George Donnelly seeks to turn over Transparency Caucus, other Libertarian Party projects

In I’ve Evolved … into an Anarchist, George Donnelly writes, in part:

I’ll be phasing out my participation in political organizations, in order to consistently align my actions with my values. Here’s my todo list:

* Study the works of authors such as Lysander Spooner, Samuel Edward Konkin III and Murray Rothbard.

* End my membership in the LP and BTP. I’m especially ambivalent about the LP because the founder allegedly claims that the pledge is a renunciation of my right to revolution.

* Cease all donations to political parties, candidates or organizations that participate in the electoral process.

* Hand over de facto control of the LP Transparency Caucus and shadow bylaw and platform committees to someone else (if anyone even wants them). I will also be ending the “My LP” and Libertarian Party Candidates projects.

In the comments, I wrote (in part):

If you are willing to turn over the Transparency Caucus, Libertarian Party Candidates, and/or any other projects, I will do my best to keep them alive and recruit other people to do so.

At
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lptcwg/message/124
, Donnelly elaborates:

Since I’m ceasing my involvement in the LP, I’d like to hand off the IT resources of the LPTC to someone who has the interest and ability to maintain them. This would be just the yahoogroups list, the website (wordpress, self-hosted) and the domain I think.

In order to take ownership of the domain you would have to pay for a
year of registration at your domain registrar of choice. I won’t
charge anything for it.

I’d like to wrap this up by Feb 15.

I’ve offered to take over the yahoo group, and so far I am aware of Jim Davidson offering to help pay for the domain(s).

Disclosure: I helped push for the formation of several of these projects, including the Transparency Caucus and LibertarianPartyCandidates.us.

Rachel Hawkridge writes at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lptcwg/message/123

We need to get back to running candidates that are free to run the kind of campaigns that they are comfortable with – be it minarchist, republican-lite or, or full out anarchist. That’s what the LP has always done, and there’s no reason that we have to suppress our more Radical candidates. It’s also true that the most successful ones are neither Radical or Reform. They are just honest, freedom-loving people, with mixed positions, hones agendas, nothing else to prove. Munger in NC, Guthrie in WA, for instance.

As long as they’ve signed the pledge, and their positions don’t involve
forcing others to abstain from abortion, gay marriage or drug use, I have no problems with them holding those positions personally.

I have no problems with them running a platform that involves more freedom – medical marijuana (instead of full out abolishment of drug laws), downplaying choice because they are pro-life (as long as they don’t run on a platform to tighten abortion laws), etc. As long as they are willing to work towards, and run on platforms that ADVANCE LIBERTY.

What it is going to take is dedicated activists, committed to a TEAM,
working together.

We have lots of good, functional, state affiliates –

We need to start a program of . . .

1. Getting new members to sign the pledge – I don’t think national is doing it anymore.

2. Education – setting up discussion groups, book clubs, book lists on state webs sites, etc.

3. Learning to promote Liberty – using new media in campaigns,
communicating ideas, etc.

4. Persuading our colleagues, both Radical and Reform, that our goals are the same – we all want more LIBERTY, and that by working together, we can achieve it. That we must stop the infighting and blame.

I have a website (OurLP.net), and the beginnings of a site, which is at MyLP.wordpress.com.

I could use . . .

1. Help with website – a webmaster who knows e.g. wordpress.

2. Datebase help.

3. Recruiters.

4. MOST IMPORTANTLY – team members. People who are willing to drop the labels, stop trying to shove people into little boxes, and to just be themselves, be Libertarians, be a part of our team. Probably in that order.

This isn’t about subjugating one’s self, morals,, beliefs, or values – it’s
about learning to work with others within the (healthy) boundaries we have each set for ourselves. These skills are vital to win elections, and without them, we can’t advance the cause of Liberty in office.

Act In Liberty,

Rachel Hawkridge
Libertarian National Committee
Region 7 Representative

Office Hours: Wednesdays 10-2
206.792.9840
206.769.2492 cel
www.LNCRegion7.blogspot.com

Posted by Paulie.

