Updates in conflict over the Libertarian Party of Oregon

Latest updates in conflict over the Libertarian Party of Oregon (for background see here, here, here, here and here; the last link contains links to even earlier stories.



Now available:https://secureservercdn.net/104.238.69.231/qkc.c33.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/LP-Advice-Letter.pdf

It is marked confidential lawyer-client communication.

However, the following was also attached (emphasis added):


From: lnc-discuss-bounces@hq.lp.org [mailto:lnc-discuss-bounces@hq.lp.org] On Behalf Of Mark Hinkle
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 1:04 AM
To: lnc discuss; statechairs@hq.lp.org
Subject: [Lnc-discuss] LNC sponsored legal analysis of the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO)

Dear LNC and Affiliate Chairs,

As you know there has been a fair amount of discussion regarding the problems with the LPO and the two factions both claiming to be the real LPO leadership.

To help get a handle on the situation, the LNC has engaged an Oregon law firm that specializes in election law.

Attached is the legal opinion of Tyler Smith & Associates that has been also reviewed by our staff attorney: Gary Sinawski.

Mr. Sinawski wrote: ” I have carefully reviewed Tyler Smith’s letter to Mark Hinkle dated October 4, 2011 and agree with the analysis set forth in the letter.”

As you would normally suspect, communications between the LNC and legal counsel are often kept confidential to assure proper client/attorney privilege.

However, due to the massive amounts of misinformation and disinformation floating around the Internet on this topic, I thought we should set the record straight and attempt to clear the air.

Thus, you are free to share this with any interested party.

Please read the attached document carefully. There is a lot to absorb.

Once everyone on the LNC has had a chance to digest it, there may be one or more motions forthcoming.

As always, I’m open to your thoughts and suggestions to resolve this problem.

Yours in liberty………………..Mark Hinkle, LNC Chair

“It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

– Samuel Adams



According to George Phillies, Mary Ruwart wrote in response to the above:

As usual, our Chair has solicited this opinion without any input from the other side. Had he asked the EC for advice, I, as one of the EC members, would have suggested that he allow Mr. Wagner et al. to produce information for the attorneys to consider as well.

According to Mr. Wagner:

“Their legal counsel does not address the issues of ORS 248.072, nor the fact that it has been upheld by governing authorities in Oregon repeatedly to apply to both major and minor parties.” This section of law is what Mr. Wagner believes gives him authority to do what he and his fellow officers was done.

As long as we keep getting opinions without input from both sides, they are questionable at best and a waste of our donors’ money at worst.

Our JC has made its opinion on this matter known to us, and we are bound by our bylaws to defer to it. Our JC has clearly stated that the LNC does not have the authority to evaluate and decide which set of officers in the Oregon LP followed their own bylaws. Our JC has clearly stated that we must recognize Wagner et al. as our Oregon affiliate until the LNC votes to disaffiliate it for cause by a ¾ vote.

Instead of setting us up for a costly court battle, our Chair should indicate that he is ready to entertain a disaffiliation motion. If he feels that he does not have the necessary votes, then he needs to recognize Wagner et al. and move on.

Instead of building affiliates, we seem intent on tearing them down. Are we going to spend the rest of our term this way?

Mark Hinkle allegedly replied:

Mary,

I’m not willing to entertain any disaffiliation vote concerning Oregon.

That was never the intent of the LNC EC’s 6 to 1 vote that recognized the Reeves group as the legitimate leadership of the LPO.

It’s clear to me that any disaffiliation vote would jeopardize ballot status in Oregon, as Wes Wagner has threatened to “yank” ballot status.

That in turn would re-assign 13K+ voters to “no party affiliation” and obviously risk having no presidential or vice-presidential candidate on the ballot there in 2012.

And that also would eliminate any Libertarians from running in partisan races as libertarians.

It’s clear to me that the Wagner faction is the one “intent on tearing them down”, not the LNC.

Over 50 LPO members have requested disaffiliation as a way to reboot the LPO and their dysfunctional Bylaws.

That is more LPO members than have attended any LPO convention for the last 10 years I’m told.

Sadly, because of the Oregon SOS ruling on disaffiliation, that would effective disqualify the LPO from the ballot. So, that is not an option.

In order to rebuild the LPO, the Wagner faction must be removed.

In order to secure LPO ballot status for Oregon, the Wagner faction must be removed.

In order to insure that our presidential candidate has a place on the November 2012 ballot in Oregon, the Wagner faction must be removed.

In order to protect LPO’s contractual obligation to our members, the Wagner faction must be removed.

In order to protect the LPO’s Bylaws and the rule of law, the Wagner faction must be removed.

And I must take exception to the statement “As usual, our Chair has solicited this opinion without any input from the other side. ”

Not only did I solicit opinions from all sides, I actually went up to Oregon to attend their special convention last year to observe in person what was reportedly going on.

