Fourteen LNC Members File Joint Response to Judicial Committee Appeal

Fourteen members of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) on July 28 submitted their response to the appeal filed by the Wes Wagner group claiming to lead the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO). 

The June 19 appeal by the Wagner group claims that the LNC Executive Committee’s recognition of the Reeves group on June 18 was a constructive disaffiliation and should have required a three-quarters vote of the entire LNC. 

The nearly 70-page set of documents (Document 1 of Response by LNC) (Document 2 of Response by LNC) (Appendix Assembly of Response by LNC) submitted by Chairman Mark Hinkle – and signed by a broad cross section exceeding three-fourths of the eighteen-member governing board – denies that Wes Wagner could be a party to an appeal because Wagner has not been the chair of the LPO since May 21 and states that no disaffiliation took place. 

The LNC response describes its actions as necessary to protect the autonomy of its Oregon affiliate from a “rogue board of directors.”

The comprehensive submission provides a timeline of events, along with a number of arguments and documentation in support of its conclusions that

  • There exists a distinction between disaffiliation and recognizing legitimate officers
  • There are numerous reasons as to why the LNC needs to ascertain the identity of officers of affiliates to remain in compliance with its bylaws
  • Acknowledging legitimate officers elected by LPO members in accordance with their bylaws is not a violation of affiliate autonomy
  • Wagner’s own public statements reveal he believes his board does not have the authority to amend the bylaws
  • There exists a clear rationale for why LPO’s bylaws must lead one to conclude that the group of officers led by Tim Reeves are the legitimate officers of the LPO
  • Wagner’s position is at odds with the very state law he claims as justification
  • Not recognizing the officers led by Tim Reeves would have been equivalent to disaffiliating the long-standing LPO – without the required ¾ vote – and affiliating with a newly created organization, with a different set of bylaws and different set of members

116 thoughts on “Fourteen LNC Members File Joint Response to Judicial Committee Appeal

  1. Chuck Moulton

    This is a very well written brief!!

    Pages 12-14 of document 2 (“Appealing to state law for authority”) is particularly damning for Wagner’s arguments. These points have not received the coverage they deserve previously. (I touched on them in passing in an IPR comment last month after seeing an email on the subject.)

    I entirely agree with pages 10-19 of document 2. However, the argument that this was not a disaffiliation (pages 2-4 of document 1 and pages 5-9 of document 2) remains unconvincing to me.

    The Judicial Committee’s Rules of Appellate Procedure would allow the JC to schedule a hearing after the August LNC meeting, allowing the LNC to clean up the EC’s mess and making the appeal moot. In my opinion such a course of action would result in the least amount of casualties from the circular firing squad.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    Well, we finally get to see the flaming middle finger. Nice touch, in a bad way.

    Looks like game, set and match.

    I’d be thinking about the next step…how to give Wagner a graceful out to save face….

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck @1,

    “Pages 12-14 of document 2 (‘Appealing to state law for authority’) is particularly damning for Wagner’s arguments.”

    I disagree.

    There are two organizations claiming to be the LNC’s affiliate in Oregon.

    Neither one of those organizations was created, or selected its officers, in conformity with the previous bylaws, because those previous bylaws foundered and sank on convention quorum requirements and such.

    Wagner’s organization ATTEMPTED to organize itself pursuant to Oregon state law as it relates to political parties.

    Burke’s organization, to all appearances, just decided whom they wanted to be in charge and claimed it was so.

    One of those two approaches is a good-faith effort to fulfill the LP’s purposes as listed in the LNC’s bylaws. One of them isn’t.

  4. George Phillies

    @4

    Mary Ruwart sent a brief to the LNC, as did Brad Ploeger, opposing this lunacy.

    Contemplate doing the same. As a subsidiary action, consider the trademark claim as a violation of 6.5.

  5. Chuck Moulton

    Tom Knapp wrote (@3):

    Neither one of those organizations was created, or selected its officers, in conformity with the previous bylaws, because those previous bylaws foundered and sank on convention quorum requirements and such.

    Wagner’s organization ATTEMPTED to organize itself pursuant to Oregon state law as it relates to political parties.

    It’s fairly evident that Wagner did not conform to state law at all because the state law he cited did not apply to the organization. The cited pages in document 2 show this very clearly. Whether Wagner knew it didn’t apply or not ex ante may be relevant to show he had no malicious intent, but would not somehow make his throwing out of the bylaws a proper action.

    In contrast, the post convention state central committee meeting on May 21 filling vacancies of officers procedurally seems to be entirely consistent with the bylaws. The only questions looming about that meeting in my mind is which counties were entitled to representation and who their proper representatives were.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck @ 6,

    “It’s fairly evident that Wagner did not conform to state law at all because the state law he cited did not apply to the organization”

    It applies to the organization aspirationally.

    The Oregon Libertarian Party purports to be a political party. Presumably it intends to be a “major” political party. And functioning as a political party is clearly part of what the “purpose” section of the bylaws speaks to. Wagner’s group therefore made a good faith effort to organize and operate in conformity with the laws as they relate to those institutions.

    “the post convention state central committee meeting on May 21 filling vacancies of officers procedurally seems to be entirely consistent with the bylaws”

    You can’t have a post convention meeting without first having a convention.

    A meeting of non-members of the state central committee is not a meeting of the state central committee.

    Your statement is the equivalent of “the post-Easter Mass celebrated on Palm Sunday by the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be entirely consistent with the canon law of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.”

  7. George Phillies

    The parliamentary arguments are flaky from the beginning, because they are about the wrong topic.

    The notion that you should identify the party group that will be more effective in advancing politically seems to be missing.

    Why anyone in their right mind would elect to support a “libertarian” state committee composed in fair part of Republicans is unclear.

