Forwarded by several people to myself and/or IPR, by Wagner vice chair Joe Tabor. IPR would welcome opposing perspectives if they are sent to us. Previous IPR story and links to earlier stories here. -paulie
A very important message is attached, regarding some of the problems
with a recent Executive Committee decision to effectively disaffiliate
the existing Oregon party, and the nearly assured destruction and
humiliation this could cause the party.
I have written to many of you before, as I was on the Oregon’s state
party chair, and on the chair’s Email list from March of 2008 through
September of 2008, when I resigned as state party chair to focus on
running for US Congress, where I received an astounding 3% of the vote
against 4 other candidates. Have been associated with the
Libertarian Party for over 20 years, an activist for nearly as long,
and a 5-time Libertarian candidate.
Please read and give this your consideration. Again this is important.
Also, please check over the “To” list and send to others who need to
If you feel that a disaffiliation is necessary, please read follow
your bylaws to correctly see the process through.
Thank you for your consideration.
H. Joe Tabor
To all LP State Chairs and LNC members,
I am concerned that the LNC is destroying itself by trying to disaffiliate the Oregon organization. That we all received an envelope from the national LP last month, marked “Membership Down” and “Fundraising Down” suggests that the LNC is already in trouble! Things will be much, much worse if the course of its present leadership continues.
As a 16-year activist in Oregon, I have some very important things to say regarding the past, present and future of the Libertarian party in Oregon and at National. My letter is organized as follows:
I. The Oregon Conflict, and LNC’s upcoming major embarrassment!
II. What has been fixed.
III. What is broken.
IV. Having fun fixing the broken stuff.
Part I. The Oregon Conflict and LNC’s upcoming major embarrassment!
First of all, the upcoming embarrassment: The Oregon disaffiliation and replacement shepherded by Chair Hinkle, Secretary Matson and others would put a convicted auto thief and fraudster, recently released, into the LP of Oregon Vice Chair seat! His name is Eric B. Saub, and here is one of several nice stories about his many talents:
The present LPO vice chair, H. Joe Tabor (myself) has a significantly different background — no criminal record, a registered Professional Engineer, a 5-time Libertarian candidate, winning over 3% of the vote in my U.S. Congressional race in 2008. In fact, the present LPO Board of Directors (called by some in the LNC as the Wagner faction) is made of 9 members includes 7 former candidates (6 who ran as Libertarians), whereas the self-proclaimed LPO State Committee (similarly called the Reeves faction) has no former libertarian candidates among the officers, an officer who was a Republican PCP (Precinct Committee Person) last year, and a county representative member who initiated force and broke a few state laws by grabbing the throat of our treasurer on March 31.
This replacement is only the tip of the iceberg. At present the news media perceive the Libertarian Party as ineffective, but overall composed of nice, well-meaning people. Imagine the national media attention as a crook-friendly party that cannot fix itself, replaces the present, more friendly collective public image. Will this help fundraising? Will this help membership?
This Oregon disaffiliation attempt, led by six on the LNC Executive Committee (EC), Hinkle, Mattson, and others, has been either a collaboration or an act of good faith to help an Oregon political operative, Richard Burke, who has sabotaged Libertarian candidates in favor of their Republican opponents since at least 1994. Many effective and decent people have left the state party because of this man. We know he instigated the recent actions by the EC. I am witness to the years of continuing damage by parliamentary tricks, party reorganizations for power brokering, etc., that Mr. Burke has perpetrated.
It is really telling that Mr. Burke could only find a convicted criminal when he put together a replacement for the state party he is trying to disaffiliate. This can only be because Mr. Burke has very few non-criminal friends among the 2,000,000 or so registered voters in the state of Oregon. It is also telling that while people closer to Burke in Oregon won’t go for his plans, Burke has so many friends in the National organization: at least Hinkle, Matson, and four more of the six EC members who voted for disaffiliation of Oregon, as well as M Carling — the man who helped undermine the Oregon 2009 bylaws, traveling to Oregon anytime Burke needed help in wrecking the state party during party business conventions where bylaws were reviewed and modified.
