Wes Wagner Plans to Run for Libertarian National Committee Chair

Oregon Libertarian Party chair Wes Wagner has announced in IPR comments that he intends on running for chair of the Libertarian National Committee (from IPR comments):

Well I finally did it. I figured it was time to pay my dues considering that I intend to go to Vegas and run against Mr. Hinkle or any of the other Starr-cabal for chairperson.

Originally I had considered mailing in 2500 pennies in payment of my dues, in a nice flat rate US Postage box with a light activated audio player to belt out “zwanzig funfhundert Hinterpfennig” to the tune of “Neunundneunzig Luftbaloon”, but alas, I was certain the uberparliamentoonians would lay claim that it was not rendered in legal tender, so I used a credit card on the website instead.

See you all in Las Vegas!

-Wes Wagner
PS: This is why we can’t have nice things.

Wagner is the chair of the Oregon LP that is currently recognized by both the State of Oregon and the LNC, but is being sued by another faction which claims to be the real Oregon LP. For background on that see IPR archives for

Wes Wagner

Oregon Libertarian

Libertarian Party of Oregon

So far, there are no other announced candidates for national chair. It is expected that current chair Mark Hinkle will seek reelection.

Rumored candidates include current vice chair Mark Rutherford and At Large rep Kevin Knedler, who said in IPR comments that he “may” run.
George Phillies has also been a frequent candidate for national chair in the past, as has Ernest Hancock. Past comments by Dr. Phillies indicated that he was likely to run again this year, but in response to Wagner he wrote:

Congratulations on your sound decision, which I heartily endorse.

I have not yet been able to ascertain whether that means he is endorsing Wagner rather than running himself.

Of the remaining 2010 chair candidates, John Jay Myers wrote in IPR comments:

Mark Hinkle is a great chair, and I will support him again this year.

I haven’t asked Wayne Root for comment, but Knedler said in his IPR comment that Root will not run. Rutherford was Root’s running mate in 2010, so it is unlikely that they would both run.

I have not asked Hancock what his plans are.

These are all the likely/rumored candidates for national chair that I know of. Additions and corrections welcome in the comments.

112 thoughts on “Wes Wagner Plans to Run for Libertarian National Committee Chair

  1. paulie Post author

    Past comments by Dr. Phillies indicated that he was likely to run again this year, but in response to Wagner he wrote:

    “Congratulations on your sound decision, which I heartily endorse.”

    I have not yet been able to ascertain whether that means he is endorsing Wagner rather than running himself.

    Still wondering.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    At this point, I have trouble figuring out why anyone would voluntarily accept the position of LNC chair, let alone actively seek it.

    The thought of the position (to my mind, at least) evokes worms for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the hours between filled with Brazilian waxes, service as a practice target for amateur knife-throwers, and duty as an elephant suppository point-of-service technician.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    I do believe I’d suggested WW run for chair during the LPO drama, so I especially wish Brother Wes all the best in his quest. (At the time, he indicated non-interest in the LNC Chair.)

    I do believe the term is now SCMHH for the cabal, with Howell being the latest to join the autocratic Borg. 😉

  4. paulie Post author

    RC @5

    Most people who read these comments probably only read them from time to time, so it would help if you explained what SCMHH means. I’m pretty sure I know, but I’m one of the few who frequently reads everything posted here (though not always).

  5. Sane LP Member

    Is Mr. Wagner capable of leading, building teamwork, and following the Bylaws and LNC Policy Manual. Or will it be a repeat of Oregon with an attempt to set his “own” rules. If he tries to set his own course, he won’t last long as LNC Chair.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    P, SCMHH = Starr, Carling, Mattson, Hinkle, Howell. Some believe they represent a cabal of top-down control freaks or some such, dictating LP policy and other nefarious machinations. The case is unproven to me.

  7. wolfefan

    Certainly Mattson was very critical of Hinkle during the building purchase debacle. If what Mattson wrote is even halfway correct, Hinkle appears to be incompetent at best and dishonest at worst. (I understand that’s a judgment based on just one data point, and there may be many other things going on I’m not aware of.)

  8. George Phillies

    @10 and who were the folks who endorsed Hinkle? Here is a list, so that you will know better than to trust these people the next time they show up and make an endorsement:

    Alicia Clark, LNC Chair
    David Bergland, LNC Chair
    Steve Dasbach, LNC Chair
    Jim Lark, LNC Chair
    Geoff Neale, LNC Chair
    Dave Walter, LNC Chair