  8. paulie

    It’s fairly evident that Wagner did not conform to state law at all because the state law he cited did not apply to the organization. The cited pages in document 2 show this very clearly. Whether Wagner knew it didn’t apply or not ex ante may be relevant to show he had no malicious intent, but would not somehow make his throwing out of the bylaws a proper action.

    The brief does make that case. I haven’t heard a counter to that yet, if there is one.

    In contrast, the post convention state central committee meeting on May 21 filling vacancies of officers procedurally seems to be entirely consistent with the bylaws. The only questions looming about that meeting in my mind is which counties were entitled to representation and who their proper representatives were.

    According to Wagner and co., people were counted for the purpose of that quorum who had already resigned earlier. That would seem to be a problem if true. I’m not sure about the issue of county chairs who had not allowed elections for their office in years; it may be that those are smaller counties where no one else was willing and able to be county chair, or it may be a real problem. Also, I’m still not clear as to whether that meeting was supposed to be scheduled. If it was supposed to be scheduled at the end of a convention, and the convention did not take place due to lack of quorum, is there an end of the convention after which this meeting could take place, or could it take place even in the absence of a convention?

  9. Chuck Moulton

    Tom Knapp wrote (@7):

    It applies to the organization aspirationally.

    The Oregon Libertarian Party purports to be a political party. Presumably it intends to be a “major” political party. And functioning as a political party is clearly part of what the “purpose” section of the bylaws speaks to. Wagner’s group therefore made a good faith effort to organize and operate in conformity with the laws as they relate to those institutions.

    I have no problem with a state party amending its bylaws to act more like a major party. But what is at issue here is whether the state committee was authorized to amend the bylaws, not whether the amended version of the bylaws are better than the unamended version. If the LPO wanted to get bylaws conforming to major party organization (even though they are not currently a major party), then pass such bylaws in convention.

    Saying I want to be a fish doesn’t suddenly give me the ability to breathe underwater.

    Tom Knapp wrote (@7):

    You can’t have a post convention meeting without first having a convention.

    Yes. And there was a convention. No business was conducted due to lack of a quorum and it immediately adjourned. That doesn’t make it not a convention.

    Tom Knapp wrote (@7):

    A meeting of non-members of the state central committee is not a meeting of the state central committee.

    I agree. I’m not in a position to judge the credentials of people involved in that meeting. That’s a factual question that can be answered by people in Oregon.

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    Re Chuck’s comment; from what I hear there were at least three people at the May 21st meeting whose qualifications for participating are questionable, but they are being counted towards the quorum and there may be other problems. For the record I have a few friends in Oregon who call me and keep me informed as to what is going on.

    It is doubtful if any of this would be happening if some effort was being put into growing the party instead of playing control games.

    One has to wonder what kind of organization we have here to begin with. Some person send $50 to the D.C. office and they in turn send this person’s name to a group of people who are more interested in playing games then getting any work done. Where I come from in the business world that’s called misrepresentation and it is a serious problem.

    Maybe the national office needs a new letter; “Dear new guy. Thanks for the money. You’ll find our internal squabbles more fun to fight than anything dealing with the real problems in our society. You’ll also find that we make a unique use of Robert’s Rules. Instead of encouraging people to participate some of us like to use them to restrict participation, p.s send more money.”

  11. Kleptocracy and You

    @11 MHW gives the best line yet of the THOUSANDS so far !

    “It is doubtful if any of this would be happening if some effort was being put into growing the party instead of playing control games.”

    Truth in a nutshell !!!

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Oregon LP Presidential Vote History (source Dave Leip’s Atlas of United States Presidential Elections )

    1972 – Not Availiable (NA) – Write In ? (WI?)
    1976 – NA – WI?
    1980 – 25,838 2.19 %
    1984 – NA – WI?
    1988 – 14,811 1.23 %
    1992 – _4,277 0.39 %
    1996 – _8,903 0.65 %
    2000 – _7,447 0.49 %
    2004 – _7,260 0.40 %
    2008 – _7,635 0.42 %

    Yes using the little gray cells on ^increasing^ these totals would be much more productive !

    *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*

    2011 Libertarian Party Candidates

    Connecticut

    Rich Lion
    Manchester City Council

    Hawaii

    Daniel de Gracia
    Honolulu County Neighborhood Board, Hawaii

    Illinois

    Karen Green
    Bloomington City Council Ward 2

    Phone: 309-828-9828
    Web: http://www.karen4ward2.com
    E-mail: Karen@Karen4Ward2.com

    Jeff Ready
    Bloomington City Council Ward 6

    Phone: 309-319-0856

    Doug Marks
    Carpentersville Village Trustee

    Phone: 847-428-8349

    Elected: Yes

    J.D. Horton
    Grayville Mayor

    Don Stover
    Greenville City Council

    Brian Sasso
    Lincoln-Way High School Board

    Karin Vermillion
    Mahomet Library Board

    Elected: Yes

    Steve Hellin
    O’Fallon District 90 School Board

    Elected: Yes

    Edwin Everly
    Rantoul Township High School Board

    Phone: 217-390-4695
    E-mail: edwineverly@hotmail.com

  12. Kleptocracy and You

    Dr.P @ 13 and all other interested Ls:

    If Mr. Wagner has the ballot access they would be WISE to do so !

    CP in CA in ’08 ring any bells to anyone ? No ballot access, NO play O !!

  13. Michael H. Wilson

    There will be a need to call a convention when Congressman Wu resigns. The question then becomes who is going to sign the nomination paperwork and who will the state recognize.

    Almost could have told you this was going to happen. Almost looks like it was planned and it is too damn comical.

  14. Wes Wagner

    MW @15

    We will be calling a convention of electors per state law for the 1st district. We are also candidate shopping right now and trying to make sure there is more than one choice just in case volunteers don’t emerge from the woodwork. The SoS will accept any nomination paperwork I sign.

    The only reason there would not be a libertarian 1st district candidate would be if no one was willing to do it. At least 2 people I know have already committed to running a paper candidacy and minimal campaign just to ensure we don’t have a blank ballot. We are working towards better than that.

