I don’t subscribe to deontological ethics nor do I find much usefulness in the Non-Aggression principle….

    me: Glad we agree.

  27. dL

    “me: Glad we agree.”

    Of course, it doesn’t follow that I respect any authority that the State claims for itself. I treat the State the same way it typically treats me…as the enemy.

  28. Joseph Buchman

    I favor a pre-nomination contract, one consisting of those things the LNC and its counsel discern the LP MUST have from its candidate. Something relatively simple. Other terms could be worked out by both the LNC and the POTUS/VPOTUS candidates after their nomination.

    Like Starchild, I would not favor excluding candidates who did not sign a basic, boilerplate contract, but the information about whether they did or didn’t, as well as their reasons (should they choose to offer them) would be priceless/highly valuable to delegates prior to their vote.

    In this case, given the razor-thin margins of the nominations, it seems each of our nominated candidates would have been highly likely to sign whatever the LNC demanded prior to those votes.

    And, again, I see this as a two (or more) part process. 1) A pre-convention contract of those things the LNC discerns it should have/must have from a nominee to maximize the benefit to the LP long-term as well as those things the LP commits to offer the campaign that likewise benefit both parties — (probably a relatively short VERY public contract) and 2) A post-nomination negotiation about whatever the LNC and nominees choose to agree to which might or might not be fully public (and would never, I’d think, have more than a 10 year NDA associated with it).

    Sound fair?

  29. robert capozzi

    dL: Of course, it doesn’t follow that I respect any authority that the State claims for itself. I treat the State the same way it typically treats me…as the enemy.

    me: Hope that works out for you.

  30. Jim

    The Republicans, at least, have a joint fundraising agreement. I imagine the Democrats do also. I don’t know what else is in their contracts and I don’t know about the Greens.

    There was a public proposed contract earlier this year. Presumably this was the starting point for negotiation on the LNC side:

    http://hq.lp.org/pipermail/lnc-business_hq.lp.org/2016/004298.html

    The minutes from July 2012 says:

    “The contract/agreement with the Johnson Campaign was signed in early June and things are running smoothly. The contract/agreement is not privileged and there is no issue with anyone reading it.”

    But I don’t see the actual 2012 contract anywhere.

  31. dL

    “me: Hope that works out for you.”

    pretty good…usually. Certainly not bullet proof when you are dealing with 100+ security/intel organs of the US Govt. For example, this site is not encrypted over a secured sockets layer. Everything posted here is swept up clear text into the NSA social graph matrix. I use a VPN to access it. What do you use, Bob?,So, I would return the insult, “Hope that works out for you.”

  32. robert capozzi

    dL, sorry you find my sincere good wishes insulting. I am skeptical the paranoid state-hating approach will lead to happiness, but it might. I say this as a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery.

    I’m not too worried about the NSA. One of the benefits of lessarchism is that it’s a reasonably non-threatening view. Pretty much most of my political views are on the edge of the mainstream, I lapsed my membership in the LP, so while I might be someone to keep an eye on, I may escape the coming FEMA camps! 😉

  33. Andy

    dL, are you saying that you have proof that the NSA sweeps up all of the posts here and puts this information into a social graph matrix? If so, can you post proof of this?

  34. Pingback: Email Ballot 2016-10: Rescind Contract Authority – LNC Region 1

  35. dL

    “I’m not too worried about the NSA. One of the benefits of lessarchism is that it’s a reasonably non-threatening view.”

    Yeah, you do what you are told. Told what to think. Why debating you is like debating a 2nd hand garage sale.

    I lapsed my membership in the LP, so while I might be someone to keep an eye on, I may escape the coming FEMA camps! ?

    FEMA camps where they are storing that third podium?

  36. dL

    “dL, are you saying that you have proof that the NSA sweeps up all of the posts here and puts this information into a social graph matrix? If so, can you post proof of this?”

    Um, the NSA(and Five Eyes) sweeps up everything…have you been under a rock?

    Social graph matrix refers to (3-hop)graphical queryability of the data. Something similar to,say, facebook. If you are overseas and in a targeted geolocation, the US Govt will drone you if you end up on the wrong friends’ list.

  37. robert capozzi

    dL: Yeah, you do what you are told. Told what to think. Why debating you is like debating a 2nd hand garage sale.

    me: Near as I can tell, you don’t know me, so I don’t know how you can conclude anything about how I roll. But, yes, I generally comply with laws. I don’t know of any case where the government has told me what to think, and, as a skeptic, I’m highly unlikely to take thought edicts to heart.