No one on the LNC, other than perhaps Alicia Mattson, has more knowledge of the LPO situation than I.

I’ve talked with Wes Wagner, Tim Reeves, Richard Burke, Christina Mayer, Mike Jingozian, Mark Vetanen, Jim Wilson, David Perkins and M Carling. I was unsuccessful in reaching Alfredo Torrejon (who I understand was their web-master). All LPO members.

Additionally I’ve spoken with their regional LNC rep. Dan Karlan, Oregon election law attorney Tyler Smith, Richard Winger, and LNC Counsel Gary Sinawki.

And I’ve spoke to Steve Trout in the Oregon Secretary of States office.

As for Wes Wagner’s comment that “There legal counsel does not address the issues of ORS 248.072)” well, here it is:

248.072¹
Authority of state central committee

The state central committee is the highest party authority in the state and may adopt rules or resolutions for any matter of party government which is not controlled by the laws of this state. [1979 c.190 §84]
Does anyone think this gives Wes Wagner the power to ignore LPO Bylaws? To violate membership contracts?

Does anyone think this gives Wes Wagner the power to ignore the law (ORS 248.004) which requires Oregon non-profits to follow their bylaws?

Clearly, no. He doesn’t have that authority nor that power.

It’s time for Wes Wagner to go.

Yours in liberty………………….Mark Hinkle, LNC Chair



Forwarded by Wes Wagner in response to the claim that disaffiliation could endanger Libertarian voter registration:


Tyler Smith (law firm in .pdf above) to Steve Trout at OSOS elections division, Sept 27

Steve,

I appreciate your taking to time to talk with me about this issue. As I expressed on the phone, my law firm represents the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) on this matter. The question to you is:

1. If the LNC officially disaffiliates the Oregon affiliate known as the LPO (Libertarian Party of Oregon), and the re-affiliates a new state-level affiliate, would that new affiliate need to file for a new ORS 248.008 “qualification as a minor political party” or would they be able to simply use the existing qualification that exists presently to nominate candidates for the coming elections?

Thank you for responding promptly.

Best wishes,
Tyler


Reply:

Tyler,

To confirm our conversation this morning, there is no requirement that a state political party be affiliated with a national party. If the LNC disaffiliates the LPO there will be no change of status in Oregon. The LPO will still be an official political party in the state. The only way we can remove the qualification of the LPO is if we were presented with a valid Oregon court order stating that the LPO can no longer exist because the LNC will not allow their use of the name Libertarian. In that instance all voters currently affiliated with the LPO would be placed in the registration category of “Other” and they would be treated as non-affiliated voters unless and until they re-register with a qualified party. Any new Libertarian Party headed by the LNC or others would need to qualify as a new minor party pursuant to ORS 248.008.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Stephen N. Trout

Director of Elections


Hi Steve, thank you for your quick response.

I guess the only remaining question I can think of for interpretation by the SOS or Elections Division is what is the current status? If there is no change in status with the SOS, that does not solve the problem that there are two sets of independently operating organizations calling themselves the LPO, one set of officers newly elected, and one set of officers (officer) heldover from the past administration, who do you then take future instructions from, which one of those groups has the registered Libertarians attached to them?

I guess that is why it will be important for the Secretary to establish whom she sees as the rightful LPO, under her interpretation of state law. Assuming the SOS and Elections Division does not want to weigh in on the internal disputes about bylaw violations, meeting notice violations etc., then the question for the SOS to answer is “Does state law or SOS Rules allow an outgoing party chair retain power by withholding acknowledgement of newly elected officers”?

Best wishes,

Tyler


Oct 6 from Trout to Wagner

Mr. Wagner;

[above] is an email string between Tyler Smith and myself. As you can see, we see the Libertarian Party of Oregon as an entity independent of any other organization. No matter what the LNC does it will not impact the standing of the Libertarian Party of Oregon. The only way the Libertarian Party of Oregon could be affected is if we were presented a binding court decision that the Libertarian Party of Oregon could no longer use the word Libertarian in their party name if a court were to decide that the LNC has exclusive rights to the use of the word Libertarian.

I hope this clarifies our position. Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. We will be expecting nominations for the 1st Congressional Special Election from you as Chair of the LPO.

Stephen N. Trout

Director of Elections



According to George Phillies in IPR comments, votes in favor of not following the Judicial Committee decision (not officially public yet, so you will have to decide for yourself whether to trust his sources):

Daniel Wiener
Kevin Knedler
Wayne Root
Alicia Mattson
Randy Eshelman
Mark Rutherford sounds like he is on this side, but I don’t see a report of him voting yet
Mark Hinkle sounds like he would vote on this side, but he may not vote unless his vote is needed to break a tie
Andy Wolf
Dianna Visek
Dan Karlan

Votes in favor of recognizing the Judicial Committee’s decision:
Norm Olsen
Mary Ruwart
Vicki Kirkland
Presumably, Doug Craig as a co-sponsor of the motion, but he may not have voted yet
Brad Ploeger (alternate, if Flood or Craig don’t vote it would count)

Unless I have missed them, I have not seen reports on the following having voted or indications on how they will vote:

Bill Redpath
Rebecca Sink-Burris
Stewart Flood
Jim Lark
All alternates other than Ploeger

64 thoughts on “Updates in conflict over the Libertarian Party of Oregon

  1. George Phillies

    In my opinion, the collision between the Oregon events and their consequences, and the ongoing LNC vote on paying most of a million dollars for a new building, will be dramatic and negative.