    One person has expressed interest provided we could provide 3 full time volunteers to help run their campaign staff. Since most of us are professionals and have day jobs, that is rough… but if you know some people who can fit that bill, let us know.

  15. Sane LP member

    Poor ole George just lives for controversy doesn’t he. Kind of like the odd uncle that shows up at family events.

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  17. Steven Wilson

    @20

    Jonestown was never that robotically colorful. It is a shame the party is so small, otherwise, this would make a very good reality series.

    Alicia is right. Although in character, she is right.

  18. paulie

    CP in CA in ’08 ring any bells to anyone ? No ballot access, NO play O !!

    True, although the LNC can much more realistically get ballot access for the Reeves group, if that proves to be what they end up doing, than the CP could get CA ballot access on its own without AIP. Of course, we should hope that such a step can be avoided, however.

  19. Gains

    Appeals? Like when California heard mine and they allowed me back into my position to where I could be put around kids and created a political version of my personal flophouse. I’m on the Megan’s law website under my real name, Matthew Barnes of course. That’s where you can read about how I molested three boy scouts aged 11, 12, and 13 that I was put in charge of. Have you seen the people I surround myself with in San Berdoo?. Their admission to my cult was not free, believe me. Fortunately this party is filled with losers who let me stay.

    I’d like to thank Mark Hinkle for making it all possible.

  20. Concerned Chuck and Hetro Harry

    “Fourteen LNC Members Arrested for Thought Crimes Against the Christian Kingdom of America and Promptly Executed”

    You’ll see that article title on this very site before long, folks. We, middle america, are coming and we don’t take kindly to your kind existing. Better burn those Books of Mormon, Qurans, and Consciences of a Rootitarian books before it’s too late!

  21. JT

    SLPM: “Poor ole George just lives for controversy doesn’t he. Kind of like the odd uncle that shows up at family events.”

    That’s a funny analogy. I don’t know if Phillies lives for controversy in general, but he does love to criticize the LNC (not every individual on it) for virtually everything it does. He has for years, no matter who has sat on it. Of course, that has great appeal to perennial critics of the LNC who hate–or are at least deeply suspicious of–central authority in any context whatsoever.

    Fortunately, most Libertarian delegates don’t want Phillies as a national officer or presidential nominee (he loses by a mile every time he runs, which is constant), so just consider him an arrogant crank. I like to think of him as the Lyndon LaRouche of the Libertarian Party.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    27 mhw, yes, the opportunity costs! What DOESN’T get done! Always the better question.

    What are the things that are not getting done? Why are they not getting done? What IS getting done and at what cost? How to harness certain energies and resources for more impact, that is the question. What are the obstacles to the next level?

    I suspect you’d get many different takes on all these questions. If the foundation is built on sand, for ex., you get an edifice in need of constant repair…

  23. JT

    Wilson: “I dunno JT maybe some of us are critical of what doesn’t get done. Ever think of it that way?”

    There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism of the LNC from LP members. The LNC is beholden to the membership, after all, so judging LNC activities and performance are appropriate.

    That being said, I can’t recall a time when Phillies has praised the LNC for doing something right–he’s perpetually leveling accusations about how incompetent and/or corrupt most LNC members are. (Remember: These are people who volunteer their time for the party without pay, and they do work that much of the time is rather boring.)

    So okay, he can continue to believe that he should be running the show himself and to attack anyone who disagrees with him on issues. And most Libertarians can continue to treat him like LaRouche. He’s earned it.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT,

    I disagree vehemently with Dr. Phillies on a number of issues, and have stridently attacked him on some of those issues (example).

    Yet I can’t think of a single example of him attacking me.

    Perhaps the reasons for the attacks he makes is something other than just disagreement. Perhaps he has a fundamental conflict with the LNC’s whole approach.

    Given that that approach — claiming ownership of things it does not own, control of things it doesn’t control, and catering to a faction that claims to have a magic wand with which it can get around the bylaws by playing administrative games or invoking at most semi-applicable mantras from RONR — is both inherently FUBAR and pure poison for the Libertarian Party, I tend to agree with him on that particular thing.

  25. JT

    I was wondering when you’d weigh in here, Tom. I thought it would be sooner.

    Knapp: “Yet I can’t think of a single example of him attacking me.”

    You aren’t analogous to the central authority of the Libertarian Party. Nor has he ever run to be the person who makes decisions for your life.

    Knapp: “Perhaps the reasons for the attacks he makes is something other than just disagreement. Perhaps he has a fundamental conflict with the LNC’s whole approach.”

    Perhaps. And perhaps I and other Libertarians have a fundamental conflict with his approach to the LNC’s approach.

    Knapp: “Given that that approach — claiming ownership of things it does not own, control of things it doesn’t control, and catering to a faction that claims to have a magic wand with which it can get around the bylaws by playing administrative games or invoking at most semi-applicable mantras from RONR — is both inherently FUBAR and pure poison for the Libertarian Party, I tend to agree with him on that particular thing.”

    I honestly don’t know how anyone could read the response from the LNC ExCom above and not think it’s reasonable.

    But regardless of that, I think it’s odd when a Libertarian thinks virtually every decision the LNC makes is the wrong one–even spanning many years when different people have sat on it. Phillies jumps to conclusions constantly and seems eager to condemn people. I can’t say I’m certain of his motive, but I can say I dislike his attitude.

    But that’s okay, because Phillies hasn’t been gaining any traction amongst Libertarian delegates, as far as I can tell, despite his longtime zealous crusade. And I hope he never will.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 31,

    You are correct that Phillies hasn’t gained any traction amongst Libertarian (convention) delegates over the course of his several runs for LNC chair, and probably isn’t about to begin gaining any.

    The national party has paid an extremely high price for those delegates’ naivete and credulity.

    Fortunately, that can’t go on much longer.