I tried to dissuade the EC from making such a foolish decision during a phone conference this July, but one of the six “force mystics” discussed the “nuclear option” regarding our state. (I like the term “force mystic” which I got from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” as a description of establishment bullies within a collapsing establishment. Can’t help but think it is really appropriate here.) Also, during the phone conversation, our “nanny-state” EC members spoke me to like a child needing help and guidance.
As I understand, the EC vote was 6 to 1 in favor of disaffiliation; hence I’m referring to the “EC Six” as the troublemakers for all of us.
Fortunately the LNC Judicial Committee overturned the EC Six decision, effectively a second time with a clarification. Unfortunately, Hinkle and Matson are pretending to put their authority over the rest of the national party and violate the bylaws by bringing this to a vote, presumably a majority vote, where a ¾ majority would normally be required. This is the kind of treachery Libertarian party candidates are trying to defeat. Aren’t we supposed to get our Libertarian candidates elected to real positions to stop all this nonsense?
So, where is the conflict?
Simply put, the Oregon conflict is a battle among about five factions of libertarians versus one dysfunctional faction that has been trying to sabotage the Libertarian Party of Oregon and its candidates for 17 years. With official changes made in Oregon, the latter faction has finally been dis-empowered, leaving the other factions to have friendly debates and share activism in areas of common interest. Six members of the EC are now trying to put the dysfunctional faction back in power.
Even though the “EC Six” are in violation of the National Party bylaws, they are trying to disaffiliate Oregon from the Libertarian Party by accusing the present and state-recognized Oregon faction (Wes, myself, Mark Vetanen and others) solely on the supposed grounds of violating our own Oregon bylaws.
Now it’s time to explain the paradoxical 2009 Oregon Bylaws!
The Oregon Bylaws were updated in 2009, with a lot of “help” from national operative, M Carling, a Roberts’ Rules parliamentary expert who at the time was a member (out of state) of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, who often traveled to Oregon to participate in our many business meetings, including the March 13th LPO business convention this year. According to Hinkle, Mattson, Carling, Burke, and his convicted criminal friend, these 2009 bylaws are current, not the 2011 LPO bylaws adopted on March 31 of this year.
So, the former bylaws were last revised in 2009 as described, but our 2010 business convention passed, by 2/3, a resolution calling for a special convention to fix the bylaws. Accordingly a committee was formed and diligently wrote new bylaws that conformed to Oregon state laws, unlike the 2009 bylaws. For example, the $50 dollar dues charged by the 2009 bylaws were arguably illegal. As state election laws trump party bylaws, the 2009 bylaws were broken here and in other places as well.
As Oregon attempted to fix the bylaws in a special convention in November of 2010, M. Carling, Alicia Matson, and Mark Hinkle arrived the afternoon before and convinced our former chair Jeff Weston, then Vice Chair Wes Wagner, and Treasurer Mark Vetanen that a majority of paid-up members was required for quorum — quorum number that has mostly been unrealistic in the LPO’s history. A few minutes after the convention began, Burke’s friend and political operative Adam Mayer stood and made a quorum call which successfully shut down the meeting (originally pushed for by a 2/3 vote resolution, previous business convention).
On March 12 of 2011, a quorum again was not reached and that annual business convention was adjourned until May. M Carling was present during the March 12 adjourned convention and referred to the 2009 bylaws as a “circular firing squad” and I also believe hearing “the worst I have seen.” Prior to the May continuation of the convention, the existing state committee realized that it was within state laws to make bylaws changes as the party’s central committee. The new bylaws were adopted on March 31 and accepted by the Oregon Elections Division soon thereafter. That March 31st vote was taken with (I believe) about 8 or 9 state committee members present and with no opposition.
So, the “EC Six” issue is about restoring the 2009 bylaws, partly created by M Carling, abused by M Carling on the 50% quorum, and sharply criticized by M Carling on March 12 (a video was made). This plus the attempt to replace me with a convicted criminal is what Hinkle, Matson, Carling and others high up in the LNC are pushing.
