This was sent to us anonymously. It spells out a long-awaited resolution to the dispute over who the rightful leaders of the Libertarian Party of Oregon are.
After six years of infighting over the Libertarian Party of Oregon, the feuding factions have declared a truce.
In 2011, there was a bylaws crisis that made it practically impossible to make quorum at convention. Party leadership (the “Wagner faction”) replaced the bylaws and ratified them through a vote-by-mail referendum of all registered Libertarians in the state. The opposition (the “Burke faction”) maintains that the bylaws change was improper, and has continued to operate under the previous bylaws.
Throughout the dispute, the Oregon Secretary of State has recognized the Wagner faction as the political party, and they have enjoyed ballot access. The Burke faction was ordered to register a miscellaneous PAC under the same name “Libertarian Party of Oregon” and has attempted to nominate candidates, but the Oregon Elections Division has refused their nominations.
The breakthrough in tensions came recently, after each faction met with Oregon’s new Secretary of State, who suggested that both sides should be working together instead of against each other. “That had literally never occurred to us,” said Wes Wagner. Richard Burke added, “the turning point for me was to realize that its more important to work toward our common goals than to fight over the rules.”
Invited to say nice things about the other faction, Wagner said, “I admire their perseverance. Despite being unable to nominate candidates for three election cycles, they’ve shown no signs of giving up. Their dedication is an asset to our common cause.” Burke said, “I admit now that Wagner’s bylaws are better than ours. The party is nominating five times as many candidates as it used to, and voter registration is up 40%.”
The two factions have worked out a practical plan to reunify the Libertarian Party of Oregon. The Burke faction will adopt the Wagner bylaws, and the Wagner faction will accept nominations from the Burke faction that do not conflict with its own primary election. (It will take several years to harmonize the bylaws because sections of the Burke faction’s bylaws can only be amended by votes at two successive conventions.) Both sides have said they intend to accept the results of the Board of Directors election after the bylaws have harmonized, thereby ending the dispute over bylaws and party leadership.
What about the lawsuit, which is still pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals? Burke confidently stated, “the court will make it’s ruling in our favor, any day now.” Wagner did not provide us with a quote, but instead responded to this question with an image of an obscenely-shaped fireball.