  27. George Phillies

    The party is losing members. Wes Benedict’s intervention method, as noted by Mary Ruwart, has run out of targets.

    When it’s mostly new delegates each time, it gets easier to sell people on new lines.

  28. JT

    Knapp: “The national party has paid an extremely high price for those delegates’ naivete and credulity. ”

    And America has paid an extremely high price for not electing LaRouche President. I wish American voters weren’t so naive in that way.

    Knapp: “Fortunately, that can’t go on much longer.”

    Fortunately, George Phillies isn’t the LP’s savior.

    Phillies: “When it’s mostly new delegates each time, it gets easier to sell people on new lines.”

    It does? Have your vote totals gone up consistently? Given your penchant for running, you must have been very close to winning last time.

    I didn’t mean to make this into a George Phillies thread. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    30 tk: Perhaps the reasons for the attacks [Phillies] makes is something other than just disagreement. Perhaps he has a fundamental conflict with the LNC’s whole approach.

    me: This LNC-as-a-Darth-Vader-Institution (regardless of the LNCer’s ideology) is SO inside baseball that, I suspect, most Ls don’t care about much. Getting Ls spun up about obscure history and Byzantine rules is not what attracts liberty lovers to a 3rd party. On seeing the petty wrangling over strange interpretations of mouse-nuts matters, is it any wonder that people move along?

  30. paulie

    I disagree vehemently with Dr. Phillies on a number of issues, and have stridently attacked him on some of those issues (example).

    Yet I can’t think of a single example of him attacking me.

    You were not on the LNC at that time or since then.

    Perhaps the reasons for the attacks he makes is something other than just disagreement. Perhaps he has a fundamental conflict with the LNC’s whole approach.

    Given that that approach — claiming ownership of things it does not own, control of things it doesn’t control, and catering to a faction that claims to have a magic wand with which it can get around the bylaws by playing administrative games or invoking at most semi-applicable mantras from RONR — is both inherently FUBAR and pure poison for the Libertarian Party, I tend to agree with him on that particular thing.

    Dr. Phillies was a strident critics of the Browne-Bergland era LNC as well, no?

  31. paulie

    On seeing the petty wrangling over strange interpretations of mouse-nuts matters, is it any wonder that people move along?

    It is a wonder that more don’t.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @35,

    You write:

    “This LNC-as-a-Darth-Vader-Institution (regardless of the LNCer’s ideology) is SO inside baseball”

    I’m not sure where you even get the “this” you’re referring to. From your vivid imagination, perhaps?

    You claim that the LP’s “dysfunction” is that some of its members want less government, more quickly, than you think is saleable to the voting public.

    Phillies claims that the LP’s “dysfunction” is a national organization that emphasizes membership recruitment at the expense of local organization (with attendant side effects such as an LNC that can’t seem to get its mind around the fact that it doesn’t own its affiliates).

    Personally I think the LP suffers from a number of dysfunctions, but that fixing any or all of them wouldn’t make a huge difference in terms of allowing it to achieve its goals.

    And on a relative scale, on the basis of the available data, I find Phillies’s diagnosis much more reasonable and compelling than yours.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 37,

    You write:

    “You were not on the LNC at that time or since then.”

    I was on the LNC as an alternate for a brief period, at a time when he was critical of its actions. And I took issue with at least one of his critiques of it during that period (the character, actions and motives of Jim Lark as LNC chair). And he did not attack me for it.

    Does Dr. Phillies engage in polemic? Absolutely. No more so than his opponents, though.

  34. George Phillies

    @37

    Yes, I did published detailed reports on where their money went. You can read them in my book “Funding Liberty” http://3mpub.com/phillies

    And then there were the people who were raising money to pay off vendors, they seemed to say, and give it to each other. Actually I did not discover that one; one of the local newspapers did.

    It is unnecessary to be strident when you are pointing out facts.

    And when I got to moderate a debate of our Presidential candidates, I got to ask them about fundraising. Organization. Ballot access.

  35. paulie

    does anybody else think of the Keaton/Starr photo shop everytime Darth Vader is mentioned??

    Didn’t think of it until you just mentioned it.

  36. paulie

    I was on the LNC as an alternate for a brief period, at a time when he was critical of its actions. And I took issue with at least one of his critiques of it during that period (the character, actions and motives of Jim Lark as LNC chair). And he did not attack me for it.

    Weren’t you part of the “clean slate” that Phillies supported?

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 44,

    Yes, I was a candidate for regional rep on the “Clean Slate” in 2000. I was not, however, elected.

    In 2001, when the regional rep (Mike Dixon) moved out of the region and resigned, the alternate (Mark Nelson) became the rep, and I became the alternate.

    I resigned that position in December 2001, partly for personal (financial, etc.) reasons and partly from disappointment over the LNC’s very mixed, ineffectual resolution on Afghanistan. More the former than the latter.

    Serving on the LNC involves considerable financial expenses and an unbelievable amount of time. I’ll criticize their decisions all day long, but you won’t ever hear me questioning the dedication of an LNC member who actually makes it to the meetings.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    39 tk, everything is dysfunctional to some extent. What the LP is attempting to do is profoundly difficult. My impression is that Phillies and you have critiques of how the party is organized, and I cannot say that you are incorrect, as a general proposition. Given the lack of economies of scale, I would lean more national than state, though. Many state LPs are barely- to non-existent.

    Could be, though, that reforming the LP’s structure would allow the organization to flourish MORE THAN changing the party’s center of ideological gravity from the fringes to the edges. It’s not per se, btw, that some Ls think the fringes is the place to be. It’s my opinion that there are not enough Ls who think the edge is the place to be.

    Neither reform seems in the offing, and so neither will be put to the test. That’s seems to me to be unfortunate, given the wider political climate, which in my estimation ripens by the day for a message of liberty across the board.

    “We all want to change the world” AND “we’re all doing what we can.”

