Email from LNC Region 7 Rep Rachel Hawkridge to email@example.com:
In the Spring of 2009, I became aware that there were inconsistencies between the the FEC filings of the Barr campaign and the LNC.
The Barr campaign had reported a $10,000 contribution from the LNC, and the LNC had not reported it.
I asked my colleagues on the LNC about this, why the LNC had made this contribution, and why we had not reported it.
The answer I got back was that there had been no contribution. That was not an explanation, in my opinion, it didn’t answer the discrepancy in the FEC filings, and that report was out there – a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any time.
Our Treasurer denied that there had been any such payment, and then said . . .
Aaron Starr to LNC 7/9/09
I was asked by a fellow board member as to whether it would be appropriate for a member of the LNC to indicate publicly that no disbursement was made to the Barr campaign by the LNC.
I would not go out of my way to initiate such a conversation, but if someone should ask you about this I believe there would be no legal issue with making the statement that our FEC filings accurately report that no disbursement was made to the Barr campaign by the LNC.
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
Mr. Wrights, Dr. Ruwart, and Mr. Karlan all stated that they thought it need to be cleared up and asked that our attorney and our FEC consultant be present at our St. Louis meeting.
At one point, the Treasurer claimed “Our accounting records do show the Bob Barr Leadership Fund (PAC) contributing $10,000 to the LNC during August. Paula Edwards recorded the amount as coming from the Barr 2008 Presidential Committee, perhaps because they are closely related entities.”
Mr. Chastain stated to me that there had been a wire transfer from the LNC to Barr.
I then asked that Mr. Kraus bring banking records for the time that the payment had been reported to the meeting, so that we could see for sure. In that eMail, I also stated . . . “I have not told anyone outside the Committee about this, but I believe that Dr. Phillies has requested the same information, so it won’t be a secret for long. If we see the banking records, then maybe all our doubts will be allayed, and almost all of the membership has at least one of us that they trust.”
The Chair declined.
At the meeting, further questions were asked, answered, and my colleagues seemed to be satisfied with the answers that we got.
I wasn’t satisfied, but had no idea where to go with it at that point – I didn’t know what to ask even, much less what to do.
On Sunday morning, most of my colleagues were cold, and avoiding me. When asked, Dr. Ruwart and Mr. Wrights had no idea why. All through the day, the atypical behavior continued. At the end of the meeting, after public comment and dismissing Ms. Julie Stone (who was videocasting the meeting) we went into Executive Session to, among other things, deal with “a personnel matter”.
I’m sure that some of you, and most of the LNC, will object to my telling you that I was that “personnel matter”. Most of what we spoke about in ExSess was included in Mr. Barber’s letter, and even though what has already been reported was untrue, someone broke confidentiallity. I maintain that I am not personnel, and it was therefore not a valid ExSess. I fully expect that if the majority of the current LNC is re-elected, there will be some “disciplinary” action brought against me for this perceived transgression. If so, I hope that enough of my colleagues will object and leave the meeting, so that there will not be a quorum.
In that session, the Treasurer handed me a copy of this eMail to Mr. Chastain (the Barr treasurer) . . .
Can you get a copy of your receipt of the wire transfer, preferably today? Friday
It comes down to a matter of veracity – and you can guess who our
treasurer says is not honest. Allegations have been made . . .
I’d prefer that you not disclose the source of this information.
And you might want to look into the concept of “libel per se”.
Thanks very much. :o)
He walked around so that he was standing behind me (I will refrain from speculating on his motives for this maneuver), and asked if I had sent it. Of course, I replied that I had. He then demanded that I read it aloud.
Later, I realized that he had apparently told most of the LNC (in private) that I had told Mr. Chastain to pursue criminal libel proceedings against him. I did not. “Libel per se” (link = http://www.nolo.com/dictionary/libel-per-se-term.html) is a civil action, and on the heels of the Wrights debacle, I was tired of our people being libeled and attacked by the Committee.
The ensuing discussion focused mostly on my accusation of libel, and “not trusting” the Treasurer. Of the possibility of bring the FEC down on the party.
It was decided that I would write a letter to Messrs. Shane Cory and David Chastain, disowning my allegation that the Treasurer had implied that the Barr campaign was less than honest in their filings. Mr. Latham agreed to help with this.
I did so, sending this, which passed Mr. Latham’s inspection.
Rachel H. for LPWA Communications to Shane, David 7/30/09
Messrs. Chastain and Cory –
I am writing to clarify my Friday, July 16 eMail to Mr. Chastain.
One of our members has alleged wrongdoing by the LNC with respect to the Barr campaign. The allegation is based on the Barr campaign’s report to the FEC — available on the FEC’s web site — that on July 23, 2008 the LNC made a $10,000 donation to the Barr campaign. The LNC’s report to the FEC does not indicate a $10,000 donation to the Barr campaign.
The LP’s Treasurer has stated that the LNC did not make a $10,000 donation to the Barr campaign. I misinterpreted the LP Treasurer’s statement as an allegation of dishonesty by the Barr campaign. Because there are any number of innocent explanations for the discrepancy between the two reporting entities, I no longer stand by that impression, which I communicated in my July 16 eMail to Mr. Chastain.
However, if you or someone affiliated with the Barr campaign can help clarify this discrepancy, I would appreciate being copied on your correspondence sent to the LNC’s Executive Director, Wes Benedict (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Act In Liberty,
That was the last I heard of the matter until Dr. Phillies told me that the matter had been resolved by amending the filings.
The whole of the LNC was never informed that there had been an FEC complaint filed against the party, nor of the resolution. This is an part of an ongoing pattern of secrecy, deception and a lack of transparency on the part of the Treasurer. I asked my colleagues for information, and explanation about what had gone on, and none was forthcoming. The Treasurer’s response seemed to be “Trust me.” And then he never told the whole of the Committee about the complaint.
It is also a longterm, ongoing pattern of openness, financial watchfulness and pushing the LNC to do the right thing on the part of Dr. Phillies. It’s why I trust that, as Chair, he would conduct the business of the party in a straightforward, transparent fashion.
He did the right thing, in attempting to get the LNC to resolve the manner in private. He could not allow the time bomb of conflicting FEC reports to lie out there to bushwack future LNCs.