Stephen Gordon bans George Phillies from LSLA; Phillies responds with motion

Update: Stephen Gordon disputes some of the assertions made in this article. Please see his comment here.

Stephen Gordon, the one-time owner of Third Party Watch and prominent Barr backer while working as the LP’s political director (in dispute), has banned George Phillies from the Libertarian State Leadership Alliance mailing list for promoting his presidential campaign.

Dear Dr. Phillies,

Due to complaints regarding your recent promotion of a political campaign, one which is in opposition to the campaign of a legitimately nominated Libertarian Party candidate, I am placing your access to this e-mail list on the “moderation” level until some time following the upcoming presidential election.

Should you have any questions pertaining to this communication, please feel free to attempt to contact me at any time.


Stephen Gordon
Chairman, Libertarian State Leadership Alliance

In response, Phillies is making a motion with the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts to sever all relations with the LSLA.

Phillies says:

At the moment I *am* the LNC’s choice of candidate in Massachusetts, because of a decision *they* made. Indeed, I have asked several LNC members to include as a discussion topic support for my campaign as their candidate, should our suit fail.

I observe that there is no identification of the complaint, the complaintant in best Soviet informant style is anonymous, and I am given no chance to defend myself against the lack of accusation.

Instead of courtesy, I am given a response that in my opinion is more fit to have emanated from the Alabama KKK.

Accordingly, I will offer at tomorrow’s LPMASS State Committee meeting, under our bylaws, a motion ordering and directing that LPMass sever all relations with LSLA, calling upon all officers and members to do the same, and making clear that individual LPMass members pursuing Federal or LNC office are in no sense discouraged from attending LSLA meetings.

I will not take it amiss if our exact position relative to the substitution suit is called up for reconsideration.

Phillies describes the “indiscretion” for which he’s been banned here:

In any event, I received an ad “We’re giving away 100,000 signs to support every campaign in America.” followed by various html links on how every campaign in America can get signs. I have no idea whether the ad is real, or whether Obama or McCain has already ordered the 100,000, but appears to be real. I forwarded this to the state chairs list, assuming that the average Libertarian candidate can find someone who can cut through the mystery code and line up signs for their people.

38 thoughts on “Stephen Gordon bans George Phillies from LSLA; Phillies responds with motion

  1. Mike Gillis

    Is the LSLA an organization of the Libertarian Party or a non-partisan libertarian group?

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    The LSLA is the “Libertarian State Leadership Alliance.” It’s a membership organization theoretically aimed at bringing together state-level LP leaders (chairs and officers, etc.).

  3. G.E. Post author

    Is it an official organ of the LP, though? Or is it something that Gordon or someone else just started?

  4. Thomas L. Knapp


    It’s precisely NOT an official organ of the LP (or, to be more precise, of the LNC) … and that non-organality (to make up a word) can be very useful.

    For example, the LNC occasionally holds its meetings at the same place/time as LSLA events, presumably in facilities which LSLA, rather than LNC, pays for (or perhaps LNC pays LSLA some fee that wouldn’t be as high as renting the facility for JUST an LNC meeting). More people probably show up for the LNC meetings, because they’re already there for the LSLA events. I know this was the case in February in Las Vegas, and a year before in Florida.

    In the past, I’ve suggested that LSLA might be the germ of an alternative affiliation umbrella for state LPs as the LNC continues to disintegrate into disutility.

  5. Arthur Torrey

    Repeating my response as posted on LFV…

    Speaking as LPMA Operations Facilitator:
    I will second the motion…

    I would have to say that anything connected to Steve Gordon seems rather suspect in the first place considering the stuff it is alleged he was involved with in Denver and prior / post…

    I also will probably have no problem seconding a motion to reconsider our position in re: The Barr Substitution suite…

    Speaking as myself:

    While I’ve previously agreed (read I was outvoted) to sign off on substituting Barr if possible, I have never been enthusiastic about it, I’d really far rather see George on the ballot, (or possibly a more Libertarian candidate; *I* see George as a moderate minarchist at best, an acceptable compromise for now, but would really prefer an LNS-style anarcho-capitalist…)

    I see a distinct possibility that we may well have a motion at our next State Convention to have the LPMA disaffiliate with the LPUS entirely… (A motion I am inclined to support, if not make myself!)

    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    LPMA Presidential Elector – NOT voting for Barr!
    Speaking as indicated

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    LSLA does have problems. Their last national chair used the Las Vegas event to showcase 9/11 “Truth” nutjobbery and to feature racist agitator Bo Gritz.