Regarding any precedent of what was done on March 31st to establish the true and recognized LPO central committee, my limited experience of such historical knowledge cites the Declaration of Independence in 1776, signed by those who represented our early ancestors, thereby forming our great nation out of an established but corrupt English colonial government.
So why does Oregon’s Mr. Burke not like the 2011 bylaws? The new bylaws disempower the cronies who will pay $50 a year to keep Mr. Burke in control of the party. It replaces an old farts club kissing up to Republicans with a vibrant state Libertarian party open to all registered Libertarians and open to growth.
Part II. What is Fixed:
The new bylaws fix many problems:
1. The Libertarian Party is now a truly Libertarian Party. The new
bylaws require registration as a Libertarian. No more Republicans
controlling state party business. No out-of-staters like M Carling
coming to Oregon business conventions to wreck our bylaws in favor
of turning the party into an obnoxious bunch of Republican
worshippers who sabotage real Libertarian candidates.
2. No membership dues. This increases membership. Colorado and Texas
have zero dues and are doing quite well.
3. We have the talent and ability to run a state-wide primary without
forcing money from tax payers. This is indeed a bragging right,
and many state LP’s will follow this.
4. Over the last month, and on short notice, the LPO practically
doubled the active membership in the state party by sending out
postcards to all Registered Libertarians in the 1st Congressional
District. This was an emergency nomination, since our
Congressman David Wu has resigned
5. Last Wednesday, we had two totally new dyed in the wool Libertarians
run for our emergency nomination. We chose one, James Foster. The
Secretary of State of Oregon recognizes our candidate. He will be on
Part III. What is Broken
The LNC is broken in its fundamental ability to grow the national party, very broken. As a dues paying member, I received an amber-colored letter last month from LP National, with the words “FUNDRAISING DOWN” and “MEMBERSHIP DOWN.” There is Mark Hinkle’s legacy for y’all!
National LP is organizationally broken because of the “EC Six” ruling, and because of Hinkle’s and Matson’s defiance of the Judicial Committee and their efforts to get the LNC to buy into their wrongful disaffiliation of the Oregon party.
The LP organization that supposedly does not accept the initiation of force or fraud surely seems to have no good way of kicking out those out who cause force or fraud, and support rival parties and criminals. Millions of organizations all over the world kick out troublemakers without having the powerful pledge that we have, so why can’t we? It’s all about following laws. It’s all about morality. It’s all about “guts.”
Part IV. Having Fun Fixing the Broken Stuff
With 16 years of activism, I have a few suggestions: Fight crime. Fight corruption. Run for office if you are able! Keep the national LP healthy.
Also, don’t expect increasing membership and fundraising until the “EC Six” are out of the picture.
Kicking out bozos like Hinkle, Mattson, the rest of the EC Six, M Carling and Mr. Burke should be done just for practice, so we may do more of the same when we all get elected to positions in Washington DC, our state governments, and our local governments.
If this isn’t fun for you, please help those of us who do find this fun. Other than that, please just stay out of the way.
Let’s not try to break things, unless we really must. It is entirely possible that Hinkle, Matson, and Carling have been planted by a rival party or political organization, with or without help from Oregon’s Architect of Libertarian Doom, Richard Burke. They might simply be doing their job, causing us to melt down, self-destruct, and disband the party, if only to rid ourselves of their influence. Let’s first try to save the party, not bring the party down just to bring them down.
Thank you for your guts. Getting involved in politics involves knowing people you would never normally like to know. I am ashamed and embarrassed to have Richard Burke associated with me; even though we are enemies, as that itself constitutes an association. Unfortunately, any serious political practitioner must suffer this, and this takes guts. It’s the nature of preserving our Republic.
Thank you for your patience. If you wish to get involved in Oregon politics, please move here. Otherwise, please keep the troublemakers and crooks out of our way, and please don’t try to be our nanny.
H. Joe Tabor
Libertarian of the 21st Century!