  2. Marlon Lacey

    I believe you are correct about that.

    A real shame, what these so-called leaders are turning the national LP into.

  3. Steven Wilson

    It is funny now, because back in St Louis everyone seemed so relieved when Hinkle won. They said he would not break up the party. People were so grateful that Root had not won, but he did win.

    Through the LNCC and the others next to him on the LNC, Root is now the chair.

    George Lucas already wrote this didn’t he. Would that make Knedler Darth Vader or is it Rutherford?

    Liberty
    Wars

    We need a theme song!!

  4. LP Georgia Seeks Flood Removal

    George Phillies writes:

    The following resolution was forwarded to me; it was I gather passed unanimously by the LP of Georgia Executive Committee. I am advised by Brad Ploeger that it was read into the minutes of the August LNC meeting. For more,read the next issue of Liberty for America,

    A RESOLUTION OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF GEORGIA, INC.

    WHEREAS, The Libertarian Party of Georgia Executive Committee (LPGA ExCom) has been advised that Libertarian National Committee (LNC) Region 1 Representative Mr. Stewart Flood did on July 28, 2011 sign a statement to the Judicial Committee of the National Party asserting the right of the LNC to decide the leadership of the Oregon affiliate; and,

    WHEREAS, the actions by the LNC appear to have exceeded its authority and is in gross violation of the guaranteed autonomy of a state party as stated in Article 6, Section 5 of the National Party Bylaws and Convention Rules adopted in convention in May 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri (National Convention);

    WHEREAS, the LPGA ExCom finds the LNC has established a dangerous precedent by interfering in the actions of a state party; and,

    WHEREAS, Mr. Stewart Flood did previously refuse to read into the LNC records the LPGA motion dated December 1, 2008 regarding LPGA disapproval of the LNC activities regarding Angela Keaton; and,

    WHEREAS, Mr. Stewart Flood did previously refuse the request of the LPGA to vote for the Libertarian Party’s National Convention for 2012 to be held with a Region 1 affiliate’s state; and,

    WHEREAS, The delegates to the last National Convention from the Libertarian Party of Georgia, Inc. (LPGA) voluntarily joined Region 1 and elected Mr. Flood to represent the interests of this state party and the other the states which comprise Region 1; and,

    WHEREAS, in light of these facts, Mr. Flood can no longer claim to represent the best interests of the LPGA.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF GEORGIA, INC, AS FOLLOWS:

    Section 1. The Chairman is hereby authorized to vote for the removal of Mr. Stewart Flood from the office of Representative for Region 1 to the LNC.

    Section 2. The Chairman is hereby further authorized to speak with the State Chairs of Region 1 in order to encourage them to vote to remove Mr. Stewart Flood from the office of Representative for Region 1 to the LNC.

    Section 3. The LPGA ExCom encourages the Chairman to vote for a replacement that he believes will best serve the interests of the LPGA.

    Section 4. The LPGA ExCom directs its remaining representatives to read this resolution into the record and provide a copy to LNC Secretary Alicia Mattson for inclusion in the minutes of the next LNC meeting.

    Wherefore, this Resolution shall be in full force and effect immediately upon passage and shall continue to be in force until the close of Libertarian Party of Georgia’s annual convention on February 25, 2012, and no longer.

  5. paulie Post author

    It is funny now, because back in St Louis everyone seemed so relieved when Hinkle won. They said he would not break up the party. People were so grateful that Root had not won, but he did win.

    Through the LNCC and the others next to him on the LNC, Root is now the chair.

    I don’t think so. Had Wayne won, Wes Benedict would probably have been long gone, and the tone of LP press releases over the past year plus would have been a lot different.

    JJM may have been a good choice as well, but he is also somewhat impulsive and may have resigned by now given who else is on the committee, just as a couple of others on the non-majority faction of the LNC have already.

    The chair can only do so much when faced with a strong majority of the committee on one side (more so after they filled vacancies).

    That’s not to say that Hinkle is perfect – I am not happy with his role in this – but I do believe he was a better choice than Root.

  6. paulie Post author

    many thanks to Paulie for collecting all these links in one place.

    Many thanks to George and Wes W. for emailing and posting the information I collected.