    The LP’s founders have all-but imposed their belief in the NAP and the existence of the cult of the omnipotent state on members, in perpetuity. Certainly I don’t buy into those ideas.

  38. Jill Pyeatt

    RC said: “The LP’s founders have all-but imposed their belief in the NAP.”

    I’m glad they did. It’s a good litmus test as to how libertarian someone is.

  39. Jim

    It’s the only litmus test.

    The dispute between actual libertarians is only whether to demand that the entire country fully and immediately subscribe to the NAP with anything short of that being labeled an abandonment of principles.

    Or

    Moving the country in a libertarian direction with targeted baby steps.

  40. robert capozzi

    jp: I’m glad they did. It’s a good litmus test as to how libertarian someone is.

    me: Perhaps. Given, however, that the State is MUCH bigger now than 1973, and given that the LP remains tiny, it’s not obvious that the NAP-orientation has been an effective choice by the Founders. Something’s not working.

  41. dL

    “me: Near as I can tell, you don’t know me, so I don’t know how you can conclude anything about how I roll. ”

    I try to avoid logical fallacies, including ad hominem attacks. The only exception being the use of mockery as a device used against those who use specious categories as a primary source of argument(e.g. purist, NAP cultist, etc). In your case, I’m going by your own arguments from this site, arguments that for the most are retreads…interestingly enough, retreads from progressive and/or conservative sources.

    “But, yes, I generally comply with laws. ”

    Everyone more or less commits 3-5 felonies a day. Not much of an exaggeration. While it is generally true that unless you are specifically targeted you may avoid state penalty/sanction for these crimes, it nonetheless becomes a different story if you pose any challenge to the US Govt on a number of issues, including surveillance, IP, anti-war protests, prohibited substance trade, prohibited money exchanges, etc. Then you will find out just exactly the teeth of those laws that we blithely violate each and every day.

    Any government that employs a totalitarian surveillance apparatus on its citizens by definition treats its population as the enemy..as a threat..as a thing to be controlled. That’s elementary. It’s not even a point of debate for folk who have a working noodle in their skull.

    Oh, a deflection of question re: the US being a totalitarian state. Well, its certainly a totalitarian surveillance regime, particularly in combination w/ Five Eyes, one that is global in scope. The US Govt pretty much claims global jurisdictional scope, w/ only a few exceptions. In other words, very few places to run. Certainly, it is re: total expenditures on military,the security organs, intel organs. The largest in human history…by far.No, its N. Korea totalitarian, but then again for the 3 million in cages, I’m not really sure the distinction between being a citizen in a US government cage vs the 24 million citizens in the N. Korean cage. Not to mention N. Korea wouldn’t last 5 seconds w/o Chinese support and the US military serving as a buffer zone.

  42. Just Some Random Guy

    @ dL

    Everyone more or less commits 3-5 felonies a day. Not much of an exaggeration.

    Pretty sure it’s a gigantic exaggeration. Please give examples of these felonies that people commit multiple times per day. In fact, I find it rather galling that you would make such a claim and NOT give examples in the same post.

  43. robert capozzi

    dL: In your case, I’m going by your own arguments from this site, arguments that for the most are retreads…interestingly enough, retreads from progressive and/or conservative sources.

    Me: Oh, which sources do I use, then? My influences are mostly Hayek and Lao Tzu, neither of whom would I consider to be progressive or conservative.

    Perhaps you misunderstand where I’m coming from, then. I don’t believe I use the term “purist,” btw. I use “NAPster” to capture the Randian/Rothbardian ideology that I once subscribed to. It seems the most accurate descriptor for the branch of L-ism that dominates the LP via the SoP. If there’s a more accurate term, I’m open to substituting NAPster for another word.

    dL: Everyone more or less commits 3-5 felonies a day. Not much of an exaggeration. While it is generally true…

    Me: Love all the hedges and qualifiers you employ here! 😉 In my case, I don’t recall committing any technical felonies for at least a decade. I do sometimes drive over the speed limit, which is not a felony, last I checked. Perhaps I am an outlier in this regard, but I don’t think so. Rather, it sounds like you are wildly overstating a “fact” in order to fit your state-hating narrative. This is the sort of rhetoric that alienates otherwise sympathetic lessarchists from buying into the LP’s program, which generally wildly overreacts to dysfunctional government. The Boy Who Cried Wolf undermined his credibility by overreacting as well.