    Procedure doesn’t especially interest me, so that’s my bias. Positive ideas well sold can overcome procedural impediments, IMO.

  39. Kevin Knedler

    About $3,500 to $5,000 a year is about right for expenses to be on the LNC. 3 to 4 meetings a year, not counting phone conferences and a national convention every other year. Just FYI

  40. Robert Capozzi

    kk 48, you must be taking limos from the airport! 😉

    Seriously, I appreciate the personal expenses you and your colleagues incur in service of liberty.

  41. AroundtheblockAFT

    Assume the LP is in competition with Baskin- Robbins. We know the public loves ice cream.
    But we consider vanilla and chocolate to be “evil” flavors. So we offer three flavors
    (to appease all our factions): turnip, brocolli, and onion. Because they taste pretty bad to most folks, but not us, very few customers visit our parlors. Admittedly, vanilla and chocolate are evil flavors, but are there ways to improve our product so it will find favor with more customers? Who knows?…our board argues about whether the servers should wear golf style caps or hairnets. That’s fine if we want to remain a struggling boutique ice cream parlor, but not if we expect to challenge, as we claim, Baskins-Robbins. Improve the product, folks!
    Improve the marketing campaign!

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    AtbAFT @50,

    Not a bad analogy, but let’s work on it a bit.

    You’ve started up a new chain of ice cream parlors.

    Two existing chains have controlled 95% of the market for more than a century and have locations in every major population center. One sells chocolate, one sells vanilla.

    Those two existing chains have negotiated agreements with all of those population centers’ governments to routinely deny you the permits, zoning variances, etc., required to open your own locations, or to make you jump through extensive and expensive hoops to get those things.

    Furthermore, the National Ice Cream Sales and Consumption Board has, for some reason, mandated that while you may MARKET your ice cream to your heart’s content, you may only actually give the ice cream to the customers if a plurality of all customers have chosen your parlor rather than one of the others. The parlor that sells the most ice cream gets all the money. Its customers get ice cream. The customers at the losing parlors go hungry.

    If all the ice cream is the same, why the hell would you order your ice cream at a place where you have a ~1% chance of actually getting it, when you could just as easily order it at a place where you have a nearly 50% chance of getting it?

    Your only shot is to come up with a new flavor that the other parlors don’t offer, and that the customers find so tempting they will trade a 50% chance of chocolate or vanilla for a 1% chance at what you’re selling.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    51 tk: …why the hell would you order your ice cream at a place where you have a ~1% chance of actually getting it, when you could just as easily order it at a place where you have a nearly 50% chance of getting it?

    me: You realize that you’re not getting chocolate or vanilla, but chocolate or vanilla flavored poison. You realize that no matter which you vote for, you’re gonna get what you’re gonna get. You realize that you like some chocolate, some vanilla AND some strawberry. You won’t bother with another option, however, if the promise is: Eat our ice cream and you’ll be able to walk on water.

  44. George Phillies

    @49 The number per meeting in @48 sounds about right. $500 round trip air fare, most of the time, is about what you can get, plus two or three nights in a hotel, plus somewhat more expensive meals, plus travel to and from the airport to the hotel. That’s assuming you live near a major airport that is not a hub for one airline. If you are, it is blind luck whether it is cheap, because it is a hub, or very expensive to fly, because it is a hub. I have seen both with hub airports, in fact the same hub airport (St Louis).

    National Convention? Not the way I do national conventions. However, I believe many of you have enjoyed my hospitality.

  45. LibertarianGirl

    ” And I took issue with at least one of his critiques of it during that period (the character, actions and motives of Jim Lark as LNC chair). And he did not attack me for it.”

    me_ nobody better talk shit about Lark when Im around , to me he is one of the unquestionably honest , fair and awesome LPer’s. I LOVE ME SOME JIM LARK! I think irregardless the Chair takes blame for not taking sides or appearing to take a side and being accused of this or that.

    For instance in this debacle Hinkle is pretty much accused of being with the Reformers , maneuvering for the “starr cabal” (I use this term as others would- i myself find it comical)..

    but Nolan nominated him and I met him and his family and in no way did I get this impression this was true , in fact w/o revealing conversations I would say the exact opposite . He is however going to conduct hisself as Chair w-in the interpretation of the rules as he sees them , whether or not this pisses or pleases anyone.

  46. Michael H. Wilson

    Kevin if you are still reading this then I have a few words.

    The problem is that our ice cream is old and moldy. The stock hasn’t been refreshed. There are new products on the market and we are seriously out of date.

    May I bring up what I think may be at the heart of this issue? Thank you. Much of the information we have on the LP website is out of date. That should be seriously out of date.

    I have tried to get across to some on the national committee for about four or five years the fact that we have out of date information up on the site for some years. Obviously I am a poor communicator because I have not gotten my message across. I have even sent in a piece and received no response Now my piece may be crappy, and had a nasty typo in it, but at least I attempted to do something and received no reply.

    Under the issue page we have a piece that list a number of issues and there we will find “foreign policy”. Under that subtitle we have a piece by Michael Tanner that must have been written about 1994 and it only discusses foreign aid. Under “poverty and welfare” we have a comment in section 1; that reads; “We should eliminate the entire social welfare system. This includes eliminating AFDC,”. For the record AFDC was eliminated in 1996 and replaced with TANF; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Then under Health Care we want to make MSA 100% tax deductable and under “Poverty and Welfare” we want to “Establish a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to private charity”. The last time I looked the LP wanted to get rid of the income tax. If that is the case deductions and tax credits are at cross purposes to our goals.

    And finally under the “Taxes” issues we have “Defend America: Cut Taxes Military expenses are over $250 billion a year!” Presently military expenditures are around $650 billion for the DoD and with the other agencies and Departments tossed in we get about $1 trillion.

    I have suggested a solution where we ask the general membership to develop and keep our material fresh much as Wikipedia does. So far no results. Personally I find this discouraging to say the least, but the party wants me to pay my dues. Why should I?