  7. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m so moved by what the state of Georgia’s executive committee has said that I’m almost sorry I’m not on California’s executive committee any longer. They’re meeting tomorrow in Sacramento. I hope someone calls Daniel Wiener on his bad behavior, although I’d be surprised if that happens. Here’s one
    Californian who’s disgusted by the choices our Rep has made regarding the LP of Oregon.

  8. Steven Wilson

    @7paulie

    Root did win, because he is setting the table. Many people here may not be studied in game theory, but if your instincts are that off, then what I say here won’t mean anything.

    Hinkle was to be a bridge of calm and rest. He was to help people understand the other point of view.

    If Root had won the chairship, he would not tolerate ANYONE building the LNCC. You may not understand this point, but it is true.

    If Root had won, more money would’ve gone to HIS candidates like the one running now in indiana.

    Hinkle as chair cannot allow the LNC to play favorites. Hinkle as chair is not to allow central planning.

    Root got his win, as unconventional as it may seem to the viewer, and he is getting his way.

    If you can’t understand how he is setting up the table at Las Vegas, then it doesn’t matter. If you can’t see how Knedler is HELPING other state parties meet the cookie cutter of Rootian Libertarianism, then it doesn’t matter.

    You must know the rules of game in order to play. Root is making the rules.

    At this moment, although I always give language my full respect, I cannot define Libertarianism.

    The idea of a libertarian using force is illogical. But it is taking place now. I have no right to tell you how to live, but you have no right to tell me what I know.
    The people who oregon would be free if it weren’t for the LNC. The counties of Nevada would be free if it weren’t for the LNC.

    This is a game, and he is winning.

  9. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    What Steve says is obviously true.

    Whenever the Root faction/Reform types lose, they demand a Big Tent (i.e., an equal seat at the table for the losers), because that’s how you “grow the party” and “get votes.”

    Whenever they win, they purge what they call the “extreme, scary, radical” elements, because that’s how you “grow the party” and “get votes.”

    “Growing the party” always means opening up the tent to Reformers, while purging the “extreme” elements from that tent.

  10. Jeremy C. Young

    I’m curious about this part of Hinkle’s e-mail:

    “In order to secure LPO ballot status for Oregon, the Wagner faction must be removed.

    In order to insure that our presidential candidate has a place on the November 2012 ballot in Oregon, the Wagner faction must be removed.”

    I understand that Hinkle thinks that Wagner is running LPO as his personal fiefdom and is mismanaging the organization so it is not an effective campaigning force. But what makes him think that Wagner has any interest in eliminating ballot status or blocking presidential nominees from running in the state? Has Wagner ever threatened to bar the LP presidential nominee from the ballot over this, even if the nominee is a candidate who’s opposing him on this such as Wayne Root?

    What I hear from Wagner is that he and his allies are very angry and want to go to the 2012 convention and vote out Hinkle and all his allies. What I haven’t heard is that they are willing to keep Libertarian candidates off the ballot in order to stick it to Hinkle, Reeves, Burke, and the other people they are mad at. Just because this happened in Arizona in 2000 doesn’t mean Wagner is planning to do it in Oregon in 2012. This seems like paranoia on Hinkle’s part.

    If Hinkle isn’t willing to disaffiliate the LPO (and I think his reasoning for not doing so is good) and if he isn’t willing to tolerate Wagner’s continued control of the ballot line, the appropriate thing for him to do is to attempt to change the composition of the Judicial Committee at the 2012 convention in order to get their ruling reversed. That could happen in time for the Reeves faction to be installed before ballot lines in Oregon are officially filled. If he is unsuccessful in changing the composition of the Judicial Committee, then he should move to disaffiliate the LPO immediately after the 2012 election, so there’s enough time before 2014 to fix the mess that would result. Either option would result in success for him — but what he’s trying to do now will only result in failure.

  11. George Phillies

    The LNC position is in my opinion completely off the wall relative to positions that have been taken historically in intraparty disputes.

    The ultraparliamentary position is revealed to be something that its alleged supporters viewed only as a debating tool.

    We have bylaws, and the Hinkle faction is simply ignoring them when it suits them.

    I do not believe that this sort of thing can end well for our party.

  12. Jeremy C. Young

    More thoughts: I don’t understand why “It’s time for Wes Wagner to go” is any of Hinkle’s business. He really tipped his hand in that e-mail — I can’t get over how obvious and transparent he is being. His desire for Wagner to go is meaningless. Does he really think it is his right to impose that desire on Oregon LP members? This is dictatorship on a blatant level. Hinkle isn’t interested in resolving this situation — his priority is to impose his views on the state affiliate, period.

    I know George Phillies got a lot of guff from LP delegates because he filed an FEC complaint against the LNC Treasurer. I’ve never understood that criticism personally, but I accept that’s because I’m a statist and the LP’s governing philosophy sees government intervention as unwelcome. Nevertheless, I would like to know how those delegates are going to react to a Chair who thinks his opinion is more important than the LP’s bylaws or the voting members of a state affiliate. Dictatorship is bad in any party, but it is especially odious in one dedicated to freedom and liberty. I would hope that the delegates would see that, and would retire Hinkle to the private station to which he is so well suited.