    Extremist NAPsters and paleo-Ls like the Rockwell crowd and Alex Jones have for decades been warning of the impending end of western civilization for decades. It hasn’t happened. Although I have to say that the US’s perpetual war in recent years coupled with $20T in national debt, I am now actually concerned we may be about to go over a fiscal cliff, as GJ says.

    dL: Any government that employs a totalitarian surveillance apparatus on its citizens by definition treats its population as the enemy..as a threat..as a thing to be controlled. That’s elementary. It’s not even a point of debate for folk who have a working noodle in their skull.

    Me: I share this sentiment to some extent. Certainly the NSA’s surveillance operations are of concern to me. To the extent I personally might be surveilled, well, I don’t feel like their enemy, actually. Mostly, my sense is that the government has wildly overreacted to terrorism. There might be elements in the government who are part of some NWO/globalist agenda, although for the life of me, I’ve watched more Alex Jones than is warranted and I’ve not seen actual evidence, but rather hyperbolic innuendo, mostly.

  44. Starchild

    Joseph Buchman writes (September 23, 2016 at 15:46):

    “I see this as a two (or more) part process. 1) A pre-convention contract of those things the LNC discerns it should have/must have from a nominee to maximize the benefit to the LP long-term as well as those things the LP commits to offer the campaign that likewise benefit both parties — (probably a relatively short VERY public contract) and 2) A post-nomination negotiation about whatever the LNC and nominees choose to agree to which might or might not be fully public (and would never, I’d think, have more than a 10 year NDA associated with it). Sound fair?”

    Joe… I’m wondering what kinds of things you envision being contained in a post-convention contract that you feel might need to be kept temporarily secret. (If you do have such things in mind, and aren’t simply trying to accommodate the concerns of folks who aren’t so keen on transparency.)

    I haven’t been able to think of an example in which I believe the harm caused by the Republicans or Democrats knowing what our party and presidential campaign have agreed to would exceed the harm caused by trying to keep such things secret from our own members.

  45. Starchild

    Jim, thanks for finding the draft party/campaign contract from earlier this year (http://hq.lp.org/pipermail/lnc-business_hq.lp.org/2016/004298.html ).

    I posted the link to the Libertarian National Committee list and asked what I’ll ask folks here as well:

    Does anyone see anything in there that you feel ought to be kept secret? If so, what and why? Can you think of anything else that isn’t in there but which you can reasonably imagine being added to that document, which you would want kept secret if it were part of the contract? If so, what and why?

    I have not seen the actual contract, by the way. I’ve been told LNC members may see it. But there is not clarity on whether this requires us to sign a blanket non-disclosure agreement prohibiting us from discussing any “confidential” information we might see as LNC members. I’m not willing to sign such a document.

    My position is that openness and transparency should be the default, and that if someone wants to keep something secret it should require a vote of the LNC.

  46. Starchild

    Jill Pyeatt writes (September 22, 2016 at 10:50):

    “This is an unfortunate dispute that has come up, but I’m of the opinion that getting a contract signed at this point is an urgent matter.”

    Jill, what do you believe to be the urgency? I’m not trying to be argumentative here or presume there is no urgency to getting a contract signed, I’d just like to hear your take on it.

  47. George Dance

    dL’s “three felonies a day” claim comes from Boston lawyer Harry Silverglate, who has a book (which I’ve not read) and a website (which I’ve read only sporadically) making which indeed call that the average number of felonies Americans commit.

    For those interested in looking at Silverglate’s claim, here’s an article from from the Wall Street Journal via my blog:
    http://gdspoliticalanimal.blogspot.ca/2015/07/how-often-does-average-american-commit.html

    and here’s a link to Silvergate’s website. (I tried accessing it today, and could not get on, but you may have better luck):
    http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx

  48. Joseph Buchman

    Starchild,

    “Joe… I’m wondering what kinds of things you envision being contained in a post-convention contract that you feel might need to be kept temporarily secret. (If you do have such things in mind, and aren’t simply trying to accommodate the concerns of folks who aren’t so keen on transparency.)”

    Good question. What I want is everything that can be public to be public before the nomination (why reinvent the wheel each cycle (pun intended) after the nomination? The LNC knows what it needs/candidates can agree or not well in advance of nomination/delegates can be informed).

    IF the campaign wants something secret (I assume the LNC does not initiate this request for secrecy), then they can ASK post-nomination.

    I’m sure things like email addresses, credit card numbers, phone numbers, etc need not be made public in some master database. But really I can’t think of anything that justifies the LIFETIME secrecy of this contract between Johnson2016 and the LNC. I suppose I’ll have access to that as a member of the Audit Committee based on the NDA I have had with the LNC for some years now, but if they ask for an extra super secret oath with a cloak, candles and drawing blood – I’ll decline.

