At least one Boston Tea Party state affiliate has already imploded amid an erupting controversy at the nascent party’s Web site.
BTP founder and possible VP nominee Tom Knapp has suspended party vice-chair Dr. Tom Stevens’s Web administration privileges. This, after Dr. Stevens deleted an appeal posted by Mr. Knapp.
Knapp’s appeal was against a decision made by the Boston Tea Party’s national committee to give each state affiliate one vote, rather than each party member one vote, in the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential nominating convention, to be held online, July 15. Mr. Knapp also posted a poll, in which he says party members were “not just overwhelmingly, but unanimously in favor of ‘one member, one vote’ rather than ‘one affiliate, one vote'” prior to the poll being deleted by Dr. Stevens. Knapp says this appeal was posted in accordance with the party’s bylaws.
Dr. Stevens then made a motion for Knapp to relinquish Web administration duties. Knapp declined to accept the motion, saying that the national committee had gone “rogue” in its disrespect of its own bylaws. Knapp then declared his aborted-but-unanimous poll to have succeeded, and that each member of the BTP would be given one full vote, to be cast starting July 15 at 9:00 p.m.
In response, Tom Stevens has threatened to resign and disband his New York affiliate unless Knapp “immediately cease[s] his disruptive actions.” He says he will also encourage other affiliate presidents to follow his lead.
More from Dr. Stevens:
I am proud to have worked with Jim Davidson and the other members of the National Committee is chartering three new affiliates and in holding a successful informal “convention” in Denver. However, the continued attacks by Thomas Knapp, who holds power because he is site administrator for this website, have made the party ungovernable.
Several party members are threatening to resign, and some already have, as a result of this internecine squabble.
Michigan BTP leader Todd Andrew Barrett had the following to say:
Within the last 12 to 24 hours, I have become very disgusted with the juvenile and childish antics by certain key players in the never-ending pathetic fights that have been transpiring on the Boston Tea Party’s national website. . . This Party has become unprofessional and ridiculous. This isn’t the Party that I helped formed back in 2006, and I refuse to be a party to these proceedings.
At least two other members, who along with their wives and Mr. Barrett comprised the entire BTPMI affiliate, have also indicated their intentions to resign. Since five members are required for a state affiliate, this likely means there will be no Michigan affiliate.
Meanwhile, Boston Tea Party chairman Jim Davidson is trying to play peacemaker between Dr. Stevens and Mr. Knapp, and hold the fledgling party together.