  13. George Phillies

    The Hinkle position is daft. The Oregon Party has made very clear that if their delegation is admitted to the national convention they will be putting our nominee for President on the ballot for November.

    The danger to our ballot access in November in Oregon and elsewhere is that the LNC will continue its interference into the affairs of State Parties in its irrational manner, in which case ballot access in Oregon will probably be among its lesser difficulties.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jeremy @ 13,

    “If Hinkle isn’t willing to disaffiliate the LPO (and I think his reasoning for not doing so is good)”

    Hinkle isn’t unwilling to disaffiliate the LPO.

    As a matter of fact, he wants very much to disaffiliate the LPO.

    He just wants to disaffiliate the LPO without suffering the downside consequences of disaffiliating the LPO.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    His unwillingness to entertain a disaffiliation motion has two foundations.

    The first is that disaffiliating in accordance with the bylaws, instead of coming up with a bullshit way around them, would include those downside consequences.

    The second is that if the motion failed, he’d have to give up and move on instead of continuing to try to find a way to get around the bylaws, the Judicial Committee, and the government of the state of Oregon to disaffiliate LPO.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    17 tk, in the event of a failed disaffiliation vote, I wonder if Hinkle would necessarily have to “give up.” Could he and the LNC support, even help to finance, a legal action taken by the Reeves LPO leaders? Not an atty, but among other things, could the Wagnerians be accused of fraud/misrepresentation?

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@18,

    If a disaffiliation vote failed and then Hinkle et al continued to use LP money trying to choose the LPO’s leaders, it would be they, not the Wagnerians, who would be culpable for fraud … or, more to the point, embezzlement.

    Frankly, I think it’s already at that point — if that latest legal opinion was purchased at LNC/LP expense, whoever commissioned it should be billed and required to reimburse the LNC/LP for it, because it is a personal political lobbying expense, not a party expense.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP@20,

    I guess it’s close enough to national convention time that this will probably remain an issue no matter what happens.

    However, the negative consequences for Hinkle et al would be minimized if they moved a disaffiliation vote, took the loss like good sports, and moved on without further comment.

    Also, the negative consequences have to be personified. I know it seems like Hinkle and Mattson in particular could be defeated for re-election by potted plants at this point, but potted plants can’t run, and I haven’t heard any names of people who ARE running.

  18. paulie Post author

    I know it seems like Hinkle and Mattson in particular could be defeated for re-election by potted plants at this point,

    Sounds like wishful thinking.

    To know whether it is true, we need to know

    1) Who the delegates will be, and, as you yourself point out,

    2) Who else will be running.

  19. Steven Wilson

    @20gp

    What consequences?

    Nobody corrects a dictator. If no one on the LNC cares about using force upon another, then it has a new name.

    League of No Concern

  20. CommonTater

    As someone said on an email list I am on…

    You can’t spell dysfunctional without LNC

  21. Wes Wagner

    JP@25

    What are your stances on affiliate autonomy and do you believe that a chairperson should follow due process and obey the findings of the national Judicial Committee ?

  22. Robert Capozzi

    [welcome back, y’all]

    19 tk, I dunno ’bout that. If a disaffiliation vote got, say, 70%, not enough to follow through or not, but a clear indication of the collective fiduciary sense, another vote authorizing legal action to aid the LPO in ousting the coup leadership seems perfectly appropriate to me. Alternatively, a case could be made to skip the disaffiliation vote and go straight to a legal aid strategy.

    Of course, at this point, I still maintain that Hinkle should abide by the JC’s decision. However, I know of no prohibition for the LNC to aid a state party that has been improperly been taken over. If the facts were exactly the same, but instead of Wagner, it was David Duke. Would anyone object to stopping Duke from stealing the LPO’s assets?

    That said, I would say Hinkle has damaged his credibility by playing this ultra-technical and resorting to bad-will moves, like defying the JC.

    Not sure what any of this might cost. Still, stopping “David Duke” from stealing a state party seems like a fiduciary matter to me. If it isn’t, why not?

  23. Kevin J. Knedler

    # 10 You are so full of crap that the bucket is running over. I don’t work for Root. And to think I am “setting the table”. State chairs came to ME to help salvage LSLA. A team put it together and we had a very successful event. Since you attended, you should have seen the energy in the room. Jezz, all I wanted to do was save the LSLA, network ideas, and share best practices. Nothing more. Always the armchair quarterbacks. I could have easily stayed home and let LSLA die.

  24. Kevin J. Knedler

    Oh by the way. For what it is worth.
    I am the guy that would NOT let Root speak at the LSLA event. Yes, it was ME. And yes, Wayne asked. I wanted to see if the LSLA could develop some leadership from within.

