Libertarian Party Treasurer Aaron Starr today reportedly sent a memo to the Libertarian National Committee which “raises doubts as to whether Mr. Wrights was even eligible to serve at the time of his election to the LNC”. The memo (an apparent copy of which was leaked to IPR) says that Sean Haugh wrote the April 2008 check for the sustaining membership of R. Lee Wrights, which lapsed this month and prompted the LNC Secretary to declare his seat vacant. The memo quotes Bylaw 5.5 as saying “Higher levels of contribution by or on behalf of a Party member qualify as sustaining member status”, and points out that Haugh’s $25 check was not for an amount higher than a sustaining membership.
The memo cites federal election law against “contributions made in the name of another” and says that an error by staff incorrectly recorded the contribution as coming from Wrights. The memo says LPHQ is returning the $25 to Haugh, but that there is no evidence that Haugh thought the contribution would be credited to Wrights for FEC purposes.
The memo recounts Wrights’s contribution history and shows other lapses in membership. In particular, the memo says that when elected Vice Chair of the LNC in May 2004, Wrights had been lapsed for nearly three months. Wrights finally paid $25 in January 2005, but his membership lapsed again a year later, well before his term in office was finished. The memo says Starr checked the membership status of all members of the LNC and “almost every member of the LNC has the status of life member, and as such qualifies as a sustaining member. The remaining members of the LNC are all monthly pledgers. And so as long as that is the case, there is no risk of lapsing. I note that many of the life members are also monthly pledgers, and I want to state my appreciation to each and every one of you”.