    Ed Clark, 1980 presidential candidate & LNC member, CA
    Dan Karlan, LNC Regional Representative
    Chuck Moulton, LNC Vice Chair, VA
    Sharon Ayres, LNC Vice Chair, WA
    Vicki Kirkland, LNC member,
    Dale Hemming, SD
    Jack Dean, CA
    Ted Brown, CA
    Steve Alexander, LNC Fundraising Chair
    Jo Jorgensen, Vice Presidential candidate 1996
    Rodney Austin, CA
    Elizabeth C. Brierly, CA Former Editor California Freedom
    Cathi Brown, Past Publicity Chair, Santa Clara County LP
    Marla Kojima (Bottemiller), WA
    Richard Cooper, former New York LP Chair, NY
    Mark Dierolf, former Hartnell College Board Chairman, CA
    Josh Hanson, Secretary of State candidate, IL
    John Inks,elected Libertarian
    Steve Kubby, former LP candidate for Governor, CA
    Bruce Lagasse, creator of the Karl Bray Award for Activism, NV
    Philip Laibe, LP of Florida Region 7, FL
    Nancy Neale, national LP convention organizer, TX
    Kate O’Brien, elected Libertarian, Simi Valley, CA
    Jason Pye, GA
    Saul Rackauskas, Secretary, Pima County LP, AZ
    Mike Renzulli, AZ
    Juan Ros, former LPC Executive Director, CA
    Al Segalla, President: Calaveras County Taxpayers Association & Gold County Libertarians, CA
    Christopher Schmidt, CA
    John Wayne Smith, LP candidate for Governor, FL
    Richard Winger, Editor: Ballot Access News, CA
    Less Antman, long time activist
    Carla Howell, President Center for Small Government, MA
    Pat Wright, former LPC Chair

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Impressive enemies list. Looks pre-assembled, off the shelf. Might be helpful to have the OTHER enemies lists, eg, the global warming deniers, the federalists on same-gender marriage, the Barr endorsers, the Root endorsers…

  10. Chuck Moulton

    Mark Hinkle has been far from perfect as chair. I disagreed with his initial handling of LP Oregon and the judicial committee. He was right on the building fund though and he’s right on ballot access. It is clear that a majority of the LNC are opposing Hinkle on many of the broad goals of his chair campaign.

  11. Rob Banks

    @13 Maybe we could get a cross referenced master list with check marks for categories of offenses?

  12. Time for change

    Hinkle isn’t an effective leader. He has mismanaged items and seems to not understand how to build alliances or adapt to the environment. If he wants to run for chair again, he needs to take some leadership seminars and get serious.
    Otherwise, others are going to run for chair. Rutherford can probably lead. He is former state chair.
    Not Root but I don’t think he wants to get the smackdown again.
    Wagner would be an absolute disaster. He has threatened too many people with law suits. George Phillies wouldn’t work unless he got 100% of the LNC changed to his so-called “new path”.
    That crazy guy from Arizona named Earnie something would be a disaster. How can an anarchist lead an organization-LOL.
    I heard about Knedler of Ohio and the Ohio LP. He has an impressive LP resume and did it in a very short time period. Might not be his time yet, but keep eye on him.

  13. John Jay Myers

    It is important that our chair, have the ability to impart libertarian ideas. Kevin Knedler and Mark Rutherford are great on politics but real short on libertarianism in particular Knedler.

    Rutherford, unfortunately as I found profoundly endorses the idea 43 laws of power or whatever it is called, and causes my creepy meter to go into over drive.

    More importantly, a vote for Knedler or Rutherford for chair is just a vote for Root, in the end.

    If this party is going to survive those types of people, people who seem to not understand the message, but for some reason want all 43 reigns of power, need to go. (at least from the LNC)

  14. George Phillies

    @14 Alicia Mattson’s detailed analysis and other statements on the building fund episode tends to indicate in my opinion that Hinkle misled his National Committee and hid fundraising information from his board. Some boards would have viewed this as cause for suspension. He also appears to have raised money for the building after the resolution authorizing the project reached one of its no-go conditions. I imagine the folks supporting Rutherford are going to make this very clear to delegates in timely ways.

  15. paulie Post author

    If I didn’t already, that would make me doubt that there is, or could be, any such thing as “SCMHH” as explained by Mr. Capozzi above.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    19 p, I think TK submits that SCMHH is not a conscious cabal and they can sometimes disagree. Where they DO agree is at the institutional level…that the LNC is in control of the LP.

    I don’t know if that’s true, either. I suspect it’s in part the nature of being a fiduciary, in part that the fiduciary agents are volunteers (except now Howell), and in part an overly literal reading of bylaws and Roberts at times.

    I’d say it’s indisputable the SCMHH are doing their best, mostly because that’s all we ever do. Sometimes that involves making mistakes.

  17. paulie Post author

    Where they DO agree is at the institutional level…that the LNC is in control of the LP.

    Well, SCM if I am not mistaken are in favor of having the LNCC be equal to or greater than the LNC, while HH are not.

    If I’m wrong about that someone please correct me.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’d classify SCM as a conscious ongoing cabal.

    Whether or not they’ve added any new permanent members to the cabal is always an interesting question.

    My impression is that their relationships with Hinkle and Howell consist of occasional intersecting interests (and occasional clashing interests!), not ongoing, over-arching collusions.

    Keep in mind also that it’s in the nature of cabal relationships to not necessarily be two-way streets. Someone may think of himself or herself as a “permanent member,” only to find out at some point that he or she was actually a temporary asset who has become disposable.

    If I had to guess at two names of people who are either “new permanent members” of SCM or are incorrectly (but with encouragement) thinking of themselves as same, those two last names would both start with R.

  19. Here's a radical idea

    SCM and R and R ?
    Carling? Is he even involved any more?
    Starr? He is not on the LNC I don’t believe.
    Who else on LNC would be part of the cabal?

  20. paulie Post author

    @26 Redpath is the LNC treasurer. Starr is treasurer of LNCC, which now has access to LNC databases. I believe Starr is now also LSLA chair IIRC. Carling is still officially the LP parliamentarian, correct?

  21. Thomas L. Knapp


    “Who else on LNC would be part of the cabal?”

    After several years of political warfare in which they were unable to purge the LNC of opponents and bend it entirely to their will, the cabal has moved its center of operations “offshore” as it were, to the LNC and LSLA.

    The only thing they really have going with the LNC at the moment is a) trying to use it as a cat’s paw and bank versus LPO, and b) gutting its fundraising ability, etc. and transferring those important things that they want to LNCC.

  22. Aaron Starr

    Okay, I’m highly amused by the sheer idiocy of these conspiracy theories. There are only three ways to administer any decision through the LNC.

    One, the majority of the LNC comes to a decision through a directive or policy manual change.

    Two, the Chair exercises his authority as CEO (as limited by the entire LNC and the bylaws).

    Three, the Executive Director exercises her authority (as limited by the Chair, entire LNC and the bylaws).

    No other one member of the LNC — even the almighty Treasurer — has any power whatsoever unless he or she can convince one of the above three.

    It appears that one of you is convinced that I must still be LNC Treasurer.

    Of course, by now you must have figured it out.

    You are convinced that it is simply not possible that the majority of delegates tend to vote for people who vote the way I would and see the party the way I do.

    Yes, there can be only one reasonable explanation for why the LNC continues to act in a way that is generally to my liking – mass hypnosis!

    You see, the entire Starr Cabal is much, much larger than you imagine. Through the powers of mass hypnosis, the real initials are SH-LNC-H.

    It appears I’ve also convinced at least one of you that I’m chair of the LSLA, when I actually am only Secretary. As Secretary of the LSLA, I have the powerful function of recording the minutes once per year at the annual meeting. More important though, I can extend my powers of mass hypnosis to the State Chairs Email list.

    Tom Knapp’s definition of a cabal is perfect. Because now I can even claim Mary Ruwart as a member, since we do find ourselves in agreement on some issues. She is now safely in my orbit.

    And while we’re at it, Tom, you and I agreed on a motion to change the rules for voting at the St. Louis Convention. So you, too, are a member of my Cabal – SH-LNC-HK.

    Nothing can stop me now. Bwaahahahahah.

    Of course, it would not be sporting of me to not give some of you at least a fighting chance. I encourage you all to watch this informative musical about how you can protect yourself from my undue influence.

  23. paulie Post author

    It appears I’ve also convinced at least one of you that I’m chair of the LSLA, when I actually am only Secretary.

    Oops, I don’t know why I thought that. Maybe someone made that claim in IPR comments and I assumed it was true, or maybe I just mixed up my facts due to imperfect recollection. That has nothing to do with whether I believe in any conspiracy theory, though.

    Thanks for setting the record straight.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp


    “There are only three ways to administer any decision through the LNC.”

    Actually there are at least four, and you’ve gone on record in the past in favor of a fifth.

    In addition to the three you list, there are:

    Four, the executive committee exercises its authority to take any action that the LNC could take on a majority vote; and

    Five (attempted), the secretary takes action as if he were the entire LNC by “noticing” something that he wants to have happened (e.g. the removal of an LNC member).

    “Tom Knapp’s definition of a cabal is perfect. Because now I can even claim Mary Ruwart as a member, since we do find ourselves in agreement on some issues.”

    You should probably re-read my (implicit, inferred) definition of a cabal. When I described the relationship of Hinkle and Howell to the SCM cabal, I was saying that I think they are not members, not that I think they are members.

  25. Aaron Starr

    TK @ 31,

    Actually, the Executive Committee exists only because the LNC chooses to delegate some (but not all) of its authority.

    The LNC decides by a majority vote who to put on the EC; and the LNC could easily override the EC or strip it of all its authority with a majority vote.

    What you simply do not want to acknowledge is that there is no mechanism by which a Treasurer (much less a former Treasurer) can impact the decision making of an organization unless the decision makers hold views similar to his.

    I am no longer on the LNC. Yet, the decisions of the current LNC are more in line with my point of view than the previous one. A number of current members who vote the way I would I had never met before they were elected this term.

    In the real world, each member of the LNC exercises his own mind, has his own preferences and comes to his own conclusions.

    But rather than accept the idea that delegates are voting in different people than you approve of, you imagine the existence of bogeymen working in the shadows.

    It’s hard to get people riled up about a nameless, faceless enemy.

    The reality is that you have many different opponents with different names.

    You have simply decided to personify it with my name and face to make it easier to grasp.

    If something doesn’t go your way, you can spend valuable time imagining that I somehow played a role.

    I remember one pseudonymous poster who suggested that I was responsible for David Nolan’s demise, and that my attendance at the LNC meeting at the time was simply so that I could have an alibi.

    What idiocy!

    In addition to being intellectually lazy, the general tenor of your conspiracy speculations are truly worthy of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade.

  26. paulie Post author

    I remember one pseudonymous poster who suggested that I was responsible for David Nolan’s demise, and that my attendance at the LNC meeting at the time was simply so that I could have an alibi.

    I thought that was Milnes. If so, as far as I know that is his real name.

  27. Dan Reale

    I concur with Hinkle’s FINAL analysis on the LPO fiasco – let it go and stay the heck out of it.

    That said, nothing national ought to be involved, whether it migrate natioonal to state OR vice versa.

    Otherwise, let’s hear the merits on this…

  28. Robert Capozzi

    29 as: …mass hypnosis!

    me: Perhaps TK doesn’t mean to say you are the leader of a “cabal,” but rather a practitioner of
    “kabbalah.” 😉

  29. Kevin Knedler

    Interesting thread. I am enjoying it.
    Especially enjoy comments about LSLA being part of some “cabal”. The state chairs voted in the leadership of the LSLA! They have the power to change it. From my vantage point, the LSLA is filling a need that must be addressed NO MATTER WHAT side of the table one is on: leadership training, organization building, and networking so we can have future state and national leaders–develop the bench. I think that is inline with the LSLA mission statement. No organization survives if it is not constantly looking for new talent and leadership. Unless one is a flaming anarchist of the highest level that doesn’t like any organization at all.
    Would you have rather had the LSLA die last year, instead of being reborn in August in Columbus?

  30. zapper

    Starr …

    Of course … spacemen from another galaxy … and you do not lie … Your very name is an honest clue … There is no conspiracy … you use mind control … that is why you have more control now … and the voting is more to your liking ….

    But, you toy with us … for we do not wear tinfoil hats, and you laugh and post the solution, mocking the real answer so we won’t protect ourselves from your mind controlling ray …

    No. There are no paranoid fanatics in our ranks. We must don our aluminum shields to defend our mental electrical wiring from your evil rays …

    Ah ha! I am safe now. I have fashioned and now am covered with a lovely, aluminum defensive chapeau … it has a strap to secure my grey matter even as I repose …

    Starr … you are defeated!

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    Aaron @32,

    Don’t you ever calm down?

    Let’s get directly to your central point:

    “rather than accept the idea that delegates are voting in different people than you approve of, you imagine the existence of bogeymen working in the shadows.”

    1) My “approval” is neither here nor there.

    2) I fully accept that the delegates’ decisions as to whom to elect to internal LP office are, in fact, the foundation of the success or failure of any policy agenda within the LP.

    3) I regard yourself, Alicia Mattson, and M Carling as constituting a specific bloc within the national political milieu of the LP.

    I don’t think that perception is prima facie unreasonable, and that is the general framework. Anything about “bogeymen working in the shadows” is secondary.

    I don’t think I was the one who introduced the term “cabal” into discussions of these matters, but let’s have a look at what it means:

    “A number of persons united in some close design, usually to promote their private views and interests in church or state by intrigue; a secret association composed of a few designing persons; a junto.”

    I don’t consider “SMC” to be a “secret association.” None of the three of you have hidden your aligned interests.

    Promotion through intrigue? Certainly at least a bit of that. The known facts of the Wrights Affair, for example, are as follows:

    1) You knew in advance when Wrights’s dues would expire;
    2) You discussed the matter with the chair and a decision was explicitly taken to not mention it to him;
    3) Instead of following the bylaws procedure for removing an LNC member, you had an accomplice attempt to do so administratively.

    That’s “intrigue” — “To form a plot or scheme; to contrive to accomplish a purpose by secret artifice.”

    Personally I think you’d be more successful if you took ownership of your methods instead of denying them — someone who’s openly Machiavellian is more respected than a sneak — but your mileage may vary.

  32. Jill Pyeatt

    I know I’ve been focusing more on local politics, and I do know the difference between the LNC and the LNCC, although clearly not who’s on what, but what is LSLA?

  33. Thomas L. Knapp


    Libertarian State Leadership Association.

    In the past, LSLA has often been a positive national LP presence, but last year it got embroiled in internal national politics when its secretary (M Carling at the time — Aaron Starr has since succeeded him) took the exemplary first step in the attempt to seize control of the Oregon LP by unilaterally removing LPO’s officers from the LSLA rolls and replacing them with the pretender slate.

  34. Wes Wagner

    TK @48

    It should be noted that since that time the LSLA has yet to take the LNC’s lead and restore its relations with the LPO.

  35. Brian Holtz

    Added to the Knapptionary:

    pretender n. the side that followed the existing rules (which say only conventions can change the rules), as distinct from the side that decided on a 5-4 vote outside of a convention that they could just rewrite the rules.

  36. paulie Post author


    How closely have you examined the claims that the exec comm meeting that appointed the Reeves group did not have a legitimate quorum, or that a convention quorum was for practical purposes impossible to achieve?

  37. Brian Holtz

    The meeting you mention happened after the Wagner group rewrote the bylaws. I’m not aware they had access to a time machine when they did so.

    If the LPOR needed to be replaced to fix a quorum problem, the obvious setting to do so would have been immediately after the adjourning of a convention called with a notice about the implication of failing to meet quorum, and the obvious way to do so would have been with a new LPOR that differed only in its quorum requirement. Instead, it was done on a 5-4 vote at a small meeting that expelled some LPOR members in good standing, diluted the voting power of those who remained by 99%, and eliminated the LPOR Judicial Committee.

    Let’s hope Hinkle doesn’t get a copy of Wagner’s playbook.

  38. Wes Wagner


    You should check your facts… the vote was not 5-4.

    You have been corrected on this before so I can only assume you want to mislead yourself and others.

  39. Brian Holtz

    This is the point in Tom’s game at which we’re supposed to ask in what way the Reeves group did not follow the existing rules.

    Got bored of Tom’s game long ago. Readers can infer the strength of his case by its ratio of facts to innuendo.

  40. Humongous Fungus


    Past grievances aside, what are your plans for what you would do as chair? Any campaign promises or planks?

  41. Wes Wagner


    A motion to table is not the same thing as deciding on the main motion. Again, you attempt to mislead.

    @58 We are still building an agreed platform on a new coalition government. Details will be forthcoming, but you can rest assured it will be based on transparency, member-ownership, more judicious use of party funds, and accessibility.

  42. Brian Holtz

    The final vote was “5 in favor, none dissenting with 2 abstaining”.

    The fact remains that it was only by a one-vote margin that the 5 were able to proceed with their plan to expel some LPOR members in good standing, dilute the voting power of those who remained by 99%, and eliminate the LPOR Judicial Committee.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp


    “This is the point in Tom’s game at which we’re supposed to ask in what way the Reeves group did not follow the existing rules.

    “Got bored of Tom’s game long ago. ”

    Translation from Holtzish into English: “Since Tom is right, I want to change the subject.”

    The Reeves group did not follow the existing rules because its membership did not meet the requirements (under the old bylaws, not the Wagner group’s revision) for a valid state committee meeting.

  44. Wes Wagner


    RE: “diluting”

    We will have to disagree… if re-enfranchising 13000 people who were unlawfully denied their rights in the first place is somehow an immoral act in your view, well we might as well be blood enemies.

  45. paulie Post author

    @64 Still reading that link so far I have found that Moulton says

    I don’t have enough information to know whether the State Committee meeting at which Tim Reeves was selected as chair (to fill the vacancy) was valid or whether some other valid State Committee meeting was held selecting someone else chair (e.g., Wes Wagner). So my opinion can only cover whether Wes Wagner was chair right after the annual convention, not whether he is chair now.


    I am not in a position to evaluate the proper composition of the State Committee at the county level and I will never be in as good a position as native Oregonians to figure that out, so I won’t venture a try.

  46. Robert Capozzi

    63 ww: …re-enfranchising 13000 people…

    me: Well, I see histrionics continues to play a big role in your approach…

  47. paulie Post author

    Sorry, too distracted by the superbowl halftime show to finish reading that with enough attention. Maybe later.

  48. Wes Wagner


    Quorum with 13 recognized counties and four officers was 20% of 30 – aka 6

    Of the people in attendance at the alleged May state comm meeting where Reeves was appointed chair, only 2 of the 5 people present might have had valid credentials.

    Mr Terry has not held a convenyion or meeting in Yamhill county in probably almost a decade prior to the events.

    The McDaniels had previously resigned their positions in Clatsop County and thus had no authority to re-appoint themselves years after they resigned.

    This may all get settled as a matter of fact by an Oregon court soon.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp


    “Chuck Moulton lays out a pretty airtight case for the legitimacy of the Reeves meeting”

    Actually, he doesn’t even claim to do so (after which I picked out exactly the same quotes Paulie did for @66, before noticing he had done so, so …).

  50. Brian Holtz

    Only state committee members would have standing to challenge the credentials report. Under Robert’s the challenge to credentials should be made contemporaneously to the reading of the credentials report. The arbiters of the challenge would be the state committee members assembled May 21, with any challenged member ineligible to vote on challenges to his own credentials.

  51. Wes Wagner

    BH @71

    N/A if the challenge is a lack of quorum for the entirety of the meeting and that all business conducted is to be rendered invalid.

    You otherwise could just get one buddy in the room, claim your credentials are A-OK, do anything you want, and suddenly it is law.

    It just doesn’t work that way.

  52. Brian Holtz

    The LPOR Bylaws called for a state committee meeting after the convention.

    One side held the required meeting at the end of the convention, and did nothing more than fill officer vacancies.

    The other side claimed to have cancelled the convention after previously having gotten five buddies in a room to do anything they want — viz., expel some LPOR members in good standing, dilute the voting power of those who remained by 99%, and eliminate the LPOR Judicial Committee.

    Readers can decide for themselves which side was about following the rules, and which side was about rewriting them.

  53. Wes Wagner


    Just to clarify, another alternative would be to call up a couple of your friends in some defunct organizations and have them show up pretending to have valid credentials, and all agree to vote for each other that their credentials are A+

    Then you commit a bunch of corporate acts.

    Even if, in theory, Roberts allowed this, you will run smack into the brick wall of common law, equity, statutory law, and Reeves et.al. put themselves in such a forum where these issues come into play, as opposed to the common-sense-defying interpretations that float around the LNC.

  54. paulie Post author

    Readers can decide for themselves which side was about following the rules, and which side was about rewriting them.

    Quite possibly neither.

    Also from what I understand, the rules as interpreted some time after they were passed created a perpetually messed up situation which also practically precluded them from being changed on their own terms because a quorum could not in practice be achieved.

  55. Wes Wagner


    Yes, but cannot disclose not yet. We need to get firm commitments from everyone and that is not 100% solid yet and may need to recruit 1 or 2 more people.

    Details will come out before the convention though so people have time to give it due consideration rather than being asked to buy a used car under dubious influence… the party has had enough of that behavior.

  56. paulie Post author

    Also ICYMI:

    Past comments by Dr. Phillies indicated that he was likely to run again this year, but in response to Wagner he wrote:

    “Congratulations on your sound decision, which I heartily endorse.”

    I have not yet been able to ascertain whether that means he is endorsing Wagner rather than running himself.

    Still wondering.

  57. Brian Holtz

    Yes, it’s metaphysically possible that a bunch of clones/robots could have flooded into the room during the state committee meeting after the convention, and credentialed themselves the authority to do mischief like rewriting the bylaws to expel some LPOR members in good standing, dilute the voting power of those who remained by 99%, and eliminate the LPOR Judicial Committee.

    But instead, all that happened is that officer vacancies were filled.

  58. paulie Post author

    Yes, but cannot disclose not yet. We need to get firm commitments from everyone and that is not 100% solid yet and may need to recruit 1 or 2 more people.

    Well, in case anyone wants to clue me in confidentially, I’d appreciate it. I won’t publish anything unless and until someone asks me to.

    travellingcircus at gmail / 415-690-6352

  59. Wes Wagner

    BH @79

    Prior to the May meeting, Mr Burke solicited people to vote in favor of new bylaws that he had been circulating, claiming that the national party ex-comm had already pre-approved the bylaws swap and that it would all go through just fine. He did not have enough votes on the committee to even get a majority so he was lobbying to pickup some additional votes which unfortunately (for him and the LNC ex-comm) meant the cover of secrecy could not be maintained. He stated that the newly seated state comm with their newly elected officers would have enough votes to slam his new bylaws through.

    Now I can’t say for certain that Mr Burke was making a true statement — he does lie — however, considering how irrationally supportive of his attempted coup the LNC ex-comm was and how much they were willing to overlook all the technical issues with the Reeves slate… I suspect he may not have been exaggerating his level of support on the LNC ex-comm.

  60. Brian Holtz

    A question for Wes, as we seem to have his attention.

    The LPUS Bylaws say in article 17 that they “may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the delegates at any Regular Convention”, but don’t explicitly say that this is the only way to amend them. As a candidate for LNC Chair, will you pledge that article 17 is the only mechanism you consider valid for changing the LPUS Bylaws, or would you hold that some circumstantial exigency or government law would allow the Bylaws to be amended or replaced by the LNC and/or its Chair acting outside of convention?

  61. Wes Wagner

    BH @82

    Under almost all ordinary circumstances the bylaws should not be amended outside of the process of having a properly called convention with delegates present. There are times, though excessively rare, when strict adherence to the law is not an ethical act.

    Jefferson explained this issue in his memoirs: “[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.”

    If the entire existence of the organization were threatened to the point where an extraordinary act were required to save the organization, I would not follow an instruction manual that says “drill more holes in the hull” to try to stop a ship from sinking.

    The LNC is at this time no where near that point… it has a functional body, committees that are meeting and generating proposals, a convention scheduled for May that should be well attended and its membership is capable of meeting and doing business.

  62. Wes Wagner

    BH @84

    I concur. Also for your enjoyment, refer to Frederic Bastiat – “The Law”

    It may give you some context as to why in an enlightened society that might be a good slogan.

    I don’t think it is fit for mass consumption though, so let’s leave that one to ourselves.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp


    The question of who or who is not eligible to challenge the validity of a meeting is not the same as the question of whether or not the meeting was valid.

    Applying your logic, any group — the reunited Paul and Ringo, the College of Cardinals, the latest incarnation of Firesign Theatre — would have an unchallengeable claim to be the LPO’s state committee, as long as they a) met after an LPO convention and b) claimed to be.

  64. Brian Holtz

    My logic is that when an LPOR convention ends, LPOR members can figure out where the subsequent state committee is being held. Your opinion of their competence may be different from mine.

  65. Brian Holtz

    Wes, you still haven’t answered my question about when those 13,000 LPOR RegLibs had been dis-enfranchised from their LPOR membership.

    You say @83 there are times, though excessively rare, when strict adherence to the law is not an ethical act.. Well, there are over 200K RegLibs in the U.S., but only about 10K people are currently enfranchised in the LPUS as voting members. How do we know that once elected Chair you won’t decide that adherence to RegLib non-enfranchisement is not an ethical act, requiring an extraordinary rewrite of the LPUS Bylaws?

  66. Wes Wagner


    At this point I can’t perceive you as much else but insincere … you know full well the membership was incapable of acting (mostly due to the LNC interfering in the party business in the first place) – why would anyone bother to show up, especially after what happened on March 31st.

  67. Marc Montoni

    It doesn’t sound to me like the court proceedings against Mr Wagner will succeed.

    Burke/Reeves’ faction has not presented any documentation yet proving their “county chairs” (the claimed “state committee members” who allegedly elected Reeves, et al) were properly elected to their positions within the periods required by those affiliates’ bylaws.

    If various so-called “county chairs” hadn’t called elections or even held a meeting in years, the defense will certainly bring this up.

    Once the “county chair” claimants are systematically stricken from the suit for lack of standing, the case will probably fall apart.

    I suppose one could make some effort to come up with such “records” ex post facto prior to the first hearing. I doubt such records would be easy to fake, and consequences could be dire for doing so. Courts do not look kindly on fabricated evidence.

  68. Brian Holtz

    I’ve already described @53 what I presume the LPOR should have done.

    As to why anyone would show up for the May 21 convention and state committee meeting, there’s a clue in the minutes of the Mar 12 convention meeting:

    Wes Wagner moved to set the time to which to adjourn to May 28th at 11:00am. Orrin Grover moved to amend by striking 28th and inserting May 21.

    Re: my sincerity, I’m sincerely interested in Libertarians following their own voluntarily-adopted rules. If doubting my sincerity is the only way you can rationalize how I’ve arrived at my analysis of the situation, that says more about you than it does about me.

  69. Wes Wagner

    BH @88

    Libertarian registration is a matter of state law and state statute and is often in flux due to organizations coming in and out of registered existence.

    It is unreasonable to expect that any national organization could have a uniform membership policy that was based on voter registration due to the variance of affiliates rules and regulations. Further state parties, many of which existed prior to the formation of the LNC Inc, have autonomy under our party rules and are thus free to have a different concept of membership (some of which are bound by state laws)

    The LNC Inc is a hybrid organization. It has a voluntary association membership that actually owns the organization which at this time requires the payment of dues (and during the zero dues time period, the completion of a membership form and an agreement to the non-aggression pledge even though no payment was required) that does the business of the LNC Inc and its charter.

    Further, it would probably be illegal to unilaterally declare all registered voters in all states members. To become a member of an organization requires consent. The KKK could not just unilaterally declare you a member without your consent or knowledge and have it stand as a matter of fact. Signing a voter registration card does not qualify as consent to be a member of the LNC Inc the same as it does in that it makes you a member of a state-recognized political party.

    The LNC Inc is a foreign corporation (to most states) and has limitations given its status.

    The LNC solves this membership issue fairly elegantly in that national conventions are comprised of delegates who only must be members of their respective affiliates who are pledging their ballot access for the ability to participate in the nominating process to select a presidential candidate.

    This of course is similar to the Rs and the Ds who receive delegations from every state even though they have no real legal affiliation with the national political PAC.

    It could be rationally legal to require national party membership to vote on matters of internal LNC Inc governance if the party so chose. I wouldn’t personally recommend it just because creating two classes of membership rights is always tricky and fraught with conflict.

    Given that the LNC Inc is an overlay that has limited authority over state affiliates and spans the quasi no-mans-land of political parties in that it is not an officially recognized entity by any state government but is a federal party pac… I would recommend the KISS policy.

  70. Wes Wagner

    MM @93

    Compromise would require the other side be willing to actually meet.

    To date Tim Reeves has refused to have a single conversation with me at every attempt anyone has made to broker an arrangement.

  71. Brian Holtz

    Wes, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you’re saying that the LPUS Bylaws are safe from a rewrite by LNC Chair Wagner because voters register Libertarian at the state level rather than federal.

    Can you then expand on your “re-enfranchise” statement above as to how you as LNC Chair would interact with the LPCA, where 80K~ RegLibs have no automatic enfranchisement among the 1K~ LPCA membership? Does this state of affairs mean that the LPCA Bylaws are (at least prima facie) as in need of a rewrite as the LPOR Bylaws were? Or were there other factors behind your mysterious “13,000 unlawfully denied their rights in the first place” statement @63?

    I hope you consider these fair questions of a prospective LNC Chair. If instead you agree with Marc that I’m merely a troll, I guess there’s not much I can do to stay out of the “blood enemies” category that you apparently have.

  72. Brian Holtz

    The link @93 says:

    There are two intellectually-honest debate tactics:

    1. revealing errors or omissions in your opponent’s facts
    2. revealing errors or omissions in your opponent’s logic

    Its long list of intellectually dishonest debate tactics starts with 1) name-calling and 2) changing the subject. Readers are invited to re-read @93 and classify its tactics by this useful taxonomy.

  73. Wes Wagner

    BH @96

    I am not familiar with LPCAs bylaws, nor state laws, nor is it the position of the national party to by overlord, police or watchdog of state parties’ affairs.

    In theory if the LPCA bylaws violate the civil liberties and/or laws of the State of California AND it finds itself in a position where the membership cannot meet due to outside interference of other parties to correct these issues, they should consider availing themselves of options that may result in an equitable resolution.

    I am not hearing anything that indicates that is the case though.

  74. Pooper Scooper

    Chuck Moulton in #14 wrote “It is clear that a majority of the LNC are opposing Hinkle on many of the broad goals of his chair campaign.”

    Hinkle can’t claim ballot access as a proud fulfillment of a campaign promise. The LNC as a whole has for a very long time supported that notion, and Hinkle can’t take credit for Redpath’s work.

    Of Hinkle’s other campaign goals, can you show us even one of them that Hinkle has tried to implement only to be thwarted by the LNC? Please provide references to support this claim. Why do you say it is clear?

  75. Brian Holtz

    Wes, I just want to know 1) what you meant @63 by “re-enfranchising 13000 people who were unlawfully denied their rights in the first place”, and 2) how whatever underlying principle should apply to the LPUS and e.g. the LPCA.

    If someone wants to label these questions “trolling”, perhaps they could point out how Wes has already answered them.

  76. Nicholas Sarwark

    I don’t do civil work, but my recollection is that statements made about facts at issue in a pending lawsuit are probably discoverable and could be used at a trial or other proceeding in a case. This would likely include comments made here, subject to appropriate foundation being laid for their admission.

    One might want to be circumspect about public statements related to pending litigation.

  77. Brian Holtz

    Surely people wouldn’t run for Chair if they weren’t confident they could give our delegates all the information needed to evaluate their candidacy.

    (Since both sides stipulate that JudCom has no bearing on LPOR internal disputes, JudCom members shouldn’t be very concerned.)

  78. David

    Why is it when the LPO has problems Richard Burke’s name always come up. The LPO lost a lot of good members around 1995. That was the year Harry Browne spoke to the convention.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    83 WW, yes, thanks for that Jefferson quote. I agree with it.

    Knowing the difference between Jefferson and Robespierre seems wise to me…

  80. Time for change

    @ 104
    LPO Oregon

    Not LPO Ohio which has its act together from all indications.

    Not LPO Oklahoma which would be more stable if not for horrible ballot access laws.

  81. paulie Post author


    I haven’t logged into facebook since November but it still sends me email notifications. Was wondering your thoughts on this…

    Conversation with Eric Sundwall, James Oaksun, Mark Hinkle, Paul Jacob, Paulie Cannoli, Ruth Bennett and James Peron

    James Peron 2:44am Feb 6
    Today I was reading the email dump that the Anonymous group did regarding this new racist political party, the Third Position Party. Among the dump was a list of party members which included one David Macko, who is an LP member, an LP candidate and a FB friend of your own (all people here listed by name).

    I was not sure this was the same individual but a google search showed some who has had affilations with openly racists groups, several of them, along with anti-Semites and bigots in the usual areas: they hate Jews, blacks, immigrants and gays for starters.

    He says is on the Central Committee of the LP of Ohio. The old White Citizens Council, was renamed the Council of Conservative Citizens, with no change in their vicious racist sentiments. He is listed as active with them. The white supremacists at American Renaissance hold an annual conference on race and he is listed as active with them. His platform for the LP claims that immigration is an invasion, and that immigrants are killers and rapists and the government must forcibly fight this invasion.

    Here is a video of Macko, the same Macko, the LP candidate Macko, defending the white supremacist group American Rennaissance, saying all they are doing is preserving the white race—which is precisely the same claim David Duke, the Klan and other groups have made. He identifies as a libertarian and says he doesn’t believe in initiating force or fraud on anyone, which is contradicted by his call for armed resistance against the immigration invasion, and his promise to ban abortion “without exception.”

    You can video the video here: http://www.facebook.com/l/YAQHrHpG7AQGbdC2eEYfSOvqq7RuTJDVimDgZ5nhR46IVCw/youtu.be/-ASp6qQYZaI

    The Council of Conservative Citizens lists Macko as their contact person for the group in Ohio. He defends Nazis and racists here trying to claim they are just “white preservationists.” The CCC links to numerous white supremacist groups and to neo-Nazi, white supremacist internet “radio” shows. They oppose immigration by non-European (they mean non-white) and non-Western people. They promote racist books and in one click I could buy “White Identity,” “White Apocalypse” “Racism, Schamacism,” “Essential Writings on Race,” “Race and REason” (a favorite of the Klan) “Immigrations and the End of Self Government.” There are books praising various Nazis including “Hitler: The Adjournment,” “Otto Strasser: The Life and Times of a German Socialist.”

    Other gems are Confessions of a Reluctant Hater, an introduction to white nationalism, My Awakening, by David Duke.

    Until recently the CCC had a more blatantly racist website with rude words aplenty. They toned it down to market their racism better, but it hasn’t changed. You can easily check the kind of stuff they promote and the various hate groups that they openly link to favorably. http://www.facebook.com/l/7AQF5HHH4AQF8vOMx8GMlxrbDmYaH8rX2yYHJG3t9aRkfpA/cofcc.org

    Now, I’ve been unimpressed with the conservatives the LP has run, such as Root and Barr, but this far worse. The LP has a chance with Gov. Gary Johnson, but having someone defending white supremacists and racists, running for a major office State Representative, who is an official of the party, is clearly a problem. I am letting you know since you are listed as a Face Book friend with him and you may wish to quietly resolve that potential problem. I hope the LP takes seriously the problem of having a racist on the ticket, and I’m not sure if I was Gary Johnson, I’d be thrilled sharing the LP line with this candidate.
    Meet David Macko!
    On May 21, 2011 One People’s Project was hanging out at a street fair we regularly attend in Clevela…

  82. Kevin Knedler

    Dave Macko IS NOT part of the Ohio LP Central Committee. He tried was was not accepted, via a vote by the LPO Cent Com a while back. For information as to who is on the LPO Cent Com, please go to lpo.org and then click on left menu bar “Organization Contacts”. It is accurate and up to date.

  83. Mark Axinn

    Please add my name to those supporting Mark Hinkle for re-election as LNC Chair.

    I don’t believe I am part of any cabal as I supported Ernie Hancock for Chair in 2010 (I did not even know Mark Hinkle before 2010) and Mary Ruwart for President on all six ballots in Denver in 2008.

    Moreover, I see many other names of dedicated Libertarians mentioned in the comments above and admire and appreciate what each of them has done for the Party and the cause of liberty.

  84. Pingback: Mark Rutherford running for LP Chair | Independent Political Report

  85. Pingback: Bill Redpath running for LP Vice-Chair | Independent Political Report

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