16 thoughts on “George Donnelly seeks to turn over Transparency Caucus, other Libertarian Party projects

  1. ATM

    So, in Rachel Hawkridge’s tolerant LP, is there any room for libertarians like me who believe that abortion is murder, that one of government’s few proper roles is to outlaw murder (albeit at a state level), and thus that government legitimately should outlaw abortion? I’m not asking whether such a pro-life position is right (as I would expect that most of the readers here would respectfully disagree with me and probably would be great people to debate the larger issue with some other time), but only whether there is a place for such pro-life but otherwise (from the majority pro-choice libertarian perspective) pro-liberty individuals in this vision of the LP. Basically, I’m reading Ms. Hawkridge’s comments as saying pro-lifers are welcome so long as we don’t actually advocate for pro-life policies.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    ATM,

    I think people who disagree with Libertarian Party’s official views on any given issue can be welcome.

    However, I would ask party officers and candidates who disagree with the party’s official stance to make the distinction clear.

    For example, if someone agrees with every LP stance *except* ending drug prohibition, I would only endorse them for nomination if they would clearly agree to say, whenever they answer any question as a candidate or party official “I believe we need to do X, Y, and Z about the drug problem…but the Libertarian Party supports ending the drug war. I agree with most of the party’s views, but that’s just one area where we have a difference of opinion”

    Just as, or even more, importantly, I don’t want the Libertarian Party to ever officially call for increased government as a solution to any social problem. There are enough other parties and organizations that want government smaller on A, B and C but larger on X, Y and Z. We have to be consistently for less government on everything – or we cease to be of any use whatsoever.

  3. ATM

    Thanks for clarifying the member vs. candidate distinction, paulie. Also, would is the rough breakdown (estimate) of the LP membership on abortion? Obviously, there are some pro-life members as at least Ron Paul and Bob Barr (and Badnarik?) would be classified as “pro-life,” but I’m under the impression that most members are “pro-choice.” Are two-thirds pro-choice? Three-quarters? Does anyone know?

  4. Prospective Advertiser

    ATM, your reading of her statement appears correct, to me. She would have no problem with a campaign that left things as they are, she would have a problem with a campaign to tighten abortion laws, as you indicate would be your preference. However, she’s just this one person. Her having a problem with it doesn’t mean that it cannot be allowed in the party.

    The LP has a broad diversity of views on abortion. I think Ron Paul’s concern is not with a woman giving up her child or terminating her pregnancy, but with the specific treatments of the child after it is removed from her womb. In other words, if there were a way to separate ending her pregnancy from killing the child, many people who are against “abortion” would shift their concern from the reproductive freedom of the woman to the survival of the child. And I think that would be better.

    In fact, in his book “Revolution: A Manifesto” Dr. Paul speaks of witnessing an abortion where the infant did survive the procedure and then was left to die in a bucket. We have much better neo-natal and premature care now than ever before, so this sort of thing should be preventable. And as I consider life to begin at the moment of conception, I think where such children can be saved, they should be. I am against creating a class of “unpersons” from whom organs and stem cells are harvested.

    You could ask the LP to put together a poll on your question, or you could do some scientific survey work. But, what questions are asked always make a big difference.

    I think most people who are in favor of reproductive freedom for women regret the loss of life involved with abortion and would rather other choices were taken. Happily, the extreme Puritanism which met this issue in the 1950s and 1960s has mostly passed.

    In those days, it was illegal to display contraceptive devices or even talk about birth control as an option in many states. I’m not sure where you stand on the view that contraception is also immoral.

  5. Prospective Advertiser

    My criticism of ATM’s concern about the view expressed by Rachel Hawkridge also goes for George Donnelly and the view expressed by David Nolan. I think David Nolan is completely wrong about the pledge representing an abandonment of the freedom to alter, reform, or abolish any government.

    Indeed, I have signed both the pledge and the covenant of unanimous consent, and I don’t see how either one of them limits my freedom to defend myself, nor my freedom to retaliate against aggression, nor my freedom to withhold my consent from government, nor my freedom (and, as Jefferson expressed it, duty) to overthrow tyranny.

    Maybe Nolan has explained it somewhere? Or maybe this is just another myth.