  47. Kevin Knedler

    @ # 56. At the heart of my upcoming suggestion to LP will be a complete revamp of IT, web site, and back-end database. What we have is seriously in need of refreshing. Meanwhile the state affiliates are like “50 laboratories” and they are trying to figure it out. This should be an “A” priority to fix and get this off the plates of the state affiliates. A central platform is needed and states can opt in if they want.
    BTW: I am horrible at hi-tech, I still have my 8-tracks and VHS at home, and have no use for I-tunes, or DVD, or whatever. And, yet I see need for serious work to address the IT issue.

    KJK

  48. Robert Capozzi

    53 gp, yes, agreed. The bracket probably slides to $3600-$5100 with a car service instead of a taxi…
    🙂

  49. JT

    Phillies: “I think I may have to start circulating my Funding Liberty book again, enough to show that JT is in error.”

    I’ve read excerpts of it and wasn’t impressed. But my comments went well beyond your “book” anyway. I stand behind everything I’ve said here.

  50. Brian Holtz

    Michael Wilson wrote:

    MW) I have suggested a solution where we ask the general membership to develop and keep our material fresh much as Wikipedia does. So far no results. (MW

    I bet if you and other members crafted updated and high-quality issue pages at http://lpedia.org/Category:Issues, then the LPHQ staff would seriously consider using them on lp.org.

    ATBAFT) Improve the marketing campaign!

    OK:

  51. AroundtheblockAFT

    #60 : sounds yummy with those clever bumperstickers. But it is still turnip ice cream that is at least half disgusting to Red and Blue teamers. Mind changing arguments don’t fit on bumperstickers I’m afraid. “Why should I care about the Constitution written over 200 years ago?” “Who cares what a slave-owner like Jefferson said?’ “Why should one be pro-choice on everything; I need a little regulation from the experts so I don’t get gypped or make a bad choice.” “People will starve if I don’t vote to force others to pay their taxes for welfare programs.” We don’t need everyone taking von Mises to the beach, but we need far more citizens who basically understand that their well-being has a positive stake in individual liberty and the free market rather than nannyism and
    command markets.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    I guess it is about time for the “we need an IT revamp” thing again, isn’t it? That one comes around every 7-10 years

    Not saying the LNC doesn’t need an IT revamp, but the process usually seems to resemble a Godzilla move (a bunch of people talk excitedly in a language English-speakers can’t understand, then get stomped flat by an unexpected monster).

  53. Brian Holtz

    ATB) Mind changing arguments don’t fit on bumperstickers (ATB

    Mind-changing is not so much a property of arguments, as it is of (argument, mind) pairs. Waiting for a silver bullet that works on every werewolf is exactly what the next werewolf wants you to do.

    The bullet that worked on me was when Milton Friedman’s “Free To Choose” series aired on PBS in 1980. The modern equivalent would be John Stossel’s show, which reaches about 2 million people every week.

  54. LibertarianGirl

    “Waiting for a silver bullet that works on every werewolf is exactly what the next werewolf wants you to do.”

    excellent analogy! Brian , whats your take on what the LNC is doing regarding this..?

  55. George Phillies

    @62 I believe we have had two or three in 10 years. One came with licensing so every state party could use the code. That’s gone. If a membership database system is included as IT, this time for a change *start* with user input.

  56. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian @ 60 I wrote a piece and submitted up the food chain as I was instructed.

    Maybe it got lost because I was always told one of the best business habits was responding to you mail with at least a thank you even if you couldn’t stand the person and I never received so much a rejection slip.

  57. Brian Holtz

    LG, I can’t comment as I’m on the Judicial Committee.

    MW, I was hoping you’d post your content so that other Libertarians could reuse/improve it. I thought that’s what you meant when you mentioned Wikipedia.

  58. Michael H. Wilson

    Okay I posted it. Not sure I knew what I was doing and rushed it since I am involved with something else at the moment. I notice that my name needs to be fixed. There is a somewhat different version on my blog. Have fun.
    MW

  59. Chuck Moulton

    Kevin Knedler wrote (@57):

    At the heart of my upcoming suggestion to LP will be a complete revamp of IT, web site, and back-end database.

    This has the potential to be a total trainwreck. In fact, based on past experience it’s the most likely outcome.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consult people with some institutional memory and tread carefully!!!

    The LNC / LPHQ completely redoes the website every few years. Every time they add some good new features, get rid of a lot of useful old features, and fail to ever get input from the people who use the website. The website has been redone 3 times in the past decade. Maybe 4.

    The last time the database was overhauled (Raiser’s Edge) it set states back by 5-10 years. Interfacing with states became practically impossible, so states that relied on national for their data dumps were left with nothing useable for years. This has finally leveled off, but many years of activism were lost, many state database administrators up and quit rather than dealing with all the hassle, and there is still some old functionality that is not included in the new dumps. Raiser’s Edge isn’t really even a good product for the national staff. It is designed for much larger organizations and it was a total waste of money. People who had experience with Raiser’s Edge ex ante knew it would be terrible; unfortunately their advice was not heeded.

    Even if national somehow manages to get a much improved website and database, they need to take into account the transition process. It’s usually during a long, painful transition that much money and time is wasted.

    Stewart Flood has a pretty good head on his shoulders for IT and database issues. I’d suggest carefully listening to his take on things. Also be sure to include state activists in the design phase and the transition plan. Oh, by implication: have a design phase. National always skips that.

    Tom Knapp wrote (@62):

    I guess it is about time for the “we need an IT revamp” thing again, isn’t it? That one comes around every 7-10 years

    Not saying the LNC doesn’t need an IT revamp, but the process usually seems to resemble a Godzilla move (a bunch of people talk excitedly in a language English-speakers can’t understand, then get stomped flat by an unexpected monster).

    Yep. See: Tom is one of those guys who has the institutional memory.