    Jezz.

  25. Nicholas Sarwark

    @19, 28 – As of yesterday, they won’t be using any of my money anym0re.

    @31 – There has to be a way to argue a point in these comments without trotting “David Duke” out.

    @10 – I’ve never seen anything from Knedler indicating bad faith or that he has anything but the best interests of the LP at heart. I have and probably will disagree on strategy and tactics at times, but he always appears to be doing what he thinks is best.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 31,

    “If a disaffiliation vote got, say, 70%, not enough to follow through or not, but a clear indication of the collective fiduciary sense, another vote authorizing legal action to aid the LPO in ousting the coup leadership seems perfectly appropriate to me.”

    That doesn’t even make any sense. If the LNC wants to oust the coup leadership it doesn’t need LPO’s help. At least two of the primary members of the coup leadership (Hinkle and Mattson) are LNC officers who can be ousted by the LNC itself.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    34 ns, Duke kinda works in this circumstance. If a state LP is taken over in an illegal coup, Coup Leader X has less impact than “Duke” does. But I’m open to alternatives.

    35 tk, when I referred to “coup leadership,” I’m referring to Wagner and associates. That’s the charge that others have made, that Wagner et al took over the LPO contrary to LPO’s bylaws.

    I am unaware of Hinkle and Mattson have staged any coups. Disregarding the JC might be characterized as a coup, but isn’t that just Hinkle acting alone? And “coup” usually involves a takeover, so while I find Hinkle’s act to be highly ill advised, he was and remains Chair.

  28. JT

    Robert: “35 tk, when I referred to “coup leadership,” I’m referring to Wagner and associates. That’s the charge that others have made, that Wagner et al took over the LPO contrary to LPO’s bylaws.”

    I find it intriguing that this doesn’t seem to bother some Libertarians here. Can anyone imagine the outcry if LNC officers decided to alter the national bylaws out of convention? It would be absolutely deafening. Yet somehow the ire here seems all to be directed at the LNC. This was the case even before the committee solicited a legal analysis of the JC’s hearing. Where’s the indignation toward state officers who gather before a rescheduled convention and unilaterally change their bylaws?

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 36,

    “when I referred to ‘coup leadership,’ I’m referring to Wagner and associates. That’s the charge that others have made, that Wagner et al took over the LPO contrary to LPO’s bylaws.”

    When you make that reference, it’s not “others” making the charge. It’s you. So let’s have a look at that charge.

    The LPO’s bylaws, everyone apparently agreed, were messed up beyond repair such that the instant a parliamentarian got hold of them, they made it impossible for LPO to operate.

    Two groups addressed the inability of the bylaws to provide for operation of LPO, by breaking said bylaws.

    One group (the “Wagner group”), composed of LPO’s immediate past leadership, framed new bylaws and staked for its claim to legitimacy on state law and on the fact that its proposal was framed so as to protect the rights of Oregon’s 13,000 registered Libertarian voters.

    The other group, composed of a previously drummed-out pariah, a Republican committeeman who apparently had some spare time between prison stints, and some non-Oregonian LNC members, framed new bylaws and staked its claim to legitimacy on the fact that it wanted to be in charge, that paragraph 5 of page 183 of RONR includes the word “the,” and that it was able to persuade a majority of a subcommittee of a different organization to exceed its authority within that other organization for the purpose of attempting to dictate to LPO regarding LPO’s internal disputes.

    Um, I’m a little fuzzy here … which group was it you were referring to as “the coup leadership?”

  30. JT

    Question, Tom: Is is okay in your mind if officers of a state LP affiliate unilaterally change their bylaws without approval of convention attendees? What about extending their time as officers, no less? What about in violation of state law governing nonprofit entities?

  31. Michael H. Wilson

    This is a link to the Oregon Secretary of State’s website with the 2009 LPO bylaws and convention rules. http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/doc/cand/bylaws_lib.pdf
    This is what started the present situation.

    I would suggest reading it and seeing if there is a requirement for a quorum at the convention as step one. If there is a requirement then fine.

    If not then ask yourself why others from out of state felt it necessary to get involved.

    Starting at the root of the problem though does not seem to interest some people.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    40 tk: When you make that reference, it’s not “others” making the charge. It’s you.

    me: Yes, I do lean heavily to the Moulton interpretation. I have not read the law and rules. I HAVE read Wagner’s responses, and the hysterical tone alone makes me highly suspect of his team’s arguments. That, and the apparent unwillingness to state their case in relevant ways. Every time Wagner’s challenged that I’ve seen, he brings up irrelevant arguments.

    tk: The other group, composed of a previously drummed-out pariah, a Republican committeeman who apparently had some spare time between prison stints…

    me: This is of some concern to me as an interested observer, but it has nothing to do with the narrow question: Are Wagner and Co. rightfully the officers of LPO, yes or no? It looks like the answer is No. Since Wagner can’t or won’t address that very simple, very straightforward question, that leads me to believe that he is obfuscating on purpose.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 43:

    “This is of some concern to me as an interested observer, but it has nothing to do with the narrow question: Are Wagner and Co. rightfully the officers of LPO, yes or no?”