    Either way, Nolan is just one guy. Hawkridge is just one dame. There’s no reason to suppose that either one of them represents any sort of authority. The whole point of the philosophy of liberty is that each individual is free to choose for himself, to follow the dictates and whimsy of his own conscience.

  6. ATM

    For the record, I think people should have the option to choose contraception, and I agree that the silencing of debate in the 1950s & 1960s was definitely a bad thing.

    “Either way, Nolan is just one guy. Hawkridge is just one dame. There’s no reason to suppose that either one of them represents any sort of authority. The whole point of the philosophy of liberty is that each individual is free to choose for himself, to follow the dictates and whimsy of his own conscience.”

    Whenever people express views like the above from Prospective Advertiser, I continue to move even closer to making the jump from libertarian (lowercase “l”) to a Libertarian (uppercase “L”).

  7. paulie cannoli Post author

    Outline for Liberty Activists project – which Donnelly was also working on…in case anyone wants to work on it…

    Liberty Activists website.

    The idea is to create and share effective outreach material for activists who are guided by the non-initiation of force principle in the political arena. Although I don’t think LP infighting is the most productive focus, message boards for things like ride and room shares would help get more of “our” people to be able to afford conventions.

    Here’s what I am thinking:

    Having effective outreach tools will help recruit the kind of people we need in the party as well; we especially need young people, women, artistic types (including musicians, etc), racial/ethnic diversity. Having tools like youtube clips, flier designs, etc. created and passed around will help with such recruitment efforts.

    The boring and stodgy, unupdated in a gazillion years, outreach materials LP national has are not very attractive, thus ensuring an aging, non-diverse, left-brained thinking predominated, non-activist membership base. This is bad both for the LP and the radical agenda within the LP.

    Materials should be available for downloading as well as editing multiple versions, wiki style.

    The website should be a hub of activity and a place for activist tools.

    There should be a PHP board, or something where ideas for action can be kept in one place.

    Libertarians are aging; where is the concerted effort to reach a new generation? For the most part there is a lack of creative youtube clips and art and street activism, such as we saw with the Ron Paul campaign. I don’t think it’s because we are more liberal on some social issues.

    The party is overly focused on left brained logic – not enough on music, art, different ways of reaching more people. Activism is not encouraged or nourished; the party is mainly interested in members for their money only. No activist culture; main activity is monthly get together boring bitch and moan fests.

    Some useful feature this website should have:

    – Membership. A point of contact and knowing who is who is basic.

    – Member blogs and/or aggregation of outside blogs. This foments a libertarian blogosphere and ferments ideas, discussion and participation.

    – Collaborative creation and editing of documents. This is critical for coming up with a public agenda, so we’re all on the same page and
    know what we’re working for.

    – RSS. So people can easily be informed of updates. This makes it easy for people to stay informed and active.

    – Forums, mailing lists, chatrooms, mini-sites, IT technical help documents. For on-demand IT infrastructure for collaboration and projects.

    – Howtos. Activism resources. Introductions to LP and radical topics for newbies

    – Document archive. For reference purposes.

    – Highly searchable, pages rank well in the search engines, easy to find. This makes it easy for like-minded people to find us.

    Not sure if George wants to keep the domain I suggested for this purpose, which he registered and hosts:

    http://www.libertyactivists.com/

  8. Gene Trosper

    Paulie, I would be interested in helping out with the Liberty Activists project. I have attempted a similar website/organization in the past and it seemed very promising and began to grow until it hit a point where people began to do become inactive. It would up becoming yet another endeavor that I had to take care of all by myself.

    One thing though: I discourage the use of PHP bulletin boards for discussion as people tend to focus more on talking than doing. There has to be a more effective means of communication that doesn’t distract from actual activism.

  9. Gene Trosper

    may I also suggest that libertarians pick up a copy of Saul Alinky’s “Rules For Radicals”. Currently, the conservative movement is hammering away at Obama for being a follower of Alinsky’s teachings. However, if one discounts the leftist portion of Rules For Radicals and instead just focus on the TACTICS, you will see great and wonderful things happen as a result of your activism. I bought a copy in 1993 and used it as a guidebook for most of my activism. I can tell you first hand that those rules worked for me. In fact, I need to buy a new copy because I gave my old copy away a few years ago to an LP activist who was down on his luck.