    George Phillies wrote (@65):

    @62 I believe we have had two or three in 10 years. One came with licensing so every state party could use the code. That’s gone. If a membership database system is included as IT, this time for a change *start* with user input.

    George is right on the money here! He’s another guy with the institutional memory.

    We need less top down changes that are not what the states need and just cause aggravation. Instead national should get input from state database administrators, activists, etc. and for once design a product from the very beginning that actually addresses their needs.

    If national can’t afford to buy or build the product people want, don’t waste time and money half-assing it.

    A lot of new people come into the LNC thinking they know best and no one has ever tried their silver bullet solution. (I’m not addressing this at Kevin particularly, but rather at newer LNC members in general.) Trust me: a lot of what you think is new has been tried before. If you don’t learn from past failures and separate the wheat from the chaff in past implementations, you’ll pretty much be re-inventing the wheel every time you make a decision.

    Learn the history of changes in the website / database / etc. before passing something new. And get the history from a lot of different people because you will hear many different perspectives — only by piecing them all together will you get the full story.

  60. paulie

    About $3,500 to $5,000 a year is about right for expenses to be on the LNC. 3 to 4 meetings a year, not counting phone conferences and a national convention every other year.

    That is way too much. Obviously it is your money and you can spend it as you wish, but many activists can’t afford that, and many of the ones who can in fact afford it see better uses for their money than expensive hotels, plane tickets, etc. Thank you for the dedication. However, my instincts are that there must be a better way.

  61. paulie

    I bet if you and other members crafted updated and high-quality issue pages at http://lpedia.org/Category:Issues, then the LPHQ staff would seriously consider using them on lp.org.

    As with your excellent outreach tools website, the problem is that most of the people who could use this are not aware that it exists. The fact that a website is put up and/or linked from a menu does not mean that most of its potential users will find it. There has to be quite a bit of effort to make people aware that such resources exist. Since relatively few people read IPR comments, or even IPR stories, on anything like a regular basis, I don’t just mean that, either.

  62. Wes Wagner

    CM @70

    Wow… right on the nose Chuck. There are generally considered six stages of technological evolution as you move from an IT driven model to a solutions drive model, and as you move up the paradigm you get more customer focus and at the highest end a strategic-driven customer focus.

    Absent an actual analysis of state requirements and going through an honest requirements definition, any implementation of a technology-driven architecture would be a complete disaster.

    An IT-revamp of the LP is probably a 3-4 year long project just due to the nature of how difficult a proper requirements definition would be to create in our highly distributed system and most states have no dedicated IT staff with that level of experience so it would require extensive meetings since you could not just ask them to submit a requirements document.

  63. Michael H. Wilson

    I don’t know where Kevin was intending to go with his comments, but with mine @ 56 I was just pointing out that some of the information we have on issues needs to be seriously up dated. There shouldn’t be too much work doing that.

    Just take one step at a time.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    An IT reboot COULD be cheap (or at least cheaper), more powerful and flexible, and more stable for the long-term this time around, if the committee putting together the requirements will emphasize the following:

    – All major components open source/non-proprietary.

    – All major components with a large installed base of users.

    – All major components in continuous post-launch development for a minimum of five years.

    When you go with a solution that’s fairly new, that’s proprietary, that five people have ever heard of and three of them are the people who wrote it and are trying to sell it to you, there are just too many things to go wrong and you have too few options for fixing them.

    If I was building a general membership/web site solution for a large political non-profit right now, I doubt I’d look further than CiviCRM for membership and either Drupal or Joomla for site dev.

    They’re free — no huge up-front software/licensing costs.

    They’ve been around for awhile. They’re not going to evaporate/disappear tomorrow.

    Bazillions of people work with them. You’re not tied to one contractor. If the people you’re using can’t get the job done, you can find other people who know the product, and competition keeps the costs down.

  65. Kevin Knedler

    LSLA Friday, August 19 only. It is a meeting to make up for the cancelled event from earlier in 2011.
    LNC Saturday AND Sunday, August 20 and 21.

    Same Hyatt Hotel on High Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio

  66. Michael H. Wilson

    Kevin I see that an hour and a half is for building state organizations. Is that going to be taped? It would be nice to have a video or at least an outline of what is presented. This needs to be available in booklet form and/or run in the news letter.

  67. paulie

    Kevin I see that an hour and a half is for building state organizations. Is that going to be taped? It would be nice to have a video or at least an outline of what is presented. This needs to be available in booklet form and/or run in the news letter.

    If anyone can be there to tape and/or broadcast please let us know.

  68. paulie

    Anyone here going to LSLA that wants to split a room Thursday night? I don’t have a room yet.

    At this point I’m probably not going, since I’m out west and don’t fly, but if plans change and I am in the area I would like to crash on someone’s floor or spare bed if possible. It will be a last minute thing if it happens, which it probably won’t.

  69. George Phillies

    Liberty For America, hopefully out today, will cover these events in detail. In particular, it will cover the LNC Chair’s claim to my State Chair that no one was pursuing any URLs, made only a week after the very same LNC Chair had asked the LNC attorney about suing to procure the LP-Oregon URL.

    In messages to the LNC to several specific LNC members, Hinkle also advances contradictory statements as to why the ExComm acted.

    All to be covered in Liberty for America, August issue.

  70. Kevin Knedler

    Internal password protected “DropBox” or similiar for state chairs of LP. We need “training materials” section. Not visible by other third parties — let them figure it out for themselves.
    That’s how we do it in Ohio.

  71. Kevin Knedler

    Over 60 attending the LSLA in Columbus, Ohio on August 19. Nice size group.

  72. Kevin Knedler

    @ 93
    The point is they can do their own work, instead of coat tailing the LP.

  73. Liberty for America

    @94

    Typical shallow LNC thinking.

    The point is that when they duplicate our work, rather than chipping away at opposition D and R parties, they are not advancing our position.