    But that’s not the narrowest question.

    The narrowest question is “does the LNC’s executive committee get to decide whether or not Wagner and Co. are rightfully the officers of LPO?”

    The answer to that question is clearly, indisputably and beyond question “no,” for three clear reasons:

    1) The LNC and LPO are separate organizations;

    2) The relationship between LNC and LPO is not hierarchal; and

    3) Not only do the LNC’s bylaws not provide for the LNC or its subcommittees to exercise plenary power over internal affiliate operations, those bylaws specifically require that the LNC respect affiliates’ autonomy.

    So, even thought it is pretty clear that of the two competing claims, the Wagner group’s claim is much stronger, we don’t really have to reach that issue, because the real issue is that it’s none of the LNC’s fucking business.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    44 tk, I agree that yours is also a narrow question. I don’t see it as inherently narrower than mine. I do think that it IS the LNC’s business who the affiliate is, so we disagree. This is why I use the extreme example of David Duke to illustrate the point. I’d like to hear why you don’t think it would be the LNC’s business if Duke took over a state LP, using the same means as Wagner and Co.

    As for Wagner’s case being stronger, I simply haven’t heard a case. I’ve heard raving about irrelevant history; I’ve heard about irrelevant criminal records; I’ve seen childish communications featuring flaming middle fingers. Perhaps you can look past these evasions. In my experience, evasive tactics are used by those know that truth and candor are not in their interests (at least that’s what they seem to believe…we both know that truth sets us free, in fact).

  35. Michael H. Wilson

    Regardless of whether Wes Wagner was right or wrong the LP and LPO have had a problem going back years and it is not being dealt with.

    This is somewhat like a guy with lung cancer who gets an operation, but continues to smoke.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    46 mhw, right. So now the first thing is to stop the smoking. Then the healing follows after that.

    If there’s a way to fix the whole ball of wax in one fell swoop, I’m sure we interested onlookers and principals would love to hear a plan…

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 45,

    “I do think that it IS the LNC’s business who the affiliate is, so we disagree.”

    No we don’t. I fully agree that it is the LNC’s business who the affiliate is. What’s not its business is what the affiliate does, other than as provided for in the LNC’s bylaws.

    The LNC bylaws provide two, and only two, tools for the LNC to express pleasure or displeasure with an affiliate’s internal operations.

    One of those tools is affiliation.

    The other is disaffiliation.

    The LNC doesn’t get to fuck around in the affiliates’ internal affairs in detail. It only gets to decide whether or not an organization becomes, or remains, affiliated with it.

    “I’d like to hear why you don’t think it would be the LNC’s business if Duke took over a state LP, using the same means as Wagner and Co.”

    And I’d like to hear when you stopped beating your wife.

  38. Chuck Moulton

    I’m told LNC chair Mark Hinkle directed staff to resume sending data dumps to Oregon and to add the Oregon LP’s website link back on lp.org.

    http://www.lp.org/states/Oregon

    So the LNC seems to be complying with the JC ruling now to that extent. I’m very glad to see Mark Hinkle coming around on the data dump and the website!

    We’ll have to wait and see whether Oregon’s delegation is seated or the LNC takes any other action consistent or inconsistent with the JC ruling.

  39. CommonTater

    Indeed I checked and http://www.lp.org/states/Oregon now once again links to the Wagner led Oregon LP.

    It appears that the opposite is not true though, at least yet.

    Kudos to LNC for following LP bylaws (delays notwithstanding) and hopefully in the spirit of reconciliation Oregon will link back to national too!

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    @49, 50:

    A positive development indeed, and LPO would be wise to reciprocate.

    I hate to sound a cautionary note, but one of the involved groups/factions/cliques does have a history of appearing conciliatory with opponents right before unveiling some kind of bizarre escalation. So don’t be too terribly surprised if this is a temporary pause in hostilities. Just sayin’ …

  41. Robert Capozzi

    48 tk: And I’d like to hear when you stopped beating your wife.

    me: Clever. Except, of course, it’s a non-responsive distraction. The point of the Duke notion is to establish the principle. You can attempt to deflect all you like, but fiduciary actions by the LNC could include non-specified powers.

    As you have probably gathered, I do think the LNC has mishandled this situation, especially this Marbury v. Madison-esque questioning of the notion of judicial review. Looks like they’re backing off that…thankfully. In so doing, however, they destroyed a lot of good will.