  10. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paulie, I would be interested in helping out with the Liberty Activists project. I have attempted a similar website/organization in the past and it seemed very promising and began to grow until it hit a point where people began to do become inactive. It would up becoming yet another endeavor that I had to take care of all by myself.

    One thing though: I discourage the use of PHP bulletin boards for discussion as people tend to focus more on talking than doing. There has to be a more effective means of communication that doesn’t distract from actual activism.

    First step we should see whether we can get the existing domain or if we need to get a new one. Do you have hosting?

    How many of these things Donnelly was talking about can you do on the tech end? If there are any you can’t do, know someone who can and would?

    PHP boards…not wedded to these, but people will waste time talking on any medium if that is what they want to do.

  11. paulie cannoli Post author

    may I also suggest that libertarians pick up a copy of Saul Alinky’s “Rules For Radicals”. Currently, the conservative movement is hammering away at Obama for being a follower of Alinsky’s teachings. However, if one discounts the leftist portion of Rules For Radicals and instead just focus on the TACTICS, you will see great and wonderful things happen as a result of your activism. I bought a copy in 1993 and used it as a guidebook for most of my activism. I can tell you first hand that those rules worked for me. In fact, I need to buy a new copy because I gave my old copy away a few years ago to an LP activist who was down on his luck.

    I agree…excellent book.

  12. Rachel H

    @ 57 – ATM Andy said . . .
    “For the record, I think people should have the option to choose contraception, and I agree that the silencing of debate in the 1950s & 1960s was definitely a bad thing.”

    The reason (or much of the reason) was that contraception was perceived to be “killing children”. Some people still hold that view.

    And that’s why government shouldn’t be involved in any contraception or abortion decisions.

    There is no bright line as to when life begins.

    Those who believe that life begins at conception SHOULD be opposed to all current forms of contraception, except for the barriers and abstinence – none of them completely prevent fertilization. They all rely on preventing implantation of an already fertilized egg.

    I’m definitely PRO-LIFE. I made my choices. Each person has to make their own.

    Wrap it in blue jeans, wrap it in latex, or wrap it in a baby blanket. Each of us chooses. ;o)

  13. Steven R Linnabary

    And yet, we can all find exceptions.

    A few months ago during my campaign, at a forum (at a Catholic Church) with the other candidates, we were asked this question.

    I went well over my 90 seconds for a response. But I think most in the room agreed with me.

    I said it was a DEEPLY personal question. Twenty years ago, I got my wife pregnant with our third child. My wife had been adopted in 1962. ANYBODY who is adopted is more than likely against abortion. During childbirth, my wife suffered a stroke that left her brain dead. The baby died. My wife died after a five year “persistent vegetative state”, much like Terry Schiavo.
    Before the baby was due, MANY people urged her to get an abortion. Including many who I thought were pro-life. This baby WAS high risk, as our second child was only a few months old.
    During Debi’s coma, many people urged me to “pull the plug”. That was something I could not do, but I hadn’t had to live with it for 16 years like Terry Schiavo’s husband did.
    I don’t know if we did the right thing. Afterall, our two surviving children had to grow up without a mother.
    And I don’t know if the same thing were to happen today, if I would do the same thing. I probably would.
    But I will NEVER question somebody else’s decision. Because it is a DEEPLY personal decision.

    Congressman Tiberi was clearly choked up, he went next. But he echoed my “it is a deeply personal decision”.

    PEACE

  14. paulie cannoli Post author

    @ Gene T.

    Seen this?

    First step we should see whether we can get the existing domain or if we need to get a new one. Do you have hosting?

    How many of these things Donnelly was talking about can you do on the tech end? If there are any you can’t do, know someone who can and would?

    PHP boards…not wedded to these, but people will waste time talking on any medium if that is what they want to do.

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    Rachel, comment 13…

    Which thread was this supposed to be on?

    I don’t think it was this one, since we have not had 57 comments here, at least yet.

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