    Gordon seems to have been elected chair precisely to put a stop to nonsense like that.

    However, you might look at what Gordon wrote — he did not “ban” Phillies, he put Phillies on “moderation,” meaning that his messages would be examined before being allowed to post to an LP list, presumably versus any attempt by Phillies to use that list to oppose the LP’s national nominee.

    Personally I think Gordon over-reacted (especially given that the message that provoked the reaction did no such thing and indeed called attention to a possibly valuable tool for LP candidates), but that’s no reason to over-react in turn.

  7. G.E. Post author

    Overreact in return?

    You shut out the possibility that there may be more to the story of 9/11, and that’s one thing… But your denials of the objective realities involving Gordon and the “evil bastards” as you refer to them, are mind-boggling, Tom.

    Thinking that an organization head up by Gordon could be an alternative to the Redpath cabal is like thinking … I don’t know, I can’t come up with a good analogy, but it’s pretty goddamn absurd. How about we join up with a new organization head up by Sean Haugh and Shane Cory?

  8. Thomas M. Sipos

    G.E.: Take a look at today’s traffic disparity:

    IPR: 4,393 page views
    TPW: 1,727 page views

    But of course! I used to plug TPW in the California LP state newspaper. Lately, I’ve been plugging IPR, 🙂

  9. Trent Hill

    Also, it helps that we post 3-4 articles PER DAY and TPW posts about .5 a day.

    Plus, we post on all parties and TPW doesnt.

  10. G.E. Post author

    Trent – They only post information that is favorable to Bob Barr, as far as the LP goes.

  11. Brian Miller

    The long-feared schism has never been closer than now, I suspect.

    If MA disaffiliates, I suspect two or three other parties in the Northeast will do the same rather quickly. Most of the activists will go along, and suddenly, things start to fragment quite quickly.

    By the end of this process, LNC Inc. could be a “party” without any members.

    It remains to be seen whether this “destruction” will be creative destruction resulting in something new and better, or just carnage.

  12. darolew

    I wonder if mass disaffiliation might be for the better. Decentralism has benefits for non-governmental organizations as well. It would make it harder to nominate a presidential ticket, but state-level and local candidacies have always been more successful anyway.

  13. paulie cannoli

    prominent Barr backer while working as the LP’s political director,

    At the time when Steve was political director, Barr was on the LNC and there was no overt hint that Barr would be a presidential candidate, and in fact he was denying that it was even a possibility. In what sense was Steve a Barr backer at that time?

  14. paulie cannoli

    Thinking that an organization head up by Gordon could be an alternative to the Redpath cabal is like thinking … I don’t know, I can’t come up with a good analogy, but it’s pretty goddamn absurd. How about we join up with a new organization head up by Sean Haugh and Shane Cory?

    Had great time with Wrights and Haugh. Still very touched by the Admiral’s seriousness about speech. about 9 hours ago from web

    Had one on one with Haugh. We talked about Jesus,Sundwall,Rand and Knapp. He’s one of us. He started the damn LNC blogging. about 9 hours ago from web

    Sean Haugh wants you all to know that he wanted an open session discussion on Fincher. We went into exec. Boring. about 9 hours ago from web

  15. G.E. Post author

    I’m pretty sure it’s established fact that S.G. was working with Barr in preparation for the presidential run long before Barr made it public. I’m pretty sure S.G. has admitted as much. Yes, I know that S.G. also encouraged Mary Ruwart to run and worked for her, too. S.G. and I have kissed and made up, and I don’t mean to impugn his character here, but I stand by what I’ve said in this thread.

  16. paulie cannoli

    I’m pretty sure it’s established fact that S.G. was working with Barr in preparation for the presidential run long before Barr made it public. I’m pretty sure S.G. has admitted as much.

    Well, yes. But the earliest I recall him doing so was around February of this year at LSLA.

    At the time when he was political director, he specifically told me that Barr running was out of the question. If you have a source on the specific point in question – that he did so while he was political director – I would love to know.

  17. George Phillies

    Barr has stated the dates when he decided to run, and the period brackets the LSLA event.

    That is, all the time when Barr was getting free speaking time at conventions, he was prevaricating about not being a candidate.

  18. paulie cannoli

    I agree that is certainly a problem.

    The allegation that Gordon and Barr were conspiring to install Barr as the presidential candidate back when Gordon was LP staff is a different contention altogether.