    For ex., rather than expressing deep concern about the procedurally abusive/non-Bylaws compliant taking control of the LPO by Team Wagner, and saying, “Colleagues, we are inclined to disaffiliate, but we’d like to work this out.” Instead, MH and others used subterfuge and other too-clever-by-half responses. In so doing, they lowered themselves into the mud…

    The unforgiving among us may now add Hinkle to their list of “war criminals,” SCM, Root, Barr, Paul, etc. That, too, is contra-indicated. Demonization never works.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @52,

    “The point of the Duke notion is to establish the principle.”

    And the principle is this:

    If an LNC member believes that an LNC affiliate has done something which constitutes cause for dissociation from the LNC, then that LNC member should move for disaffiliation of said affiliate.

    If at least one other LNC member agrees, that other LNC member should second the motion to disaffiliate.

    After the motion is seconded, there should be open, public debate and discussion of the proposal.

    After the debate and discussion, there should be a vote.

    If you think that a David Duke takeover of an LNC affiliate wouldn’t set that process in motion, I think you’re nuts.

    Shuffling the matter off to the executive committee, rather than the full LNC, and attempting to disguise disaffiliation as something else, implies one of the following:

    1) The LNC members who wanted LPO disaffiliated didn’t think they could get the votes for disaffiliation, or

    2) The LNC members who wanted LPO disaffiliated didn’t want the matter discussed and debated in public; or

    3) The LNC members who wanted LPO disaffiliated thought that disguising the move to disaffiliate LPO as something else would allow them to retain affiliate assets to which they would not be entitled in case of open disaffiliation; or

    4) Some combination of the above.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    Demonization does SEEM TO work in the short term, during confrontations. Long term, it always backfires because it is not true and is contradictory. We know deep down that we are brothers and sisters, and that we all sometimes make mistakes. Truth and reconciliation is the only way out of this mess that I can see…

  44. Robert Capozzi

    53 tk: If you think that a David Duke takeover of an LNC affiliate wouldn’t set that process in motion, I think you’re nuts.

    Shuffling the matter off to the executive committee, rather than the full LNC, and attempting to disguise disaffiliation as something else….

    me: Right. The Duke hypothesis is a clean one. I agree that the EC move in this case was inappropriate, if you recall.

    But you’re still not engaging me. There is NOTHING that I’m aware of that says the LNC could not indicate their inclination to disaffiliate, but before we take that dramatic step, let’s talk about this. Maybe we can — through mediation and communication — reach some sort of win-win resolution.

    Would it hurt to try? I say no.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 55,

    “But you’re still not engaging me. There is NOTHING that I’m aware of that says the LNC could not indicate their inclination to disaffiliate, but before we take that dramatic step, let’s talk about this. Maybe we can — through mediation and communication — reach some sort of win-win resolution.”

    I’m not sure where you think I implied otherwise.

    In @53 above, when I mention “cause for disaffiliation,” I’d hold that such cause should include two elements:

    a) Some action which violates the duties of an affiliate as set forth in the LNC’s bylaws; AND

    b) Refusal on the part of the affiliate to “talk about this” or failure of said talking to resolve (a).

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the LPO situation met criterion (a), there existed a window of months to work on (b) before any deadlines relating to disaffiliation might have become relevant.

    Other situations might not allow for such a window.

    Still other situations might not even require such a window. If, for example, David Duke and his followers took over an LNC affiliate and changed its platform to “kill all the Jews,” I’d say that the burden of (a) had pretty clearly been met and that all that (b) would require would be verification that those things had, in fact, happened.

  46. Robert Capozzi

    56 tk, I do believe we agree on all counts.

    By taking the hyper-technical road AND the disrespectful, contemptuous road, this was a classic lose/lose.

  47. LNC Votes Down Motion to Obey JudComm

    George Phillies writes you:

    On the motion to the LNC “That the LNC direct our ED to reinstate Wagner et al. as our official LPOregon affiliate as per the JC decision of 8/26/2011 and the JC Clarification of 9/23/2011”

    as made and endorsed by Mary Ruwart, Doug Craig, Vicki Kirkland, and Norm Olsen,

    the vote was

    Yes: Craig, Kirkland, Olsen, Ploeger, Ruwart

    No: Eshelman, Knedler, Mattson, Redpath, Root, Rutherford, Sink-Burris, Visek, Wiener, Wolf.

    There was also an explicit abstention by Jim Lark.

    The vote was 5-10. The motion was voted down by the LNC.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    Is it known whether or not Dr. Lark offered a reason for his abstension?

    Abstension on grounds that the motion was out of order (the JC decision reinstated the affiliate, so the motion was irrelevant and of no effect) was the proper position.

  49. Indy

    Did Flood vote?

    It appears not.

    Also, the link was restored. Is it going to be taken down again? Or what is the actual consequence of this vote, if any?

  50. Pingback: Oregon Update: Plaintiff’s Response to Motion to Dismiss | Independent Political Report

  51. Pingback: Reeves et.al. as LPO v LPO, Wagner et.al. — (and the OR GOP?) - Third Party Report

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