Sam Sloan, an announced Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, who met all the published criteria for being listed on the national party’s website at lp.org, was told by Carla Howell, LP Executive Director, on January 24, 2012 that “all presidential candidates must obtain the approval of at least five LNC members to be listed at the lp.org web site”.
Currently, the following six candidates are listed as 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates at lp.org:
Sam Sloan has demanded Carla Howell “release the names of the Libertarian National Committee members who voted for the listing of each of the presidential candidates, the dates on which said votes were cast and proof of the manner in which said votes were cast”.
Sam Sloan added:
I have observed such chicanery before where officials in power abuse their authority, ignore bylaw provisions, or outright lie to obtain a result they seek, no matter what means they need to employ to bring about their desired goal. It reminds me of a story I heard about Jim Davidson, who when Chair of the Boston Tea Party, closed the voting on an important motion early by unilaterally announcing he was shifting the time zone from Eastern to Atlantic so as to prevent some National Committee members from casting a vote in a manner not acceptable to him. That particular abuse of power resulted in all the members of four chartered chapters resigning en masse.
This situation is not very different. I met all the criteria for being listed as a 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate and simply because some in the party might not want me listed (and I believe I know who they are), a new barrier was announced to justify my exclusion. Let me be clear. I do not believe the other listed candidates were formally approved in the manner described by Carla Howell. To quote George Phillies of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party, “She has made up a new criterion, one which she is not applying to other candidates”.
It is my belief that all Libertarian Party members seeking the Presidential Nomination should be listed on the national website. If they wish to require some objective criteria such as that a candidate be a member of the national LP or have a website with contact information, that is reasonable. However, when the LP starts to take sides in the contest and only lists candidates with “insider” support, they deny Libertarian Party members the opportunity to get the information they need to decide who to support. As for who should be allowed to participate in Presidential Debates at the upcoming Libertarian Party National Convention, I would again set the bar low, perhaps allowing all candidates to participate in an initial debate followed by a requirement that a candidate get 20 delegates to support their candidacy before being permitted to participate in future debates.
This whole issue is one of philosophy. If you believe in top down control where your Libertarian National Committee members are the guardians of promoting a particular, purified, public imagine, then you have the result. If you support, as I do, an open process, maximum participation, principled positions on issues and bottom-up activism, then I am your man.