    Also, Starchild, I’d request that you or Caryn or others vote to open up those parts of the contract that need never have been made secret and/or renegotiate that with the campaign. Also negotiate a sunshine provision say 25 years from now for the rest? This PERMANENT secrecy is so antithetical to the values at the core of the LP that, IMO, it is an acid working away at the very foundation of our (former?) PARTY OF PRINCIPLE. Surely we can get a version of the J/W contract with only a few sections blacked out BEFORE the November 8th deadline/election? Something at least as transparent as your typical government UFO file?

    🙂

    Joe

  49. Be Rational

    ¯\_(?)_/¯

    The National Chair, Nick Sarwark, is competent, highly qualified and seems take seriously his duty to work in the party’s best interest. He sought and was elected to take on responsibilities like this. It’s worth letting him handle it.

  50. Andy

    If there is nothing bad about the contract, why keep it secret from the membership?

    How can we complain about lack of transparency in government when our party’s governing body is not being transparent with the membership?

  51. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Mr. Brown

    Type “3 felonies a day” into your favorite search engine. Hope this helps.

    @ George Dance

    dL’s “three felonies a day” claim comes from Boston lawyer Harry Silverglate, who has a book (which I’ve not read) and a website (which I’ve read only sporadically) making which indeed call that the average number of felonies Americans commit.

    I will admit I have not read the book, but I did look at some reviews of it. And I noticed a recurring complaint, even from people who overall liked the book: The claim that the average person will commit three felonies a day is NOT actually supported or even really referenced in the book itself. The examples apparently given are of people in the “top tier” of their profession (e.g. CEOs, politicians, etc.) and the argument is that vague laws can be used to attack such people for innocent acts. So while the book may have some legitimate points to be made about government abuse, it does not appear to actually fulfill the promise of showing how a regular person would be committing three felonies in a day.

  52. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Hello everyone, my email is caryn.ann.harlos@LP.org.

    I have been engaging this regularly on the LNC list and really have little to add here. It is a repellant condition that we should not tolerate. I have no intention of ever agreeing to it, even if it means, that, I, like the rest of you, never get to see it.

    The part that has been obscured is just as important. The LNC was told that there was no secrecy provision. Then twenty minutes later, we were told there was… and it was eternal. That means that this provision did not receive the proper weight due to it, and it was seemingly off the radar and not in consciousness at the time of signing. This is not acceptable.

    I go into much more detail on the LNC list and invite anyone to review. I have my hands full with my duties, which leaves very little time for IPR commenting.

    LNC List: http://hq.lp.org/pipermail/lnc-business_hq.lp.org/2016/date.html

  53. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Correction: The only way I would be compelled to agree would be if the interest of my representation of my region demand it.

  54. George Phillies

    In my opinion the Bylaws contract rejection was related to the actual content of the contract.

    If I run in 2020, there will be a contract proposal ready for the LNC to sign, known in advance to the delegates. It will include ‘the LNC and state committees will get names of my donors and volunteers, subject to an opt in or out position from the donor or volunteer, on a daily or so basis’. I will not promise the automatic electronic exchange proposed by some Virginians, because (i) people should be allowed to choose on this, and (ii) when you try to automate a simple process, getting the automation up and running will take forever.

  55. David Pratt Demarest

    And besides, it is more convenient to just throw the hot potato over the wall and let the chair deal with it. If something goes wrong, we can just blame the chair. A nice salve for our conscience and antidote for our anxieties about our fiduciary responsibilities. Or is it?

  56. Jim

    Might someone request and make available the 2012 contract? According to the July 15-15 2012 minutes “The contract/agreement is not privileged and there is no issue with anyone reading it.”

    http://hq.lp.org/pipermail/lnc-business_hq.lp.org/2012/000072.html

    And maybe someone who does not object to the secrecy clause could sign it and compare it to the 2012 contract. Then, without discussing the actual terms, they could report back with

    “The secrecy clause is pointless. This contract is nearly identical to the one in 2012.”

    Or

    “Holy shit, this is bad.”

  57. Caryn Ann Harlos

    It was the wrong decision. Not an excuse, but an explanation, you and I were both wet behind the ears. But as things dragged on, we (someone on the committee) should have moved to rescind much earlier and taken control (not because Nick was doing a good – I am sure he worked tirelessly) but because this was our responsibility. Live and learn.

    Now we have a contract with a reprehensible term that was not agreed to with eyes wide open as evidence clearly seems to indicate. Delegates and members will be hobbled going into the next election. We have sold a future for today.