    There are good reasons to do joint ballot access suits with other parties with money: They reduce our costs.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    95 LfA, I’d like to see the math. Also, I’d like to see the dynamics in this exercise. Does national have scope and scale that state LPs don’t? Can national be more strategic in where to put resources for maximum effect? Is the incentive structure for national closer to correct in the sense that maximum ballot access lifts the entire party nationally (eg, is it good for liberty if the LP is on, say, 48 ballots)? Can national marshall and deploy more resources faster than a state can?

    I don’t know the answers nor the track record. Intuitively, though, it seems better coordinated nationally, as the US is a nation, and the government is most intrusive at the national level…

    We’d need to see the ROIs to hazard an informed guess, of course. It could be that some states should handle ballot access, with national coordinating the tough states, not sure.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    For ex., say one state, say MA, gets on the ballot but 49 don’t, to take the extreme. That MAY seem “good” for MA, but I’d say it’s not, not really.

  76. Kevin Knedler

    @ 95
    You work your side of the street and I will work mine. It works for me.

  77. Michael H. Wilson

    One of the great models of corporations that I have followed over the years has been Lincoln Electric where they have made it a habit to talk to their employees regularly since the 1930s. The LP needs to learn to talk to and listen to its membership. Here is hoping that is one thing that people will develop in this party over the next few years.

  78. paulie

    @ 84. Yes it will be taped by LP national office staff.

    They usually do not make that available to us. I meant by anyone else that would share with IPR.

  79. paulie

    Kevin,

    I don’t share your concern that other parties will benefit from video of LSLA and/or LNC. Other training materials from Ds and Rs and their front groups are already available. It is more likely that it might benefit libertarians who don’t have the time and/or money to be there that weekend.

  80. George Phillies

    The LNC was presented with teh advice of their state chairs on when the next National convention should be held. The opinion of the LNC was substantially opposite to the state chairs. The LNC is not even in touch with teh people who directly elect its regional reps.

    This coming weekend the LNC will be acting on choosing a future national convention site. The report of the convention committee is being kept secret from some members of the LNC, in at least some cases the LNC members who did not support the disaffiliation action against Oregon.

  81. Michael H. Wilson

    re 103. One the great forms of government or maybe that should be governing, in the U.S. is the town hall meeting which occurs in many places in the New England states. One of the more interesting is the one in Brookline, Mass were about 250 townsmen come together as the people’s representatives and vote on the town budget and other issues. With a population of about 60,000 that works out to be one representative for every 250 residents.

    Libertarians could learn a lot from ideas like that.

  82. paulie

    I meant by anyone else that would share with IPR.

    Please let us know. A broadcast of the LNC meeting would be interesting….

  83. JT

    Phillies: “The LNC was presented with teh advice of their state chairs on when the next National convention should be held. The opinion of the LNC was substantially opposite to the state chairs. The LNC is not even in touch with teh people who directly elect its regional reps.”

    Yet another LNC criticism from George Phillies. Shocking.

    The LNC is the body empowered to make decisions about the national convention. Just because it gets input from State Chairs doesn’t mean it should do what they say if most LNC members think there’s a better option.

    Phillies: “This coming weekend the LNC will be acting on choosing a future national convention site. The report of the convention committee is being kept secret from some members of the LNC, in at least some cases the LNC members who did not support the disaffiliation action against Oregon.”

    Being “kept secret” until the meeting? How horrible! Clearly this is evidence of malfeasance.

    There was no “disaffiliation action” against the Oregon LP. There was only a decision in an ugly internal dispute regarding who were the rightful officers of a body affiliated with the LPUS.

  84. Kevin Knedler

    Totally opposite eh? Since I was the one that created the survey that went to state chairs and LNC, I should know a little about this. The state chairs clearly came in on the side of “saving money, lowest rates, etc”. They didnt’ say it had to be on a holiday or non-holiday weekend.
    SO HOW do you know the LNC is doing the opposite, if the information is so private?
    The LNC COC has worked for months on this 2014 project, starting with 42 properties for bid. That is an all time record! Why? Maybe because I pushed the idea of working out about 3 to 4 years on the conventions, instead of waiting. The farther out you work, the better leverage you have. Jezz, armchair quarterbacks are already lining up.

  85. Don Lake, strategically ..........

    Kevin Knedler // Aug 18, 2011:
    ” ……….armchair quarterbacks are already lining up.”

    [Lake: we are talkin bout the LP, America’s most irritating on going debating society! Oh, the potential you guys have lost over the decades! And now W. A. R.]

  86. Don Lake, strategically ..........

    Kevin Knedler // Aug 18, 2011:
    ” ……….armchair quarterbacks are already lining up.”

    Liberty for ‘Merica =

    contact George Phillies

    phillies@4liberty.net

    508 754 1859

    New Path, The Libertarian Party is facing an existential crisis.

    Challenges are here; solutions were needed.

    That’s not quite what we got, alas.

    [Lake, I agree with so much (philosophically) width Tom Knapp and Sir George. Too bad that they have such flawed, over zealous, non factual bents. Possibly that of emotional fanatics shoving aside facts for fictions. Knapp is actually the brighter of the two, and with out the faulty arrogance of the pseudo intellectual! ]

  87. Don Lake, strategically ..........

    [Lake: Oh, Mike …………quit blaming your self for (on going) organizational deficiencies ……….]

    Michael H. Wilson // Aug 2, 2011 ” ……..I am a poor communicator because I have not gotten my message across. I have even sent in a piece and received no response …….. but at least I attempted to do something ——- and received no reply.”

    [Lake: like that has not happened for decades,from border to border and coast to coast. An oft told tale, Mike. Alas.]

  88. Pingback: Mark Hinkle Emails the LNC re: the Jud Com Ruling About Oregon | Independent Political Report

  89. Dan Reale

    Both factions of the LPO issue have an obvious common ground. We ought to do what we can to facilitate their arrival at it…

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