    It would have been a violation of the terms of his then-job, and it would mean he lied to my face at the time. Neither of which is impossible, but I’d like to know if true, even in retrospect. If he has admitted this, I’d like to know when, where and to whom.

    On the other hand, if the only evidence that Stephen was a Barr “supporter” when he was on staff is that he was working with the then-prospective Barr campaign starting around February of the following year, there is a factual error in this story as published.

    Of course, it is possible that he was a Barr supporter in the same sense he was, say, a Bill Redpath supporter or a Chuck Moulton supporter? I’m not sure if a staff member being a supporter of an LNC member is what was meant here. Given that Barr subsequently ran for president, I’d want to clarify that ambiguity.

  19. Stephen Gordon

    To clarify several issues…

    1) The title of this article is factually incorrect. Dr. Phillies has not been banned from the LSLA list. He has been placed in a “moderated” status.

    2) Dr. Phillies will not be stopped from using the list for the normal business of the Libertarian Party state chairs. He will not be allowed to promote the Obama, McCain, Nader, Baldwin, McKinney or Phillies presidential campaigns using the resources of the LSLA, however.

    3) The link provided in this article to is not the one which was in the e-mail Dr. Phillies sent to the LSLA list. Here is the link he provided in the e-mail message to the list:

    As of the time I am writing this comment, the linked signs read “Elect George Phillies President.”

    Here is an example of one of the signs depicted:

    4) I sold TPW and have no role there at this time. I haven’t posted anything there in quite some time.

    5) My first involvement with any presidential movement involving Bob Barr is well documented. It began at CPAC 2008, which was prior to the LSLA meeting being discussed. Here is the first of many articles I wrote on that topic: Links within this article provide some level of corroberation. This was over half a year after I left my job at LPHQ.

  20. paulie cannoli

    Thanks for the clarification, Steve.

    I thought that was what was likely to have I happened when I read this.

    I think the story should be fixed to reflect your response, but it’s not my story so that is not up to me.

    I think the issue of contention is that the Phillies for President signs were just an *example* of what buildasign was saying it could do, but those reading the list could reasonably have interpreted it as a solicitation to order Phillies for President signs rather than signs for their own campaigns and/or those of other candidates in their respective states, especially if not reading carefully.

    It sounds like a misunderstanding.

  21. Galileo Galilei

    TPW has dropped in traffic because they haven’t been covering the Barrett campaign.

    Kevin Barrett just got endorsed by Jesse Ventura, and that didn’t even make the news at TPW!

    Credit goes here to IPR for their fine coverge.

    I’m also in agreement with Stephen Gordon, who I consider to be one of the smartest and hard working Libertarian activists in the entire United States.

  22. G.E. Post author

    In response to Mr. Gordon:

    1) Is a matter of definition and technicality.

    2) May or may not be a valid reason for the action to be taken. Of course, you are in charge of making that decision, so it’s your choice. But others can have opinions on the matter.

    3) The link is what George provided in an email to me.

    4) I never suggested otherwise

    5) Okay. I’m remembering things incorrectly, then.

  23. G.E. Post author

    BTW: Should I believe Shane Cory if he says he didn’t work for bar as executive director? Am I to believe that Stephen Gordon is the one guy who wasn’t part of this obvious cabal? If he says so, then fine.

  24. Fred Church Ortiz

    “Should I believe Shane Cory if he says he didn’t work for bar as executive director?”

    IIRC, Cory worked as ED up until a few weeks before Denver, while SG stopped working as Political Director maybe a year ago or more.

  25. G.E. Post author


    But when you lie with dogs, you get fleas.

    Mr. Gordon has made his decision to do just that.

  26. G.E. Post author

    BUT, I do admit that my timeline is off, and I am very likely to be remembering a personal conversation with Mr. Gordon incorrectly in light of my own personal bias.

  27. paulie cannoli

    1) Is a matter of definition and technicality.

    Not really. My posts are moderated at lpradicals. I’m not (at least yet) banned from the group.

    It’s a different situation, because most people are moderated at lpradicals, and Dr. Phillies is as far as I know the only state chair being singled out for moderation on the state chairs list. But then again Dr. Phillies is the only state chair who is on the ballot for president instead of, and/or alongside the national party’s nominee for the same office, so it is obviously a touchy issue.

  28. Hugh Jass

    Why don’t LPMA, LPNH, and other state LP parties disaffiliate from the LNC and make a national affiliate with, say, the Boston Tea Party?

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