    The long-term solution? I don’t yet know but this cannot happen again.

  58. Joseph Buchman

    Ditto Andy @ September 25, 2016 at 12:05

    “If there is nothing bad about the contract, why keep it secret from the membership? How can we complain about lack of transparency in government when our party’s governing body is not being transparent with the membership?”

    Especially ETERNALLY. Some good things might be kept from the membership to also keep them from the old party spin masters who might gain something. But ETERNALLY?!? Really?

  59. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jim, I will request that contract referred to there. But no one will be able to compare. The LNC members who waived their rights are sworn to absolute secrecy.

    There is another troubling aspect… allegedly some of the LNC members who waived their rights did so on an NDA signed WAY BEFORE THIS DATE. Meaning the LNC has been using a universal NDA that is way too broad and contrary to the type of committee we should be. I took one look at that NDA and said HELL NO.

  60. D. Frank Robinson

    Those of us who were delegates to the Orlando convention did have a pro form copy of a Presidential Campaign Coordination Agreement in out Convention Materials. I doubt many delegates did more than glance at it in passing. Because it obvious it was nothing more than informational, I didn’t spend five minutes reading it. Clearly, any real contact would not be available until after the convention. It never occurred to me that real agreement would be under seal by a non-disclosure that not even the LNC members could examine without taking a vow of perpetual silence.
    Therefore, as the “Founding Father” of the LP Bylaws, I take umbrage at this non-disclosure maneuver by the Johnson-Weld campaign. The non-disclosure put the LP Officers and the LNC in a position of being unable to defend themselves or the contract. I call abomination and hell fire on the Johnson-Weld campaign and their consultants for demanding this non-disclosure provision in the coordination agreement or whatever the hell it is called. Transparency or crash.

  61. Joseph Buchman

    D. Frank Robinson @September 26, 2016 at 02:31

    “I call abomination and hell fire on the Johnson-Weld campaign and their consultants for demanding this non-disclosure provision in the coordination agreement or whatever the hell it is called. Transparency or crash.”

    If secrecy wins (an intentional reference to our “Liberty Will Win” 2012 convention theme), I’ll be bringing my RE-ELECT NO ONE FOR LNC sign to 2018. I understand it may have been the best deal possible with the NSON et al culture; I realize some may see it as better than no contract at all (but that is a short-term view, IMO), but the principles Mr. Robinson has articulated above are what attracted me to the LP. The compromised J/W campaign is what has left me unenthused. I regret my compromise as well – thinking maybe the pragmatists had it right; also getting calls from friends who are not libertarians saying that a J/W ticket would get their interests as well; get us into the debates – to do what? Sell libertarianism as if it is the J/W version? “Oh, you’re quoting the LP Platform (don’t do that to us)” as an answer to a 60 minutes reporter?!?

  62. Elisheva Lein

    I will be with Joe Buchman with a RE-ELECT NO ONE TO LNC sign in 2018. I had mentioned this elsewhere when I first heard about the lack of transparency. Such a move is one way to make the LNC more accountable to the membership. I fnd the idea of a perpetual secrecy clause or a perpetual non-disparagement agreement such as the one rumored to be required of the Johnson Campaign staff equally odious. I hope we have learnt our lesson after being schooled in the art of being used three elections in a row. I hope we do not bend over and grab our ankles for a fourth time in a row in 2020.

  63. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Victory!

    VICTORY!!!
    Nicholas Sarwark
    8:46 PM (36 minutes ago)
    to lnc-business Unsubscribe
    Dear All,
    Today I executed on behalf of the LNC a revised campaign agreement
    with the Gary Johnson campaign. This agreement is similar in terms to
    the previously negotiated agreement, but the confidentiality
    provisions are limited to certain sensitive information that must be
    kept confidential for a period of one year. Those provisions have
    been placed into an exhibit separate from the body of the contract;
    the other contract terms are not confidential based on the terms of
    the contract, though it is still would be my preference to keep them
    confidential until after the election.
    I will email to Robert Kraus a PDF of our copy of the contract and
    exhibit. The entire agreement is available to LNC members who will
    keep it in confidence for the one year period required by the terms of
    the contract.
    Yours in liberty,
    Nick

    In light of Chair Sarwark’s announcement, I now oppose the motion. The goal was achieved.

    I feel completely vindicated and did my duty.

  64. D. Frank Robinson

    In view of the prospect that the contract will be public in one year allowing members ample time to evaluate its provision before the 2018 convention. I concur this action bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion for the time being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *