Press Release: Reeves Group Encouraged by First Hearing over Future of the Libertarian Party of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • APRIL 10, 2012

Reeves Group Encouraged by First Hearing over Future of the Libertarian Party of Oregon

OREGON CITY – In the first court session related to preliminary motions in the case of Tim Reeves et al. vs. Wes Wagner et al., the Reeves group left encouraged and confident.

In practical terms, the case will determine whether or not the “chair of record” of a political party in Oregon may legally ignore the bylaws of his/her party and unilaterally determine what the bylaws of the party are, who its leaders are, and what the rights of party members are without regard to party rules or the wishes of the membership as expressed in convention.

While not a clear victory for either side, the judge deferred ruling on any of the motions brought by Wagner’s attorneys to dismiss the case, granting leave for additional parties to be added as plaintiffs. This left the Wagner group walking away empty handed, as the case was not dismissed as claimed by Wagner on various Internet forums today.

In contrast, the Reeves group left encouraged believing that if the judge intended to dismiss the case, he would have done so because the matter of additional plaintiffs would be irrelevant if the court thought it did not have jurisdiction or could not hear the case. In any case, the parties specified by the judge are being added as plaintiffs and a ruling on the preliminary motions is expected within a few weeks.

On March 31, 2011, then-chair Wes Wagner and his group of supporters purportedly adopted new governing documents and elected themselves to new terms of office although LPO bylaws clearly state that such things can only be done in a properly noticed state convention. In contrast, the Reeves group of officers did not recognize the actions of the Wagner group as legitimate, and came to office in accordance with the LPO Bylaws in force since the 2009 convention.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chair: Mr. Tim Reeves, 4278 NE Azaleast, Hillsboro, OR 97124
503-621-4932 / timothy.reeves@tenthamendmentcenter.com

178 thoughts on “Press Release: Reeves Group Encouraged by First Hearing over Future of the Libertarian Party of Oregon

  1. Steve M

    Aaron Starr of course is a member of the Reeves Group and as one might expect this article is propaganda.

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    Whoever wrote the article forgot to mention which group the Secretary of State in Oregon recognizes.

    For anyone who is interested in this story, there’s a treasure trove of articles here on this site. My suggestion is to enter “Oregon Libertarian Party’ in the search box, and read starting at the oldest article, around March of 2011.

  3. Common Tater

    Jill, didn’t you receive the other side’s release or post about this in your email also?

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    I only had a comment from Wes, and from someone else, but not a lot of info. One of the gentlemen suggested perhaps it’s inappropriate to talk about it, because of the litigation. For that reason, I was surprised to see this article written and posted by Starr. Isn’t Aaron paying for the attorney?

  5. Marc Montoni

    I still think the biggest weakness in the lawsuit is the glass house Reeves, et al bring to the table.

    If there has been any documentation yet that Reeves and the other officers were elected by, in turn, legitimately elected, eligible “voting members of the state committee”, I haven’t seen it anywhere yet.

  6. Harry Heyoka

    According to the documents this reporter has seen and comments from two people who were at the hearing, Starr’s report paints a rosier picture for the plaintiffs than the judge did. Starr and Burke are old cronies, of course.

    My sources indicate that the judge did grant two of the defendants’ motions, including Motion 2, “Plaintiffs’ claim for declaratory judgment should be dismissed for failure to meet the statutory requirement that all interested parties be joined.” While not dismissing the case, the judge put off further action until plaintiffs meet that statutory requirement.

    The judge also granted defendants’ Motion 4, “Plaintiffs’ claim under ORS 65.084 should be dismissed for the reasons stated above. But if it survives, the relief plaintiffs may obtain is limited by the terms of the statute to an injunction against a corporate act. Any other requests for relief should be stricken, as outlined in Defendant LPO’s motion.”

    It seems the plaintiffs still have a steep hill to climb, with no assurance that they will ever prevail.

    Starr’s assessment of the practical import of the case also betrays his bias. Defendants argue that Oregon law allows the party’s central committee to amend party bylaws on their own authority, and that the old bylaws (which essentially made the state party a private club and guaranteed crippling infighting) themselves acknowledged that state and federal law supersede party rules.

    As many Oregon Libertarians see it, the practical import of this case is whether the plaintiffs will succeed in wresting control of the state party from 13,000 registered Libertarian voters (who had no say beyond voting in nominating conventions under the old rules) and making it the plaintiffs’ private fiefdom.

  7. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    The people who have the Ballot Access thru Nov. are my friends and should be yours and the LP also !!! -a NO-BRAINER actually

    “There are many paths to libertarianism. Many reasons for becoming a libertarian.

    Ethical: Embracing the “Non-Aggression Principle”. Opposition to the use of force.

    Pragmatic: Freedom works. Freedom is practical and effective and efficient.

    Utilitarian: Freedom provides the greatest good for the greatest number.

    Egoistic: Freedom benefits you. Freedom is in your self-interest.

    Altruistic: Freedom benefits others. Freedom is in their interest.

    Outcome: Freedom produces results that you want. It maximizes individual choice. Freedom promotes and rewards personal responsibility. Freedom creates prosperity.” – Michael Cloud -> http://www.lp.org/

    “The lesser of the two evils is still evil. Vote Libertarian” – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=246

    “MODERATE SOLUTIONS FOR A RADICAL WORLD” – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=105

  8. Aaron Starr Post author

    I simply posted a press release that I received from the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

  9. Harry Heyoka

    Aaron Starr “…simply posted a press release … from the Libertarian Party of Oregon.” That would be the Reeves committee, i.e. the plaintiffs. Starr doesn’t mention that the Oregon Elections Division and the LNC’s Judicial Committee both recognize the LPO Board of Directors chaired by Wes Wagner as the state party’s legitimate officials.

  10. Harry Heyoka

    The plaintiffs’ own filing names the Libertarian Party of Oregon as a defendant — yet they are issuing press releases in the name of the Libertarian Party of Oregon. Are they suing themselves, then? Their amended filing, which the judge insists must include all defendants, should answer that question if they ever get around to doing it.

    If not, it would seem that they are misrepresenting themselves as the state party’s recognized leadership.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    Perhaps whoever wrote this release was unaware of how many people have been watching this drama and understand what’s going on.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill@13,

    “Perhaps whoever wrote this release was unaware of how many people have been watching this drama and understand what’s going on.”

    I doubt that. More likely they’re hoping to influence those who haven’t been watching and don’t understand what’s going on.

  13. Brian Holtz

    Some undisputed background facts for those who aren’t up to speed on the case:

    1. According to Article XVI of the Libertarian Party of Oregon Bylaws in effect when the LPOR convened on March 12 of this year, amending the LPOR Bylaws requires a 2/3 vote in convention, and amendments require either 45 days’ advance notice or a request by 10% of convention delegates.

    2. The LPOR on March 12 could not attain a quorum, and so the assembled LPOR members voted to adjourn to the same place on May 21 to continue the convention on that date.

    3. On March 31 the LPOR State Committee met at Elmer’s restaurant where a motion was made to replace the LPOR Bylaws. A vote to table the consideration of replacement bylaws failed by 4-5. Five members then voted to replace the LPOR Bylaws with novel bylaws that a) dissolved the LPOR Judicial Committee, b) summarily expelled any LPOR members who were not registered voters in the state of Oregon, and c) diluted the voting rights of the remaining ~150 members by adding about 13,000 new members, almost none of whom had ever paid dues or subscribed to the LPOR Statement of Principles.

    4. After thus dissolving the LPOR Judicial Committee, the Wagner faction filed a brief in the resulting lawsuit asserting that the LPOR Bylaws cannot be enforced in court.

  14. George Phillies

    This was an early stage in the process.

    The filings are out there to be read. The issue was that the State Party said that the entire Reeves State Committee had to be parties to the suit. There will then be further arguments.

    The LNC voted, approximately speaking and you can find the words in their minutes, that there was no conflict of interest in having the attorney they paid act for the Reeves faction. An interesting possibility in some states but not others might then be that the LNC will be dragged in as a party to the suit, and/or that if there are other people paying the attorneys that they may be dragged in if they are not already parties.

    Readers should realize that our State Party is represented by one of the top corporate law firms on the west coast, with all that that implies.

  15. George Phillies

    I have not seen any locations where Wagner or the State Party claimed that the suit had been dismissed. Wagner does have remarks on the LP radicals Facebook group.

  16. NewFederalist

    Will all this crappola render Oregon like Arizona was in 2000? Will this be a state that will NOT put the convention nominees on the ballot out of spite?

  17. Wes Wagner

    NF @18

    I have made numerous public comments about my opinions of good faith and fair dealing.

    The credentials committee is trying really hard to turn this into an incident though. Hinkle has been advised, but has done nothing.

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 15 BH writes ” diluted the voting rights of the remaining ~150 members by adding about 13,000 new members, almost none of whom had ever paid dues or subscribed to the LPOR Statement of Principles.”

    Using the word dilute is inappropriate Some years ago there was an effort to reach out to all registered Libertarian voters in Oregon. That effort died when Mr. Burke fought to take over the party after a convention where the results were not to his satisfaction.

    Oregon State law recognizes anyone registered as a Libertarian as a member of the party. This seems to me as simply an effort to comply with state law and has nothing to do with diluting anything.

    Reaching out to others sounds like a good idea to me, though maybe not to some in this party.

  19. Michael H. Wilson

    Re Brian Holtz @ 15 can you direct us to the specific place in the by-laws that requires the quorum? Thank you.

  20. Charles Lupton

    Why is this just not put to a vote of all the LPOR and affiliates?

    Both sets of bylaws and both sets of individuals side by side in a vote would clear it up and let those that are a part of the LPOR decide.

    As a non-Oregonian my only concern is this affecting the LP’s ballot status in OR and making sure all the LP candidates who win nomination are on the ballot in OR. Beyond that let the people of the LPOR decide.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    NF@18,

    “Will this be a state that will NOT put the convention nominees on the ballot out of spite?”

    It wasn’t a matter of spite. The Libertarian Party of Arizona was not an affiliate of the LNC, was not represented at the LNC’s presidential nominating convention, and thus had neither any obligation nor any reason to choose the same nominee as another political party.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    Addendum to 25:

    Whether or not the Libertarian Party of Oregon puts the LNC’s presidential nominee on the ballot in Oregon this November probably depends on similar facts.

    Even the the state of Oregon, the Libertarian National Committee, and the LNC’s Judicial Committee all recognized the Oregon LP as the LNC’s affiliate in Oregon, there seems to be some maneuvering at the credentials committee level to seat delegates from another organization (“the Reeves faction”) instead of from the Oregon LP.

    If that happens, why the hell would the Oregon LP feel bound to the results of the convention? If you don’t get to participate in the process, the results don’t apply to you.

  23. Brian Holtz

    Using the word dilute is inappropriate

    On the morning of Mar 31, ~150 members constituted 100% of the votes within the LPOR. By the end of the day, they constituted about 1%. It’s simply Orwellian to deny their voting rights were diluted.

    On the morning of Mar 31, the LPOR Bylaws could only be changed by those 150 members in convention, and a Judicial Committee was the final body of appeal for all actions of the State Committee. By the end of the day, 5 members of the State Committee had rewritten the Bylaws, dissolved the Judicial Committee, and claimed that their arbitrary power to do so came from the State — whose courts could not be used to appeal their actions.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    26 tk: If that happens, why the hell would the Oregon LP feel bound to the results of the convention?

    me: Good question. I assume you mean the Wagner-led entity. Based on their behavior, why would the Wagnerians abide by any rules? If, say, the national LP selects GJ, and the Wagnerians don’t like that choice, what would stop them from nominating Vermin Supreme if they want to?

  25. Brian Holtz

    MW@21, neither faction disputed that the quorum requirement was imported by the Bylaws from RONR.

    Suppose hypothetically your bylaws had a quorum requirement that made it impossible for your body to conduct business, and that you considered yourself empowered to change the bylaws. Do you

    1) just change the quorum requirement in the bylaws?

    Or do you also

    2a) expel a category of members that conveniently includes one or more notable political enemies,
    2b) dilute the voting power of the non-expelled members from 100% to 1%,
    2c) remove the requirement that members must have subscribed to the Statement of Principles,
    2d) appoint yourself to a whole new term of office,
    2e) dissolve the Judicial Committee and its ability to review these actions, and
    2f) deny that any of these actions can be contested in court?

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    It has been my opinion all along that someone misread RONR and that there is no specific mention of a quorum in the by-laws.

  27. Michael H. Wilson

    BTW the threat of diluting the votes of a group is an excellent reason never to do any outreach and is perfect justification for the lower number of members. Might as well get it down to about ten people.

  28. wes wagner

    MHW

    It does take a very special kind of person to be concerned about their vote being diluted by, gasp, libertarians.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@28,

    “Based on their behavior, why would the Wagnerians abide by any rules?”

    Both factions agreed that the bylaws were broken and had to be superseded.

    The Wagner faction — the existing state committee — superseded them by re-writing them to 1) bring them into harmony with the state’s rules for being a political party, and 2) include Oregon’s 13,000 registered Libertarian voters, and 3) allow business to be done in the future contra the crippling quorum requirement in the previous bylaws.

    The Reeves faction — a self-proclaimed state committee consisting of several non-members including at least one committeeman from another party — simply proclaimed itself in charge and announced its intention to keep LPOR what it had been: A small club which a Republican operative or two could manipulate into not getting in the GOP’s way.

    Which violations of the rules do you consider more reasonable and prudent?

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@28,

    “If, say, the [national convention of the Libertarian National Committee] selects GJ, and the Wagnerians don’t like that choice, what would stop them from nominating Vermin Supreme if they want to?”

    Nothing at all, any more than Johnson’s nomination would stop the West Virginia Green Party from selecting Stein or Barr, the Indian GOP from selecting Romney, the Arkansas Democratic Party from selecting Obama, etc.

    There is no “national LP” in any legal sense. There’s a coalition of state Libertarian Parties who co-nominate a presidential slate in convention. If a state LP is excluded from participation in that convention, they are by definition not part of the co-nominating coalition; they are a separate political party and not answerable nor obligated to an organization they don’t belong to.

  31. Brian Holtz

    So if Wayne Root had been elected LPUS Chair, I guess it would have been OK if he rewrote the Bylaws to grant LPUS membership to a group of people 100X the size of the existing membership and that he considered libertarian and that had never taken the membership Pledge or subscribed to the Statement of Principles?

    I’m all in favor of getting RegLibs into the LP. I just think it should be done within our rules, rather than by discarding them.

    When Chair Root or his proxy ignores/rewrites our rules in order to stuff the LP with “fiscal conservatives” or Tea Partiers or whoever, don’t come crying to me — because I’m not interested in serving on the Judicial Committee of a party that doesn’t care about its rules.

  32. Brian Holtz

    Both factions agreed that the bylaws were broken and had to be superseded.

    I don’t recall the Reeves group ever saying the bylaws had to be “superseded” in the sense of changing them through anything other than the process the bylaws themselves define.

  33. wes wagner

    BH @35

    Is that an official declaration that you will not be running for party office since the LNC has not been obeying party rules?

  34. LibertarianGirl

    Brian , War would have done just that.. Wayne Root deaffilaited all 3 Nevada counties because they were full of those pesky anarcho-radical-non-root supporters…. so maybe choose another example to make your point

  35. Brian Holtz

    LG, I wasn’t claiming that Root would never do what Wagner did. I’m just pointing out the danger of thinking it’s OK to ignore/rewrite our rules just because one considers himself the Good Guy.

    The existence of other hypocrites does not excuse hypocrisy.

    OK, now let’s count how many people make a serious attempt to answer my question @29. Michael Wilson already has simply ignored it.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    33 tk: simply proclaimed itself in charge and announced its intention to keep LPOR what it had been: A small club which a Republican operative or two could manipulate into not getting in the GOP’s way.

    me: I missed that announcement. Source?

    34 tk: If a state LP is excluded from participation in that convention, they are by definition not part of the co-nominating coalition; they are a separate political party and not answerable nor obligated to an organization they don’t belong to.

    me: I guess you missed my point. Say Wagner & Co. is seated at Red Rock. Say they vote for someone other than the nominee. Based on their behavior, I could see LPO STILL field another candidate for prez on the OR state ballot.

  37. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian hypothetical question require hypothetical answers. You work your ass off and get enough people to attend so that problem never comes up.

  38. Michael H. Wilson

    More to the point. How often in the past has the quorum issue come up in Oregon and what was done?

  39. LibertarianGirl

    BH_So if Wayne Root had been elected LPUS Chair, I guess it would have been OK if he rewrote the Bylaws to grant LPUS membership to a group of people 100X the size of the existing membership and that he considered libertarian and that had never taken the membership Pledge or subscribed to the Statement of Principles?

    Me_the logical , objective , we should play fair side of my brain says of course you are right and I agree

    but the passionate,emotional , fighting side of me has grown stronger when it realizes that sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire…

    I am torn on this issue and Im glad im not on judicial as id probably have to abide by 1st observation…

    .but as a recently purged longtime activist dealt unfair play by the same people pulling strings in NV , I say good fucking luck Wes..

  40. George Phillies

    Green Libertarianism. Recycling is good, and we are recycling most of the issues that appeared in 2000 wrto Arizona.

    See “Funding Liberty” for more on the 2000 Arizona matter.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@41,

    “Say Wagner & Co. is seated at Red Rock. Say they vote for someone other than the nominee. Based on their behavior, I could see LPO STILL field another candidate for prez on the OR state ballot.”

    I suggest you consult your physician. “Seeing” things for which there’s no basis in fact, reality or history may be a symptom, and you shouldn’t ignore it.

  42. Richard Burke

    Mr. Knapp,

    The Reeves group of officers came to power in accordance with the legitimate LPO governing documents, which had been approved by LPO members at convention. They did not come to power through “self-proclamation,” as you seem to claim. Minutes of the May 21st convention session, ordered by members assembled at the March 21st session in an attempt to achieve quorum, and the subsequent bylaw-required state committee meeting where officer vacancies were filled, have been posted along with the legitimate LPO bylaws. (You may not have known that the March 12th motion to “Adjourn to a Meeting” on May 21st was Wagner’s)

    In contrast, at a March 31, 2011 state committee meeting (not a convention), the Wagner group with 5 votes declared themselves to be in power after declaring the LPO member-approved governing documents superseded by governing documents they wrote themselves. They then attempted to cancel the May 21st convention session, which they did not have authority to do as the LPO State Committee is subordinate to conventions.

    Mr. Knapp, if you have a problem with self-proclaimed leaders, it seems you have the Reeves and Wagner groups confused.

    The Wagner group then declared that their power to do these things was derived from the state (how libertarian is that?), citing a statute (which applies only to major political parties) saying that a political party’s state committee is it’s highest authority. After attempting to take refuge behind this non-applicable statute, they reversed field, claiming that the state cannot involve itself in the internal governance of political parties. Nice twist.

    By their own account, the Secretary of State accepted the Wagner documents only because Wagner was the chair of record at the time he submitted them without regard to their legitimacy or lack thereof. The Secretary of State has said that they will not evaluate or act on the merits of the situation and have said they will take no action without direction from a judge, hence our lawsuit.

    If Wagner didn’t like the LPO bylaws, there are ways to change them legitimately. He could have worked to unite the party in an effort to obtain quorum. Had he thought this impossible, he and other members could have petitioned a court to provide relief from the quorum requirement (state law provides for this, and I would have supported such an effort). Had Wagner only changed the quorum requirement, though still illigitimate, he probably would have gotten away with it. But as was shown on the now-famous You-Tube video, Wagner resisted trying to amend our bylaws legitimately because he did not believe he could win over enough votes and simply went for the whole enchilada.

    This was a blind an naked coup. And taking a page out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, he immediately accused his opponents of what he himself was guilty of. I am confident that had our group had tried something similar, those in the Wagner group would have rightfully howled of the injustice, and our roles might well be reversed.

    The Judicial Committee’s 4-3 ruling in Wagner’s favor, on which Wagner’s group now hangs their had, was repudiated by a 12-5 vote of the LNC partly on the grounds that Wagner could not appeal on behalf of the LPO as he was not the legitimate chair. One of the Judicial Committee members who voted for Wagner’s side, Lee Wrights, had at least two conflicts of interest, one being that he was a presidential candidate and that the winning side might be more likely to have their delegation seated (this question is, in fact, being debated now by the national credentials committee). Nice. Had Wrights an ounce of integrity, he would have recused himself. The same Judicial Committee also said that we should defer to the state (!) in determining who our leaders are. Nice.

    If Wagner’s group prevails in court, it means that the chair of any political party in Oregon may draft any governing documents or officer list he or she pleases, submit them to the Secretary of State, and have them be regarded as legitimate indefinitely regardless of conventions, elections, or any expressed will of that party’s membership. Is this a concept that we, as libertarians, want to support?

    But truly, as Libertarians, how can we convince the voters of America that we will defend and follow the Constitution of our nation and our respective states if we are willing to trash the member-approved rules of our own organization for the sake of political expediency?

    Richard P. Burke

  43. NewFederalist

    “But truly, as Libertarians, how can we convince the voters of America that we will defend and follow the Constitution of our nation and our respective states if we are willing to trash the member-approved rules of our own organization for the sake of political expediency?”

    We can’t. That is why Knapp is right about giving up on political (at least electoral) activity.

  44. Oregon Libertarian

    @49
    Seems I remember reading that you, along with M Carling, Mark Hinkle and Alicia Mattson did last year shutdown the very convention you are claiming that the Wagner faction should of held to change he bylaws.

    You say one thing, then do another.

  45. Marc Montoni

    @49, perhaps one should also consider the rising rage that will result when a portion of the membership has legitimate concerns that remain unaddressed, year after year.

    I have publicly stated my concerns about Wagner’s actions, and repeatedly counseled him to put aside his emotions and certify the convention’s choice for president.

    However, I also understand what led him to where he is now.

    The time to listen was years ago.

    Did you choose to listen?

  46. Richard Burke

    Oregon Libertarian,

    Of course, your response in 51 avoids all of the points I make in my earlier post. But with respect to the convention you are talking about, it seems that you do not remember things quite right.

    I didn’t shut the convention down – Jeff Weston did when he ruled that a quorum did not exist. In fact, I brought everyone I could (about 20) in hopes of achieving quorum.

    While I thought Wagner’s bylaws had many fatal flaws at a fundamental level, I wanted to see the issue settled by a clear repudiation of them in convention. I believed that once on the floor and issues were raised, it would become clear that they could not be patched into anything acceptable. While I believe Weston ruled correctly, it is not the outcome I had hoped for.

    To be sure, anyone who did a head count that day could see that the votes weren’t there to pass Wagner’s bylaws in any case. While proponents of Wagner’s bylaws might have bemoaned the difficulty in securing a 2/3 majority, as Wagner himself did in the now-famous video of the March 31 state committee meeting, such is what happens when a large group of people is asked to approve a set of governing documents drafted by only a few. Had the drafting process involved people across factions, the proposal might have had a better chance and people might have been more united in the effort of achieving quorum. I would submit that the failure of the proposal’s advocates to successfully deal with this issue is the true genesis of the convention’s failure.

    Richard P. Burke

  47. Nicholas Sarwark

    @37: Mr. Holtz has said he will not seek reelection to the Judicial Committee, though I don’t think he’s made any statements about seeking any other LP internal office.

  48. Chuck Moulton

    Richard Burke wrote (@49):

    The Judicial Committee’s 4-3 ruling in Wagner’s favor, on which Wagner’s group now hangs their had, was repudiated by a 12-5 vote of the LNC partly on the grounds that Wagner could not appeal on behalf of the LPO as he was not the legitimate chair.

    Hogwash!!

    A judicial committee decision cannot be appealed to the LNC. What the LNC did was thumb its nose at the judicial committee, throwing a temper tantrum because it disagreed with the ruling.

    Apart from this paragraph though (including the unquoted part about Wrights), I agree with Burke’s comment. In my opinion the judicial committee ruling was entirely proper in recognizing the Wagner faction. The lawsuit was the proper way to recognize the Reeves faction as the legitimate one, and the Reeves faction ought to win this lawsuit if they present their case well. Going forward the Oregon LP should try to amend the bylaws in the normal fashion… if that doesn’t work, amending just the quorum requirement (ideally with the blessing of a court) rather than changing lots of other unrelated things is the best course of action.

    The credentials committee should accept the judicial committee ruling as binding unless this lawsuit resolves matters the other direction before the convention.

  49. Brian Holtz

    MW@42, if you reject Wagner’s hypothesis that a quorum was unachievable, then you reject the entire pretext for his coup.

    LG@44, the Wagner coup was in March, but the Root Nevada counties stuff happened in May. If one of them was “fighting fire with fire”, wouldn’t it have been Root?

    OL@51, MM@52, you’re basically saying that it’s OK to break the rules if you’re a Good Guy doing it to fight the Bad Guys. That theory is the very opposite of libertarianism.

    RB@49, the LNC has no power to repudiate JudCom decisions, even when the decisions are wrong or seem confounded by conflicts of interest.

    Saying that Wagner had no grounds to appeal begs the very question that JudCom was supposed to answer. Better to make JudCom face the question — even if it turns out that JudCom wants to punt the question to a government web page frozen by bureaucratic inertia.

    Meanwhile, still waiting for a serious answer to my question @29 — i.e., one that doesn’t involve time travel or Bad Guys.

  50. Harry Heyoka

    Oregon Libertarians sue Libertarian Party of Oregon
    Why now?
    Monday, April 9, the Clackamas County circuit court heard procedural arguments in Reeves et al. v. Wagner et al. The plaintiffs allege that the state party officials recognized by the Oregon Elections Division and the Libertarian National Committee’s (LNC’s) judicial committee illegally changed party rules to give all of the state’s 13,000 registered libertarian voters a say in party affairs. Plaintiffs seek, among other things, a court order handing control of the LPO to themselves.
    The Reeves (plaintiff) group left the courtroom “encouraged and confident” according to a press release they issued April 10 in the state party’s name, reportedly because the judge had not dismissed the case outright. The court did grant a defense motion to limit the scope of the proceedings, and declined to take further action until the plaintiffs amend their suit to conform with a statutory requirement that all defendants be named.
    Given the stately pace of civil lawsuits in circuit courts today, no further hearings or rulings should be expected before late spring, if then. Naming more defendants (presumably all officers and directors of the recognized central committee) will almost certainly add more lawyers and more expense to the litigation. The recognized Board of Directors includes nine elective seats, one of which has become vacant, plus four officers, not all of whom are also directors.
    This reporter has followed the state party’s infighting for years, but knows of only one prior case of a member taking the party to court. That suit, alleging financial improprieties and nonfeasance of fiduciary responsibilities, was dismissed by a Washington County circuit court because the judge doubted his authority to order the party to follow its own rules.
    The act at the heart of the current suit occurred in March 2011, when the LPO State Committee voted to revise the party’s constitution and bylaws. The new Board of Directors elected its current (state and LNC recognized) officers that May.
    The suit, which also seeks restoration of the party’s old rules (which plaintiff M Carling himself was recorded in March 2011 calling “the worst I’ve ever seen,” wasn’t filed until January 2012. What took so long? Why wait until the primary election season?
    I won’t impute motives to the plaintiffs, who have not explained their timing. Nevertheless, only a few somewhat-rational possibilities occur to me.
    The party’s new rules call for a statewide primary election, instead of nominating conventions usually attended by only a few dozen people, to be held this spring. Over 13,000 registered Libertarian voters will be asked to vote on ratifying those new rules as well as nominating candidates for all partisan offices in Oregon. Since those voters are unlikely to disenfranchise themselves by rejecting the new rules (the old ones allowed only a few hundred dues-paying members to vote on internal matters), the plaintiffs may justifiably fear that the planned primary will demonstrate a consensus that the old regime had to go.
    Even dues-paying members, at the March 2010 business convention that elected most of the currently recognized officers, showed their desire for just the kinds of changes incorporated in the new rules. That convention voted by two thirds to endorse current Chair Wes Wagner’s reform plan calling for those new rules; and Wagner and his slate were elected without opposition.
    A devious political schemer like one or more of the plaintiffs might think that a lawsuit filed at the right time could distract the defendants enough to disrupt preparations for that primary. Sadly for the plaintiffs, my sources assure me that primary plans are on track, and that a letter announcing the June primary to all registered Oregon Libertarians will go out in the next few days.
    National party politics could also be a factor in the suit’s timing. Last year some of the plaintiffs tried to get the LNC to disaffiliate Wagner’s Board of Directors and recognize the Reeves committee as the Oregon party’s legitimate officials. That ploy was ultimately quashed by the LNC judicial committee’s ruling that the recognized officers continue to be recognized until and unless the LNC, by a 2/3 vote in accordance with LNC bylaws, voted otherwise. Lacking the votes to disaffiliate the Wagner group, LNC Chair Mark Hinkle backed off; and eventually data dumps to the Oregon party were resumed and the link from the LNC website to the LPO’s was restored.
    That fiasco got the attention of influential Libertarians in other states too, and sentiment to throw out Hinkle and his allies at the national convention in May seems to be growing. As some plaintiffs are among those allies, they might hope an active lawsuit would give them some leverage in contesting the Oregon delegation’s credentials. Wagner is expected to head that delegation, and has announced his own candidacy for LNC Chair.
    Human nature being as it is, it may also be that the clique that dominated the Oregon party for most of the previous decade just can’t stand letting go of their petty power. But far be it from me to impute such a base motive.
    copyright 2012 by Harry Heyoka

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11907870-oregon-libertarians-sue-libertarian-party-of-oregon

  51. Jill Pyeatt

    Twice, Mr. Burke, you’ve mentioned the “now-famous Youtube” of Wes Wagner. I couldn’t find it just now by doing a quick search. Could you point us to it, please?

  52. Richard Burke

    Mr. Montoni,

    I could claim that I have listened and provide examples of concessions made over time, but what would it matter? It is not my place (or anyone else’s) to deny or grant anything on behalf of the party. We come together as a voluntary entity and adopt rules to organize govern ourselves. These rules outline our rights and responsibilities as members of the entity. The act of voluntarily joining the entity implies an agreement to operate according to it’s rules, which in our case also outlines how those rules may be changed. In the LPO, the methods for changing the rules are not unusual or extraordinary (2/3 majority at convention).

    Mr. Wagner has thrown all of that to the wind, dwarfing in my mind any other misdeed I have ever witnessed in any political party. Dissatisfaction – or even rage – is not a valid excuse for such action in an organization where membership is voluntary.

    If people believe that current LPO leaders are not listening to them, the answer is clear under our legitimate bylaws – you recruit members, organize them, get them to show up at a convention, replace the current leaders and/or change the governing documents at that convention, and implement new policy. If one cannot get the votes one needs to implement their vision, the resulting frustration does not constitute license to institute a coup. To be sure, had I done anything remotely similar to what Mr. Wagner did, I am fairly confident that Mr. Wagner would not quietly accept it.

    Had Wagner’s group shown up to the May 21st convention session that Wagner himself called for, he and his group might well have been elected to fill all of the officer vacancies created upon the convention’s adjournment at the bylaw-required State Committee meeting held immediately after the convention. But whoever the officers might have been, we would have had a united party that could recruit it’s way out of the quorum problem or avail itself of one of the other remedies that I have already mentioned.

    I acknowledge that people might support Wagner’s goals. I support some of them myself. They need to be heard and their proposals should be advanced and considered. But as a Libertarian Party, we cannot condone anyone who believes it is OK to upset the checkerboard when the game isn’t going one’s way, proceed hide behind the force of the state for legitimacy, and throw out the expressed will of members assembled in convention over many years.

    Richard P. Burke

  53. Jill Pyeatt

    Thank you, Richard. I’ll watch it later this evening, when I have a little more time.

  54. Jill Pyeatt

    Okay, self-descipline to concentrate on work matters in front of me seems in short supply today. I do remember this video. I don’t know who any of the people are besides Mr. Wagner, which is why the video didn’t mean much to me when it circulated before. It may be a key bit of evidence, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t know who the players are.

  55. The Incoming Train Wreck

    To repeat my 2000 message, there are two choices and an outcome of the third choice (Do nothing).
    Choice 1) The LNC makes a maximum effort — including if need be impeaching and removing from office its credentials committee — to ensure that Mr Wagner and his party are seated as the Oregon delegation
    Choice 2) The LNC makes the needed effort, a pile of cash, to get ballot access under some party name for the Reeves faction or for its Presidential candidate.
    Choice 3) Do nothing. Roll the dice. If choice 1 comes up, the national candidate is on the ballot in Oregon this fall. If the Reeves faction is seated, the national candidate may well not be on the ballot in Oregon.

    In 2000, the LNC tried choice 4, deliberately seat the group with no ballot access, ignore multiple warnings about what was happening, and had the train run off the cliff.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    RB@59,

    “If people believe that current LPO leaders are not listening to them, the answer is clear under our legitimate bylaws – you recruit members, organize them, get them to show up at a convention, replace the current leaders and/or change the governing documents at that convention, and implement new policy.”

    Very nice. So why are you going to court to get your way instead?

  57. Brian Holtz

    Human nature being as it is, it may also be that the clique that dominated the Oregon party for most of the previous decade just can’t stand letting go of their petty power. But far be it from me to impute such a base motive.

    If libertarianism is going to get anywhere, then libertarians need to be less clumsy in their propaganda.

    Heyoka’s editorial @57 claims that the changes embodied in the rewritten bylaws were endorsed by 2/3 of LPOR conventioneers, but doesn’t mention that the new bylaws were adopted only because of a 5-4 vote.

    Nor does Heyoka explain why the Mar 31 meeting couldn’t have just fixed the alleged quorum problem, and leave the other changes to be adopted by the convention delegates that allegedly wanted them.

    Nor does Heyoka tell his readers that Wagner’s new bylaws conveniently banished M Carling from the LPOR.

    Kudos to the Jill@63 for admitting she may not know as much about this case as the Jill@13 thought she did.

  58. Richard Burke

    All,

    What’s bizzarre about all of this is that Wagner’s group had control of the LPO before their coup. Wagner was Chair, supporter Joe Tabor was Vice-Chair (he’s in the video), supporter Richard Skyba was the Secretary, and Mark Vetanen (sitting next to Wagner), was the Treasurer. More of their supporters sat on the State Committee as county representatives. Although a few from the other faction had seats too, Wagner’s group had a functioning majority on the State Committee.

    What they didn’t have was control over the LPO Judicial Committee, which curbed some of their excesses like unilaterally deciding that all of our lifetime memberships were null and void. Still, with functional control over the LPO State Committee, there is much the Wagner group could have done to recruit our way toward quorum or seek judicial relief from the requirement. They could have called special conventions whenever they liked, and set the agenda for those conventions.

    Because they had this control, they can’t reasonably claim that they were throwing out bad leaders – THEY were the leaders. Instead, they attempted to throw out the whole organization and started one of their liking – one without any pesky Judicial Committee, and one which throws out the requirement that members subscribe to our Statement of Principles.

    No, they went for the whole ball of wax. But in the end, they are going to wind up with nothing, and everyone will remember what they tried to do – it will be very hard for them ever to build a significant political base again. And for the good of the organization, knowing I am a controversial figure in the LPO, I intend to reduce my role when this is over so I cannot be used as a rallying post for people who would do such things as these.

    Richard P. Burke

  59. Richard Burke

    Mr Knapp,

    In answer to your question: We are in court because Mr. Wagner attempted to throw out the rule book that would allow us to resolve our issues internally. He used his position as Chair at the time to file his documents with the State, which has said that they will only respond to a judge’s order. Had Wagner adhered to the legitimately adopted bylaws, we would not be in court.

    Richard P. Burke

  60. Richard Burke

    Harry Heyoka said,

    “Even dues-paying members, at the March 2010 business convention that elected most of the currently recognized officers, showed their desire for just the kinds of changes incorporated in the new rules. That convention voted by two thirds to endorse current Chair Wes Wagner’s reform plan calling for those new rules; and Wagner and his slate were elected without opposition.”

    The 2/3 majority voter you are referring to was in support of a list of principles by which a new set of proposed governing documents would be written and considered – it was not a vote on the proposal itself.

    And as always, the devil is in the details. The proposal itself was written solely by members of Wagner’s faction and contained provisions that a majority or a large plurality of members could not accept. Among them – 1) Ending the requirement that members subscribe to the statement of principles, 2) Forcing all registered Libertarian voters to be LPO members rather than simply allowing them to be, 3) Abolition of the Judicial Committee, 4) Abolition of county party representation on the State Committee… you get the idea. Nobody endorsed any of that, so I don’t think that the vote you are referring to can be translated to constitute support for Wagner’s bylaws.

    Richard P. Burke

  61. Brian Holtz

    @68: Wow.

    Well, damn, now I can’t claim that nobody has offered a serious answer to my question @29.

    It’s interesting that the LNC respondents didn’t make these points in front of JudCom. The charitable interpretation would be that they thought they only needed to argue what the rules are, and not to argue that their opponents are the Bad Guys.

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    RB@69,

    “We are in court because Mr. Wagner attempted to throw out the rule book that would allow us to resolve our issues internally.”

    And how is you attempting to throw out the organization and replace it with a bunch of Republican committeemen and APF plants superior?

  63. Wes Wagner

    IPR readers may refer to the motions in the case, however, I would also direct you to a careful reading of the alleged 2009 bylaws Mr. Burke claims are in effect and the disposition of the party offices on the alleged May 21st, 2011 meeting they claim to have held. (hint: they were not vacant under the old rules.)

  64. paulie

    I only had a comment from Wes, and from someone else, but not a lot of info.

    I just did an email search and this was all I found. It was forwarded to IPR email lists on April 9.

    Wes Wagner posted in LP Radical Caucus

    Wes Wagner 12:51pm Apr 9
    Reeves et.al. v Wagner and LPO today was dismissed for failing to join all parties. Other motions to dismiss are on hold pending leave to refile given to plaintiff’s counsel.

  65. Wes Wagner

    Paulie @74

    I will get you a copy of the order after negotiations/arguements between both sides of counsel are finished and the judge has signed it.

    That can take a little while.

  66. paulie

    Will all this crappola render Oregon like Arizona was in 2000? Will this be a state that will NOT put the convention nominees on the ballot out of spite?

    I haven’t read far enough to see if anyone answered in the meantime. What they have said is that if Wagner et al are recognized as the Oregon delegation at the national convention, they will feel honor bound to place the presidential ticket selected by that convention on the Oregon ballot; if the Reeves group is in control of the delegation at the convention they are making no such commitment.

    The credentials committee appears to be siding with the Reeves group, but could conceivably be overruled by the delegates via floor vote. I’m not sure if the LNC would or could intervene.

  67. Wes Wagner

    Paulie @76

    Should the delegates via a floor vote recognize our delegation as the delegation from Oregon, my good faith offer would also still stand.

    The memberhip of the LP is the organization and has the ultimate right to act on its behalf, and even if the current leadership is unwilling to honor standing agreements between Oregon and the national party due to issues of corruption — I would not hold that against the membership when they over-rule them.

  68. paulie

    If, say, the national LP selects GJ, and the Wagnerians don’t like that choice, what would stop them from nominating Vermin Supreme if they want to?

    Their word of honor to abide by the convention’s results if (and only if) they get to participate.

    If they do not get to participate the remaining options for the national LP and its nominees are:

    A) For the national LP and/or presidential campaign to try to convince them to do so anyway; something that Browne and the LNC were unwilling to do with Arizona

    B) For the Reeves group’s lawsuit to prevail

    C) Paying for a petition drive.

  69. paulie

    I guess you missed my point. Say Wagner & Co. is seated at Red Rock. Say they vote for someone other than the nominee. Based on their behavior, I could see LPO STILL field another candidate for prez on the OR state ballot.

    They have said plainly they will not do that.

  70. Jill Pyeatt

    BH @ 68: “Kudos to the Jill@63 for admitting she may not know as much about this case as the Jill@13 thought she did.”

    I’m not sure that’s what I did, but, hey, I’ll play along!:)

  71. Harry Heyoka

    The video posted by Richard Burke @61 conveniently starts AFTER Dave Terry assaulted Marc Vetanen, grabbing him by the throat, and was then pulled away by other members.

  72. Steve M

    I would like to apologize to Aaron Star he is not a member of this law suit. I was confused.

  73. Steve M

    Richard Burke is a member of the law suite against Wes Wagner for control of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

    I would appreciate it if any member of this law suite would state that they are a member of it and from which side when they comment so as to be unambiguous that they have a vested interest.

    http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/0bbnfoa4ie57m?q=Libertarian+Party

    Tim Reeves, David Terry, M Carling, Greg Burnett and Richard Burke have filed a lawsuit against Wes Wagner and Libertarian Party of Oregon over the legal officers of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

  74. Pooper Scooper

    Um…Harry @81…did you actually watch the video before you said that? That’s the first thing in the video. It just happens off camera. So much for your reporting skills.

    You guys know how Wagner and Phillys are always calling the Reeves side names because the Reeves guys know Roberts Rules pretty well.

    Check out what Wagner does about 31 seconds into the video. He grabs his Roberts and waves it around in the air over his head while he quotes from it about how he can use it to throw someone out of the party. Who is the “parliamentoonian” again?

    It’s like it’s his little sword, and he’s charging into battle with it. I bet he sleeps with his gold book. I bet he calls it his “precious”.

  75. Jill Pyeatt

    I really don’t know what Mr. Burke thought the video proved. Wes Wagner wasn’t really a part of it at all past the first 30 seconds or so. It certainly didn’t prove to me who the correct officers of the party were.

  76. Brian Holtz

    It seems there is a smoking gun in the video that contradicts Heyoka’s claim that “even dues-paying members, at the March 2010 business convention that elected most of the currently recognized officers, showed their desire for just the kinds of changes incorporated in the new rules”.


    Voice 1: This [bylaws rewrite] is a solution to the problem.

    Voice 2: Then get 50 people in a room and vote on it.

    Wes Wagner: You’ll never get those two thirds to give up their royal scepter and actually hand the power back to the members of the state.

    Voice: I don’t see how the State Committee can act for the membership. All we can try to do is fix the [quorum?] problem.


    Thus Wagner admits on tape that there did not exist the necessary 2/3 support for his plan to redefine LPOR membership such that at least one of his dues-paying enemies would be banished from the party, and the remaining members of the party would be diluted to about 1% by bringing in thousands of people who had never subscribed to the LPOR Statement of Principles, had never attended an LPOR meeting, and had never paid LPOR dues.

  77. Jill Pyeatt

    BH @ 86: “Wes Wagner: You’ll never get those two thirds to give up their royal scepter and actually hand the power back to the members of the state.”

    That was one comment made during an emotional meeting. It doesn’t convince me of anything.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@86,

    Interesting dichotomy:

    The old “Reform Caucus” people, yourself included (although Capozzi more so, to the extent that he plainly doesn’t subscribe to it at all) have always had a problem with the LNC’s Statement of Principles and called for a “bigger tent.”

    But now you have an ax to grind with Wagner for suggesting that all of the Oregonians who have taken the fairly solid step of filling out a form and registering with the government as “Libertarians” should be excluded from the Oregon LP in favor of keeping it a private Statement of Principles subscriber club.

    What am I missing?

  79. Robert Capozzi

    88 tk, in my case, I don’t have a problem with the existence of A SoP as the terms of a private association. My intent is to a) challenge the absolutism and extremism contained in the document; and b) challenge the 7/8ths requirement for changing it.

    So, I challenge the content of the SoP, not the form per se, although the 7/8ths form indicates an apparent grandiose mindset on the part of the adopters.

    Wagner’s making up the rules as he goes is dysfunctional to me.

  80. Wes Wagner

    If one of you wants to fund a quixotic lawsuit against the Oregon Secretary of State to demand inclusion of the SoP on the voter registration form, I won’t stop you.

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@89,

    I wasn’t trying to say that you don’t favor an SoP. I was saying that you don’t subscribe to the existing SoP.

    As far as “dysfunctionality” goes, spending decades in a party whose principles you disagree with and can’t change, complaining that you disagree with it and that it’s stupid that you can’t change it … well, that’s ought to be listed as an example in the dictionary definition.

  82. Robert Capozzi

    91 tk, as I do believe I’ve explained to you numerous times, as a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, there was a time when I even thought that there IS a cult of the omnipotent state. I thought the SoP was a thing of beauty. Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that, now.

    You mistake “sharing another perspective” with “complaining,” my stateless brother. It’s not that I “disagree” with the LP’s principles; I agree with the sentiment (for the most part) even in the SoP. It’s the Newtonian physics-like application, the linearity, the b/w absolutism that I submit don’t and probably can’t work.

    Oh, and as for my ability to change the LP or anything else, surely a learned dude such as yourself is familiar myth of Sisyphus. Yes, rolling that boulder up the hill over and over again might well seem frustrating to some. Roll the boulder with love, however, and every single time it’s a blast.

    It’s all right now, in fact it’s a gas.

  83. Brian Holtz

    Tom, what you’re missing is that I don’t agree with you and Wes that ends justify means.

  84. Wes Wagner

    BH @93

    Notwithstanding that the faction you regularly defend is the most Machiavellian element of the party — and that you systemically ignore every procedural failure they have made when it does nto suit your interests — the people of the United States would still be subjects of the British King’s crown were all persons involved in making it otherwise dogmatically applied the concept that “the ends don’t justify the means”.

    I sure have my arguments with RC quite regularly, but at least he recognizes the concept of the middle road, and doesn’t simultaneously show himself to be a hypocrite with almost every utterance.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    94 ww, not quite a “middle road.” A serviceable way to look at this question is to say that a sound default position is the ends don’t justify the means. There may be times in which the dysfunction is so persistent and hurtful that aggressive means are justified. In those times, the righteousness of the aggressive act needs to be as “clean” as possible. Ideally, there would be no inner conflict.

    An indicator of inner conflict (guilt) in another is dissembling. And acting out. In the aftermath of the LPO coup, your communications iirc were replete with dissembling, tangential statements. And then came in the infamous flaming middle finger.

    So, on BeaverGate, my assessment was that the situation didn’t rise to a justifiable breaking of the default assumption on means; I saw a lot of apparently guilt-ridden double talk that attempted to justify the break; and then a childish stunt.

    And now the laws of karma are playing themselves out. Eventually, it will be for all the best, although unnecessary suffering must be endured in the meantime….

  86. Wes Wagner

    RC @95

    People are not free to speak freely when they know at some point lawyers will be involved and not all the rats have stuck their heads in the trap yet.

    What you perceived as dissembling, might very well have been bluffing, slow play, and maneuvering.

    I made a promise to the LNC in the middle of the last decade. I am a man of my word.

  87. Wes Wagner

    Ad Hoc @97

    You should see a doctor about that… 😉

    One second is not normal…

  88. Ad Hoc

    It would be pretty foolish for the credentials committee to cost the LP Oregon ballot access, or the expense of trying to re-acquire access in that state. What do they gain in return? And why is it that they are allowed to decide this again separately after the JC already ruled?

  89. Wes Wagner

    AH @99

    They hope to gain the re-insertion of their feudal lord to manage their territory for them like he did circa 2000-2008.

    The potential impact to party membership, the presidential campaign, or the effects of the morality of the organization are all non-concerns.

    I would not even argue secondary… I have observed depraved indifference in the time I have watched them.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@93,

    “Tom, what you’re missing is that I don’t agree with you and Wes that ends justify means.”

    I don’t think I’m missing that, since no such disagreement exists.

    At the point of actual contention, both factions chose difficult to justify means — breaking the bylaws in order to move the party forward in the direction each wanted it to go.

    The fact that the Wagner faction’s ends seem better than the Reeves faction’s ends is definitely noteworthy, but the real trump card is prior means — the Reeves faction (with significant assistance from out-of-state parliamentarians) used the broken bylaws as a means to grind the organization to a halt and bring the matter to the impasse to begin with.

  91. Thomas L. Knapp

    Ad Hoc @99,

    “And why is it that they are allowed to decide this again separately after the JC already ruled?”

    That’s the chasm which makes the problem possible.

    In theory, the credentials committee doesn’t “decide” anything. They just administer the rules.

    The machinations toward seating the Reeves faction are basically an attempt to prang the administrative process by inserting people who don’t give a fuck about the rules.

  92. Robert Capozzi

    96 ww: What you perceived as dissembling, might very well have been bluffing, slow play, and maneuvering.

    me: All of a piece in my book. The integrity move might of looked something: Sure I did. There’s been a long train of abuses, something had to be done.

    Dancing around with anticipated pre-trial positioning has or will accomplish what exactly?

  93. Richard P. Burke

    All,

    Mr. Wagner 1) Attempted to install a new set of governing documents outside of a convention, 2) Attempted to install his group of leaders with himself in the position of chair by means outside the scope of our legitimate bylaws, and 3) Attempted to cancel a properly called session of the LPO convention. And he is attempting to invoke the force of the state to make it all stick.

    Hmmmm.

    None of this is dispute, and I don’t see how any of it squares with the Libertarian Party’s Statement of Principles which, under Wagner’s purported bylaws, LPO members are no longer required to subscribe to. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

    Anyway, I submit that such are the actions of one resembling a “feudal lord.” Anyone want to take issue with that?

    Richard P. Burke

  94. Robert Capozzi

    105 rpb, looks like he’s making a mitigating circumstances argument. I’m not persuaded.

  95. Wes Wagner

    Well… our first request for production of documents was sent on 3/14/12 … so I guess we might have some more answers to alot of these questions soon enough 😉

    It is almost 30 days.

  96. paulie

    They hope to gain the re-insertion of their feudal lord to manage their territory for them like he did circa 2000-2008.

    That could plausibly explain the present lawsuit, as well as the previous LNC rulings and JC appeal.

    It does not explain them not seating you at the national convention, since the CC not seating you does not change which party leadership either the state or the LNC recognizes.

    The presidential election looks pretty lopsided at the moment, and I’ve been given to understand that you can run for LNC even if you are not a delegate, so the only practical offset for the potential loss of ballot access that I can see is if they are worried about the LNC races.

    In that cases it may indeed be possible that which group of Oregon delegates gets seated may change the outcome of some LNC races.

  97. Wes Wagner

    paulie @108

    They have shown alot of dysfunction in that whole area of logical reasoning. The LNC Jud Comm tried to explain it to them, and they still did not get it.

    Who they think the LPO is has no bearing on who the LPO actually is in legal reality in Oregon… but they seem to keep thinking it does.

    The judge and lawyers on the LNC Jud Comm tried to explain it to them to no avail… I don’t think you will get through to them.

  98. Wes Wagner

    paulie @111

    Because they say it isn’t and it didn’t turn out the way they liked.

    I have heard obtuse arguments hinted about that the CC is trying to lay claim that since I was allegedly not the chair of the LPO, the case I raised to the Jud Comm was not binding since I had no standing… but of course that is absurd, since it is the Jud Comms jurisdiction to dcide that when they decide to hear the case… those arguments were made, and the jud comm agreed I had standing.

    These issues are settled… what you are seeing are the acts of desperate people who see the end of their franchise approaching.

    Expect this type of behavior out of the US Government too.

  99. paulie

    Seems to me that the JC should be the final and highest arbiter (regardless of what you think of their decision), not the CC, does anyone have a good explanation of why that should not be the case?

  100. Brian Holtz

    The LPUS Bylaws say that the LNC’s recognition of the Reeves group became “null and void” when it was overturned by JudCom.

    Wes Wagner is shocked, shocked to hear that Libertarian Party officials on CredCom don’t think they need to follow their party’s bylaws. The next thing you know, we’ll see Libertarian leaders completely throw out their party’s bylaws and install their own.

    Oh wait…

  101. paulie

    Brian,

    Do two wrongs make a right?

    Assuming that you are correct that Wagner acted inappropriately in maintaining his positions as Oregon chair, does that mean that CredCom is then justified in ignoring a ruling from JudCom? I realize that you were a dissenting vote on JudCom but it still seems to me that JudCom majority should be the final and highest authority here, regardless of who you think is correct in the original Oregon dispute.

    If you disagree, why?

  102. Brian Holtz

    Not even one wrong makes a right.

    That’s why Wagner’s coup was wrong, despite his attempts to justify it by saying it was the Good Guys™ against the Bad Guys.

    And that’s why CredCom would be wrong not to seat Wagner’s delegation.

  103. paulie

    And that’s why CredCom would be wrong not to seat Wagner’s delegation.

    Thanks.

    So, thus far I have yet to receive a reply from anyone who agrees with the current credcom ruling and provides a good reason for it.

  104. Wes Wagner

    P@118

    For the same reason Brian Holtz ignored evidence when he served on the judicial committee and was part of that dissenting opinion that the Reeves crew even if the 2009 bylaws were operative:

    1) had no quorum
    -and-
    2) appointed themselves to offices that were not vacant

    The LNC ignored it too.. because they WANTED Oregon… this fight became not about rules way back in 2010 when Hinkle, Mattson and Carling visited Oregon to try to steal an affiliate for the benefit of their internal LNC power struggle.

    They wanted to crown their team, and whitewash it all, and thought they could abuse their offices to do it.

    Holtz has been consistent in one thing… ignoring the complete portfolio of facts about this issue.

  105. Richard P. Burke

    All,

    Wagner @112 deigns things to be true because he wants them to be. There was indeed quorum at the State Committee meeting where the Reeves officers were elected to fill vacancies created upon adjournment of the 2011 LPO Annual Business convention.

    Forgotten in all of this is the LNC passed resolution (12-5) declaring that the Judicial Committee had exceeded it’s authority, did not have jurisdiction in the matter, and that it’s ruling could not be legitimate. Unlike the Judicial Committees of many state parties, the authority of the national party’s Judicial Committee is not unbounded and specifically limited in Article IX, Section 2.

    Richard P. Burke

  106. Wes Wagner

    Go ask the judge and lawyers on the Jud Comm what this means:

    Article IX
    ….
    2. The subject matter jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee is limited to consideration of only
    those matters expressly identified as follows:
    a. suspension of affiliate parties (Article 6, Section 6),

  107. Wes Wagner

    Regarding what quorum requirements were under LPO 2009 Bylaws.

    A quorum under the 2009 bylaws was defined as 20% of the State Committee.

    The state committee was comprised of 4 officers, and 2 representatives from each county, unless a county met certain criteria for more.

    Per those bylaws abolishing a county required a procedure which involved the judicial committee.

    This procedure was never followed to shut down any of the counties which had a charter in Oregon.

    For the purposes of counting quorum, vacant positions are still considered in the count (one reference for the reason why: http://books.google.com/books?id=-pWanWkz8uIC&pg=PA115&lpg=PA115&dq=robert%27s+quorum+vacancies&source=bl&ots=UKcsf9cfFY&sig=uETB-otXZPgudMciyy7KsGoqLPY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LCRWT769G6nSiAKx07SBCA&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=robert%27s%20quorum%20vacancies&f=false )

    Oregon had 13 chartered counties under the old bylaws:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_Party_of_Oregon

    According to wikipedia. I have seen documents that imply 18.

    Therefore quorum would be based on 30 to 40 positions on the State Committee, or 6 to 8 participants respectively.

    Further, there are no expirations for the terms of office under the 2009 LPO bylaws, except for a vice-chairperson who is promoted to chairperson. That states that the term of office will last until the end of the *NEXT* convention.

    Since Mr. Weston resigned between sessions of a convention that was still in progress, the end of the NEXT convention would have been March 2012.

    Therefore it is quote explicit that the position of Chairperson was not vacant. It is also quite implicit that the offices of Secretary and Treasurer were also not vacant because no successors were elected by a body of members. There were no vacancies, so no means for appointment.

    —-

    So there you have it, the entire Reeeve’s slate was a miscarriage from the point of conception.

  108. Wes Wagner

    I forgot to add on that 2 of the alleged representatives at the infamous state committee meeting had resigned years earlier and I have that letter.

    They also alleged that they closed the Clatsop county party so they have no chain of custody to have ever conceivably reclaimed credentials.

  109. Chuck Moulton

    Richard Burke wrote (@123):

    Forgotten in all of this is the LNC passed resolution (12-5) declaring that the Judicial Committee had exceeded it’s authority, did not have jurisdiction in the matter, and that it’s ruling could not be legitimate. Unlike the Judicial Committees of many state parties, the authority of the national party’s Judicial Committee is not unbounded and specifically limited in Article IX, Section 2.

    It hasn’t been forgotten. It’s just hogwash. Decisions from the judicial committee can’t be appealed to the LNC.

    The JC heard arguments on its subject matter jurisdiction and made a decision.

  110. Chuck Moulton

    Wes Wagner wrote (@125):

    For the purposes of counting quorum, vacant positions are still considered in the count (one reference for the reason why)

    That’s a very interesting cite!

    It is counter-intuitive to me and contradicts my earlier analysis, though admittedly that might show I should have done more thorough research into that particular question.

    I don’t have Parliamentary Law handy. I’d be interested in hearing M Carling and Alicia Mattson’s research on the vacancy question given that citation (Parliamentary Law, 531).

  111. Wes Wagner

    CM @129

    M Carling had a conversation with Jeff Weston via email in 2010 because we were unsure how to count quorum on the Judicial Committee if there were vacancies.

    M and Jeff had both come to an agreement that the vacant positions are still counted towards quorum… M offered an opinion and reasoning and Mr. Weston agreed with it.

  112. Paulie

    BH 121

    What ruling? Is there a text?

    I don’t have it handy at the moment but I’ll try to find it again. It was either an article or comment here or an email. If the latter I believe I would have forwarded it to everyone at IPR. I wish I could remember where I saw it.

  113. Wes Wagner

    This was the conversation regarding the old LPOR Judicial Committee (which had 5 positions):

    FYI

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: M Carling
    Date: Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 7:38 AM
    Subject: Re: LPO Parliamentary Questions
    To: Jeff Weston

    Jeff,

    Quorum for JudCom is 3, whether or not there are any vacancies.

    I didn’t say that the quorum for a nominating convention is half the
    RegLibs. I said I would have to read up and get back to you on that
    question. I’m hoping that the Elections Code specifies the quorum
    requirement for a nominating convention.

    I’ll have to read up and get back to you on the other questions.

    I think you did a great job yesterday in a very difficult situation.

    M

    Sent from my iPad

    On Nov 7, 2010, at 7:17, Jeff Weston wrote:

    > M,
    >
    > Here are some of the questions I would like some help with:
    >
    > We briefly discussed yesterday that the quorum for LPO nominating
    > conventions should be half of all registered Libertarian voters in
    > Oregon. That means that quorum for our nomination conventions is over
    > 6000 people, which obviously we will never achieve. Do you still
    > believe that the quorum requirement for our nominating conventions is
    > half of all registered Libertarian voters in Oregon?
    >
    > We also discussed the problem of removing members from our membership
    > list for non-payment of dues. The State Committee adopted a special
    > rule of order in an attempt to address this, but as we discussed
    > yesterday, the State Committee cannot take such an action. There is a
    > Judicial Committee ruling from June that also has some bearing on
    > this. I have attached the ruling to this email. The Judicial Committee
    > unanimously ruled that the only way to terminate one’s membership in
    > the LPO is to use Article III, Section 5 of the LPO bylaws. This
    > ruling was made even after I specifically argued that non-payment of
    > dues should terminate one’s membership in the LPO. What is your
    > opinion of dropping members for non-payment of dues given our
    > governing documents and the Judicial Committee ruling?
    >
    > If we don’t automatically drop members for non-payment of dues, would
    > the correct process for removing them from our membership list be to
    > use the termination procedure from Article III, Section 5 of the LPO
    > bylaws?
    >
    > If we don’t automatically drop members for non-payment of dues, how
    > does this affect quorum requirements for meetings?
    >
    > If we don’t automatically drop members for non-payment of dues, how
    > does this affect the number of signatures needed for a recall?
    >
    > What is the quorum requirement for our Judicial Committee? Is the
    > quorum based upon the current members of the Judicial Committee or is
    > it based upon the number of Judicial Committee members specified in
    > the LPO governing documents, making it a majority of five members
    > regardless of the number of current members of the committee?
    >
    > What do I do if the Judicial Committee makes a ruling that clearly and
    > unambiguously violates LPO rules? The LPO constitution says that the
    > Judicial Committee is the final authority on all matters requiring
    > interpretation. RONR clearly states that interpretation of bylaws is
    > only allowed if they are ambiguous. If the Judicial Committee issues a
    > ruling that “interprets” something that is clearly unambiguous, do I
    > have an obligation to nullify that decision?

  114. Paulie

    Decisions from the judicial committee can’t be appealed to the LNC.

    How is that even a question at all?

    Someone here is really trying to argue against this?

    That’s like saying US Supreme Court decisions can be appealed to Congress.

  115. Wes Wagner

    They have not issued a “ruling” … last I saw they claimed they were still debating because they received 2 lists from Oregon.

    Through indirect channels I have heard that internally they are discussing ignoring the judicial committee ruling and/or attempting to adjudicate that since I am allegedly not the chairperson of the LPO my list should not be accepted, but the Reeve’s list should be, etc.

    There is nothing formal, yet. I suspect they will wait until the convention for maximum inconvenience for everyone involved.

  116. Paulie

    Thanks, I was wrong then.

    Anyway, given that JC ruled I don’t understand why it is up to the CC to reconsider that ruling. Seems JC decisions would be final, otherwise why have one at all?

  117. Wes Wagner

    Paulie @136

    Well now you are trying to make sense again… things don’t make sense while empires are falling apart. 🙂

  118. Marc Montoni

    There is nothing formal, yet. I suspect they will wait until the convention for maximum inconvenience for everyone involved.

    I agree that there probably are some individuals on the Credentials Committee who have such intent. Personally I believe that’s a dishonest and manipulative way to do business, but oh well.

    Anyway, given that JC ruled I don’t understand why it is up to the CC to reconsider that ruling. Seems JC decisions would be final, otherwise why have one at all?

    The Credentials Committee, because half of its members are appointed by the majority on the LNC, is a subcommittee of the LNC, and as such is fully subject to the rules of the LNC. The parliamentoonians who believe otherwise are a blight on their brotherhood.

    For those who are concerned about what the Credentials Committee will do, well, the only way to find out is to ask them. Their names and emails are listed on Page 19 of the “Delegation Chair’s Manual”:

    In a mail ballot documented in the December 10-11, 2011 LNC minutes, the LNC named the following members to the 2012 Credentials Committee:

    1. Jeff Dimit, Chair jldimit@aol.com
    2. Mark Bodenhausen markbodenhausen@yahoo.com
    3. Jo Coleman jorcoleman@sbcglobal.net
    4. Scott Lieberman scott73@earthlink.net
    5. Emily Salvette salvette@ameritech.net

    Ranked alternates include:

    1st M Carling mcarling@gmail.com
    2nd Carla Pealer cpealer99@msn.com

    Credentials Committee members appointed by the largest 5 states as of most recent convention (2010):

    1 California 1691 Cory Nott corynott@yahoo.com
    2 Texas 879 TBA
    3 Florida 823 TBA
    4 Ohio 630 Aaron Harris aaron.harris@lpo.org
    5 New York 613 Michael Houze michael_houze@yahoo.com

    ———————-

    The fact that the Judicial Committee has been invoked several times in the last few years, after a couple of decades of non-use, confirms there is an intractable fracture within the LP. This will not end well. Compromise between the two factions is warranted under those conditions, but the majority has made clear there will be no compromise — otherwise they would not continue fighting to the point of things going to court, or to the Judicial Committee. These people have been given every opportunity to extend the olive branch, but their reply at every turn has been to make more decisions that only anger portions of the membership even further.

    Someone else noted that elections have been pushed to very late in the convention, and that it’s clear that the intent of this is to bump the election of the next Judicial Committee off the convention floor, so that the majority on the LNC can appoint a compliant JudComm. If this happens, kiss any future appeals to the JC goodbye; at that point doing so will be wasted effort. Even if the required number of signatures is achieved, an LNC-appointed JC will not contradict the majority.

  119. Marc Montoni

    OL@51, MM@52, you’re basically saying that it’s OK to break the rules if you’re a Good Guy doing it to fight the Bad Guys. That theory is the very opposite of libertarianism.

    Holtz, don’t put words in my mouth. Read what I wrote, instead of what you want to think I wrote.

    What I am “basically saying” is that someone who continually commits acts that anger his fellows — and ignores their objections, over a period of years — should eventually expect to find himself in the middle of a tornado.

    I do not agree with the Wagner faction’s issuance of new bylaws without a convention vote. I do not agree with eliminating the requirement to sign/agree the SOP or pledge, but that’s a state option — MO doesn’t have it (as I recall that was Knapp’s handiwork); the Virginia LP does.

    However I also do not agree with many of Mr Burke’s past actions either and my suggestion is that he could have prevented the current row by moderating himself and minding how his actions would be viewed by others.

    In addition, Mr Burke claims that nothing was preventing Wagner’s group from assembling a quorum. However, Burke’s faction *was* preventing exactly that. Oregon’s a pretty big state. If members take a day (or two days) out of their lives to travel to a convention, only to see it shut down, they’re not going to bother attending any more that will likely also be shut down. Determining who will gain the leadership of the organization by repeatedly annoying the members until some of them don’t bother showing up any more is not really a good way to win those leadership positions.

    Nor does Heyoka tell his readers that Wagner’s new bylaws conveniently banished M Carling from the LPOR.

    Carling is a member of several state parties, and in every one where he participates, it seems controversy follows.

    Not due to Carling, who showed up at our Virginia convention in 2003, but due to an attempt at sabotaging our presidential ballot-access in 2004 by a disgruntled former member, the Virginia LP eventually adopted a qualification for members that they must both reside in and be domiciled in Virginia. In other words, now, if someone moves out of state, the mere act of moving out of state is an ipso facto resignation of membership. Not being a member disqualifies one from holding LPVA office, also.

    In any case, I would advise all state LP’s to adopt requirements for members to be resident and domiciled; and probably registered to vote as well.

    Pick a state, and stay there!

  120. Marc Montoni

    @29:

    Suppose hypothetically your bylaws had a quorum requirement that made it impossible for your body to conduct business, and that you considered yourself empowered to change the bylaws. Do you

    1) just change the quorum requirement in the bylaws?

    I suggested both factions agree to that last year. So in that sense this question was answered before you even asked it — but of course you already knew that; you just choose to ignore it.

    Or do you also

    2a) expel a category of members that conveniently includes one or more notable political enemies,
    2b) dilute the voting power of the non-expelled members from 100% to 1%,
    2c) remove the requirement that members must have subscribed to the Statement of Principles,
    2d) appoint yourself to a whole new term of office,
    2e) dissolve the Judicial Committee and its ability to review these actions, and
    2f) deny that any of these actions can be contested in court?

    First off, I don’t know of anyone who is saying that any of this *should* be done sans convention.

    But since you won’t accept that as an answer, I’ll try this your way. Once. I have little doubt you will allege this doesn’t qualify as an answer, either.

    2a you mean Carling, who doesn’t live there and is a member of several other states. No. But on the other hand, Carling should probably have voluntarily recused himself.

    2b No; but on the other hand, I don’t see many of those 13,000 registered L’s attending the next convention anyway; most people attending will probably be dues-paying members. The quorum requirement for a convention under Wagner’s new rules is only 100 — maybe Burke and friends can take their own advice, and work towards getting 100 people there.

    2c No.
    2d No.
    2e No.
    2f No.

    I fully expect you to mischaracterize this in your usual dishonest fashion. However, the facts remain. As I’ve said before, I have repeatedly counseled Wagner to do the right thing. The fact that I understand where all of this has come from doesn’t mean I approve of his actions. In fighting Burke, Wagner runs the risk of becoming Burke. In which case the pendulum will eventually swing away from Wagner. He needs to find his way to settle up with Burke’s faction. The pendulum eventually needs to stop, and the LPOR needs to return to its purpose of electing Libertarians.

  121. Marc Montoni

    Burke @ 123:

    Wagner @112 deigns things to be true because he wants them to be. There was indeed quorum at the State Committee meeting where the Reeves officers were elected to fill vacancies created upon adjournment of the 2011 LPO Annual Business convention.

    It would seem that Burke also deigns things to be true because he wants them to be.

    Once again, where’s the beef?

  122. paulie

    In any case, I would advise all state LP’s to adopt requirements for members to be resident and domiciled; and probably registered to vote as well.

    Pick a state, and stay there!

    No thanks. I travel for a living and my home is wherever I am. Since I am always paying for motels anyway, I don’t pay for an apartment anymore since it just becomes expensive storage. The last one I had from Jan 2000 to Aug 2002 I stayed in a total of 6 months the entire time.

    Since my parents are still alive I use their house as a snail mail address and free storage in part of their garage. It’s not my “residence and domicile” though, I haven’t been there in over a year and this is not the first time, and I’m usually there only a few weeks a year if that. I’ve been at my present motel over 4 months now, but that is also not typical and I’m about to move states in the next day or two I think.

    Otherwise I would probably get a POB or PMB and a monthly storage shed. Or maybe just dump everything I can’t carry on my back, and forget about snail mail since I don’t see it sometimes for a year or more at a time anyway.

    And I apparently can’t register to vote because I don’t use an SSN and, since I don’t use an SSN, I can’t renew my ID either. Since my ID is expired, a provisional VR without an SSN will not count for the purpose of letting me vote if I try to do so.

    I’m not picking a state and staying there, and neither are an increasing number of people.

  123. paulie

    but on the other hand, I don’t see many of those 13,000 registered L’s attending the next convention anyway; most people attending will probably be dues-paying members.

    As I understand it most ballots on party business will be mail ballots to all 13k, not conventions. Is that not correct?

  124. paulie


    The quorum requirement for a convention under Wagner’s new rules is only 100

    I followed the link and unless I missed something it said a special convention for the purpose of revising those bylaws would take 1% of the members, currently about 130.

  125. Marc Montoni

    Paulie, in a case like yours, what would be an equitable compromise? Seriously — I wouldn’t want to turn away a gypsy, but at the same time I don’t want one person to participate in multiple state conventions, either.

    Serious question — you brought this up and I want to introduce a amendment to our rules at our next convention to accommodate this. I’d like your input on how we can change it within the stated constraints.

    Unfortunately one thing that I will not change is our residency/domicile requirement for our party officers — we’re bound by state law on that one.

    Membership in the state party, and the ability to vote at Party events, however — I’m negotiable on that for people who really do live as gypsies; but at the same time, I’m definitely not interested in people who serially participate in several state conventions.

  126. Marc Montoni

    The quorum requirement for a convention under Wagner’s new rules is only 100

    I followed the link and unless I missed something it said a special convention for the purpose of revising those bylaws would take 1% of the members, currently about 130.

    No, Article 7 Section 1 prescribes rules for regular conventions; Section 2 has rules for Special conventions, and Section 3 has rules for *all* conventions. Here’s the text of Section 3:

    Convention Delegates: Any voting member who registers as a delegate in accordance with convention rules may attend and participate in that convention as a voting delegate. The quorum requirement for any convention shall be the lesser of one hundred (100) or one quarter of one percent (0.25%) of the membership.

  127. Wes Wagner

    Some clarifications about the LPO bylaws:

    Sec 3: Convention Delegates

    Any voting member who registers as a delegate in accordance with convention rules may attend and participate in that convention as a voting delegate. The quorum requirement for any convention shall be the lesser of one hundred (100) or one quarter of one percent (0.25%) of the membership.

    This of course is the requirement for the biennial convention. Since important business like the election of leadership, etc is done by mail ballot — this requirement really is binding more on issues such as passing resolutions and other business the body may elect to take upon themselves.


    Sec 1: Amendment
    A. Amendment in convention

    This constitution and bylaws are amendable in convention by a two-thirds vote provided that the convention is attended by no less than 1% of all voting members. If the 1% requirement is not met, any amendments that are passed at convention must first be sent via mail ballot for ratification before they are adopted.
    B. Amendment by Mail Ballot

    Amendments passed during a convention attended by less than 1% of all voting members must be referred to a mail ballot. The board of directors must vote whether to send out a special ballot for this purpose, or wait until the regular electoral process for nominating candidates. Amendments referred to a mail ballot must be adopted by a margin of two-thirds of all votes returned. Secure electronic ballots may also be used for special elections.

    This is for any convention, regular, or special. If you have enough people present you can amend bylaws immediately, but if you don’t then you can refer them to ballot.

    This is a safeguard to prevent the abuses that have happened in the past where a 13 person conventions held in remote Oregon made radical changes to party bylaws (which those types of issues eventually lead to bylaws that were as broken as the 2009 bylaws).

  128. Wes Wagner

    MM @141

    It is my personal opinion that Burke knows how weak his case is, and over the years I have noticed his pattern of behavior is to tell lies that people want to hear long enough to get them so deeply committed to a course of action that they feel trapped, and unable to escape.

    It is also my opinion that he would like to capture the LNC into this quagmire with the hopes that somehow the additional resources will allow him to prevail.

  129. Outsider

    Hey Wes Wagner,

    Have you thought about holding a peace treaty of sorts. Bringing a peace pipe, and eating some good food. Diplomacy could help

  130. Wes Wagner

    @149

    Mr. Reeves has refused to ever attend such an event. To date he has never even had a conversation with me.

  131. Robert Capozzi

    133 p, agreed about appeals. Congress can tweak the law to skirt SCOTUS opinions, though.

  132. Outsider

    That’s really too bad. I hate to see all of this political infighting.

    I don’t know if you guys have good afghan kabobs up there, but I was eating some good ones over here and said to myself if only people send these instead of bombs the world would be a better place. Maybe you could try that.

    And yes I’m being serious.

  133. Marc Montoni

    but on the other hand, I don’t see many of those 13,000 registered L’s attending the next convention anyway; most people attending will probably be dues-paying members.

    As I understand it most ballots on party business will be mail ballots to all 13k, not conventions. Is that not correct?

    I think that is their intent, but there is also a way to amend the bylaws within a convention.

    If you read Article 13, there are provisions for amending the bylaws, etc during conventions. The bad part is that Wagner apparently liked the impossible-to-meet quorum requirement so much that he raised it for bylaws amendments over and above what it is for conducting the convention itself — 1% have to attend the convention, or the amendment also needs to pass a mail ballot.

    In my opinion, unless LP events begin attracting a far greater percentage of their membership than they normally do, there should be no quorum requirement to conduct any business. If members don’t care enough about the outcomes to attend, then they have only themselves to blame for any negative results.

    The Virginia LP got rid of its quorum requirement at its 2000 convention, after several years of not being able to muster quorum. Although a couple of dillettantes screwed around with the definition of membership for a couple of years, nothing egregious has happened since the repeal of the quorum and we haven’t looked back.

    Had we kept the quorum, we would probably not have been able to amend our membership definition to something new after the repeal of UMP.

  134. Marc Montoni

    This is a safeguard to prevent the abuses that have happened in the past where a 13 person conventions held in remote Oregon made radical changes to party bylaws (which those types of issues eventually lead to bylaws that were as broken as the 2009 bylaws).

    I suppose if you’ve experienced something as outrageous as that, there is a case to be made that you need some minimum.

    No perfect answers, obviously.

    Who attended that convention of 13?

  135. Nick

    I will say this about the infighting, it is contained to a single state. If it was a national issue, it could cause the party to collapse like what happened with the Reform Party.

  136. wes wagner

    MM@154

    The main key to the entire quorum system is that it does not prevent you from doing business … it just prevents you from making radical changes immediatly without getting a large swath of involvement.

    This mitigates the old moral hazard of trying to hold low attendence events in far away places in order to sneak things through.

    All the same, business can be done by even a small crew so long as they refer it to the entire membership so the party is not prevented from acting.

  137. paulie

    MM 145 I’m not sure what a solution would be since I really don’t see it as a problem.

    May people, not just “gypsies”, divide their time between two or more states via second homes, jobs, family and so on and my sense is that the phenomenon is growing.

  138. Wes Wagner

    P @158

    I had some issues with one of my delegates and the credential committee because we did not submit an address for them.

    We ultimately gave an address where he is at the moment, but won’t be for long.

    Given the number of travelers, etc in our party I suspect this will happen more.

    I did take a moment to chastise the committee for discrimination and attempting to impose rules in violation of the civil rights of Oregon citizens. 🙂

  139. LibertarianGirl

    @155…LOL , i love that u dont know the answer , seriously , i wish i didnt kno…the infighting is NOT contained to 1 state and definitely exists at a national level

  140. Wes Wagner

    LG @160

    Indeed… the “homecoming” convention is actually the chickens coming home to roost…

  141. LibertarianGirl

    I wanna buy you a beer Wes….see you very shortly:) btw anyone with delegate positions open, I still need a cpl….haven’t checked back with Doug Craig ina minute so

  142. Wes Wagner

    LG @162

    CT might have some if you want to talk to Reale or Katz.

    We had 1 guy drop but 3 people ask to be alternates. I expect to be full up and looking for homes for a couple people, which was not the position I was expecting to be in a couple months ago.

    I thought I was going to give harbor to NV refugees, but now I have more people than slots.

    Alot of old chickens.

  143. Richard P. Burke

    All,

    The basic facts are still these:

    1. Wagner and his group attempted to change our bylaws outside of a properly noticed convention. He admits it. We could stop right here.

    2. Wagner and his group attempted to elect themselves to a new term of office under the purportedly new bylaws. He admits it. We could stop right there.

    3. Wagner and his group attempted to cancel a properly called session of the LPO Annual Business convention in State Committee, a session that Wagner himself moved to hold and voted for, even though our State Committee is subordinate to the will of conventions. He admits it.

    4. Wagner and his group have attempted to co-opt the force of the state to make all of the above stick. Their own writings attest to this.

    As Wagner and his group already enjoyed a majority on the LPO State Committee, they cannot claim that they were deposing tyrannical leaders. They were the leaders, particularly as they held every officer position.

    Everything else brought up here represents an attempt to obfuscate the above, which violates every principles the Libertarian Party stands for. Twist and writhe as they might, we will not let them do this just as the LNC did not let the national Judicial Committee exceed their jurisdiction as provided for in the national party bylaws. Let those who disagree with me provide reasonable retorts to items 1-4 above. We’ll stand on that.

    Richard P. Burke

  144. Brian Holtz

    RB, you don’t help your cause when you claim that JudCom exceeded its jurisdiction (e.g. because Wagner allegedly did not have standing). Just because JudCom made the wrong decision does not mean that it should not have heard the case, or that its decision is not binding.

  145. Pingback: Press Release: Reeves Group Encouraged by First Hearing over Future of the Libertarian Party of Oregon | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  146. paulie

    btw anyone with delegate positions open, I still need a cpl….haven’t checked back with Doug Craig ina minute so

    We have a few more

  147. paulie

    I expect to be full up and looking for homes for a couple people, which was not the position I was expecting to be in a couple months ago.

    I thought I was going to give harbor to NV refugees, but now I have more people than slots.

    Alot of old chickens.

    Hit me up 415-690-6352

    -p

  148. Bruce A. Knight

    @53 Richard Burke wrote: ” While proponents of Wagner’s bylaws might have bemoaned the difficulty in securing a 2/3 majority, as Wagner himself did in the now-famous video of the March 31 state committee meeting, such is what happens when a large group of people is asked to approve a set of governing documents drafted by only a few. Had the drafting process involved people across factions, the proposal might have had a better chance and people might have been more united in the effort of achieving quorum. I would submit that the failure of the proposal’s advocates to successfully deal with this issue is the true genesis of the convention’s failure.”

    In fact, as Mr Burke knows, after the officers were elected without opposition in March 2010, the LPO State Committee invited any group of 4 or more members to submit proposals to revise the constitution and bylaws in accordance with the Reform Plan endorsed by 2/3 at that convention. By the July 2010 deadline only one proposal was submitted, written by several members including Mr Wagner and me. None of the plaintiffs in the current suit chose to submit a proposal.

    @69 Mr Burke wrote, perhaps redundantly, “The proposal itself was written solely by members of Wagner’s faction…”

    Mssrs Burke and Carling were members at the time, with the same opportunity to submit proposals that all members had. Their faction either chose not to play, or couldn’t get 4 members to agree on a proposal that conformed to the reform plan.

    “… and contained provisions that a majority or a large plurality of members could not accept.”

    That is Mr Burke’s opinion. Had he and others not voted to adjourn the November 2010 bylaws convention 20 minutes after the call to order, we would have learned whether his opinion was correct.

    Indeed, we who wrote that proposal didn’t expect every word of it to be supported by 2/3. That is why the State Committee scheduled an entire weekend for that convention, with frequent recesses for working out compromises on points of dispute.

    We didn’t expect to get everything we wanted, but the prior 2/3 endorsement of the reform plan encouraged us to think we could make major improvements to the old dysfunctional bylaws, described by Mr Carling in March 2011 as “the worst I have seen.”

    These are simply the facts. I’ll refrain from expressing my opinion as to the motives of Carling and Burke, or of Mark Hinkle and Alicia Mattson, who flew into Portland the day before that November convention to persuade then-LPO Chair Jeff Weston to apply a quorum rule never before imposed on an LPO convention.

  149. Bruce A. Knight

    Oh yes, for those keeping score I was not named as a defendant in the original filing. Whether I become one would seem to be up to the plaintiffs and their attorney.

  150. Richard P. Burke

    All,

    Mr. Knight is being disingenuous here. Leaders were indeed elected without opposition at the 2010 LPO Convention. Not that this is even relevant to what is going on today, but I is worth knowing why. Mr. Knight likes to believe that this represented a popular mandate.

    In fact, so many had been chased out after Wagner’s prior litigation and threats of litigation, that many of us did not think it was the right time to mount a challenge. We were content to work within the system for the time being, assuming that the system would continue to exist unless changed according to our commonly accepted rules. Mr. Knight leaves out the fact that even at the 2010 convention, where Wagner was not challenged, he almost lost to NOTA. That says volumes right there. Same thing happened when he ran for governor. Some mandate. Moving on.

    Mr. Knight’s claim that the work of any four people would be considered for incorporation into Wagner’s bylaws, provided that the work was consistent with the Reform Plan endorsed by 2/3 at the 2010 convention, is also disingenuous. We didn’t participate and saw this offer as a sham because:

    1. Why 4 people? If one person had a good idea, couldn’t THAT idea be brought into the mix?

    2. Who would decide if the proposals brought in by various groups of four were consistent with the March 10th resolution? There was no committee or board I ever heard about tasked with making such evaluations. We reasoned that we didn’t need self-appointed mullahs passing those kinds of judgements – it seemed to us at the time that it would make more sense to take it to the members directly in a few years if the climate seemed more conducive.

    3. Sure, 2/3 passed the resolution in 2010 – the resolution consisted of list vague principles with little substance – none of them constituted concrete proposals. I voted for it myself as I recall – but the devil is always in the details, in this case the implementation, and such turned out to be the case. Many of us saw the final product to be fundamentally flawed at a fundamental level, irreparable without starting over again.

    I and others who voted to adjourn the special November 2010 convention did so because we could not meet quorum, we were not close to meeting quorum, staying longer seemed unlikely to generate that additional 20 or so delegates needed to make quorum, a headcount seemed to indicate to me that Wagner’s proposal didn’t have a plausible chance to pass as it was, and because the proposal seemed so fundamentally bad that I regarded it as irreparable during a one day event given the contentious issues involved.

    I wish we had made quorum so that the horrible proposal could have been sent back to the drawing board for rework or, if not, could be defeated outright. I think either of those outcomes were more likely than it’s passage and either of them would have provided a more definitive mandate than the vague resolution of 2010. But we didn’t have quorum and we weren’t going to that day.

    Mr. Knight you are also forgetting that the meeting was chaired by Mr. Weston, who certainly cannot be thought of as one of my supporters, and it was HE, not I, who declared us short of quorum. The meeting was adjourned by a strong majority based on Weston’s ruling. I brought about 20 people to the meeting – I did my part to achieve quorum. How many did Mr. Knight bring? If Mr Knight must blame someone, perhaps he should blame Mr. Weston. After all, he tried to faithfully follow the rules that day (for once).

    Still, all of this is obfuscation. Mr. Knight, after spending so many years projecting the image of one who functions by the rules and above the fray, why did you support an effort to replace the LPO’s bylaws outside of convention in violation of our governing documents? Why did you go along with an effort to elect leaders to new terms of office in a manner which violated our governing documents? Why did you go along with an effort to cancel a convention session that the State Committee did not have the authority to cancel when our bylaws say that State Committee is subordinate to convention?

    Oregon LP members are all learning what has happened here. True colors have been exposed, and the political price will be paid.

    Richard P. Burke

  151. Harry Heyoka

    @154 Marc Montoni asked, “Who attended that convention of 13?”

    Below is the list of delegates on file at the Oregon Elections Division.

    LPO ANNUAL CONVENTION DELEGATE SIGN-IN LIST
    March 14, 2009
    Shilo Inn, Newport, Oregon

    Name County/Position

    Christiana Mayer Wash/State Secretary

    Adam Mayer Wash/State Vice Chair

    Justin Burger Wash

    William Shoots Wash

    Orrin Grover Mari/Rep

    Justin Grover Treasurer

    Joseph Cornwell Mult/State Chairman

    Steve Pearson Wash/Vice Chair

    Dave Long Wash/Chair

    Richard Whitehead Wash

    H. Joe Tabor Mult

    Fred Jabin Mari

    Jim Karlock Mult

  152. Harry Heyoka

    For those unfamiliar with Oregon’s county names:
    Wash=Washington County
    Mult=Multnomah County
    Mari=Marion County

    There are 33 other counties in Oregon, none of which were represented at the 2009 annual convention.

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