An email from Scott Lieberman of CA made its way onto the LNCDiscussPublic list regarding the Johnson campaign for president and the ongoing controversy in the Oregon LP. Dr. Lieberman is an Alternate Regional Representative to the Libertarian National Party from Region 4, which includes Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico and New York. Wes Wagner is the leader of a group of officers who currently are recognized by the Oregon Secretary of the State and the Libertarian National Committee as the officers of the Oregon Libertarian Party. They are being challenged in a lawsuit by Tim Reeves and others as the legitimate officers of the Oregon Libertarian Party. The dispute between Wagner and Reeves has been chronicled here on Independent Political Report since March of 2011.
Here is Dr. Lieberman’s letter:
“On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 9:37 AM, Scott L. wrote:
Starchild is posting most of our lnc-discuss e-mails on the Internet, so I don’t feel bad about sending this to you.
I think you work for the Johnson campaign. Please make it clear to them that it is in their long-term best interests to sacrifice ballot access in Oregon if that is what it takes to politically neuter Wes Wagner and his group of misfits.
When will a ruling be issued in your lawsuit against Wagner?
The context of the email can be found here .
The vice-chairman of the Libertarian Party, R. Lee Wrights, had this to say:
“I can’t believe any LNC member would give such advice to any person, campaign or affiliate, particularly our Presidential campaign. Clearly, Dr. Lieberman was not thinking of the party’s best interest when he made this statement.
We work too hard for ballot access to toss it away out of spite for one person or a group of individuals. I can only hope the Johnson campaign knows better than to follow such horrible advice.
As for Mr. Burke and Dr. Lieberman, I offer this quote as a friendly piece of advice:
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Malachy McCourt
My advise to the rest of this board is that we avoid the war started by those who came before us. Let us have Peace.
I wrote to Dr. Lieberman and asked for a statement regarding his email. I received the following response:
“I think you work for the Johnson campaign. Please make it clear to them that it is in their long-term best interests to sacrifice ballot access in Oregon if that is what it takes to politically neuter Wes Wagner and his group of misfits.
Yes, I did write the above words. However, context is everything…
Have you ever written or said something to a friend that you would never say in public? I bet you have.
Virtually all adults need to “blow off some steam” every so often.
I have been a friend of Richard Burke for over a decade. Sometimes we talk about Libertarian Party stuff. Sometimes I tell him my opinion about certain Libertarians, and occasionally those opinions are rather caustic.
In 2006, Mr. Wagner sued the LP of Oregon. The LP of Oregon officers were all listed by name as defendants. Two of the defendants decided to hire their own lawyer. That lawyer cost them thousands of dollars. All of the lawsuits were eventually dismissed. But the latter two defendants quit the Libertarian Party because they did not have money to keep defending themselves in court.
The following year, allies of Wagner tried to recall the officers of the LP of Oregon. After they failed to do that, they felt they deserved to get compensated for the costs they incurred in trying to recall the officers. So, they brought a lawsuit against the LP of Oregon in Small Claims Court. The judge threw out that lawsuit.
Another ally of Mr. Wagner filed a complaint to the Secy of State’s office that Mr. Burke had forged a signature on a campaign finance document. After investigating, the SoS threw out that complaint.
In the current matter, Mr. Wagner is on tape as saying that he knew he could not get his new Bylaws to pass by 2/3 at a regular LP of Oregon Convention. Instead of trying to work with the Reeves group to see if Mr. Wagner could get at least some of his Bylaws passed, Mr. Wagner instead held his own meeting, without giving proper notice to LP of Oregon members, and created totally new Bylaws without getting a 2/3 vote at a Convention.
I am perfectly willing to let Delegates to any Convention get what they want, as long as it is done by the rules. However, Mr. Wagner seems to think that he and his group don’t need to follow the rules.
Robert’s Rules has a primary goal of protecting the rights of the members. When you pass your own set of Bylaws without a 2/3 vote at a properly announced Convention, you are violating the rights of your members.
That is why I wrote those words to Mr. Burke.
Mr. Burke originally replied to the LNC Chair, Mr. Neale, and myself. Then, Mr. Burke realized that he really did not want to send my e-mail to Mr. Neale, so Richard deleted Mr. Neale from the header of the e-mail. Or so he thought. Unfortunately, Mr. Burke accidentally did not really delete Mr. Neale from the header, so the e-mail with my words in it went to me AND Mr. Neale. I can not swear that Mr. Neale posted my words to lnc-discuss the entire world on purpose. However, Mr. Neale is a very astute political operative, and since he and I often disagree on Libertarian Party governance, I can understand why Mr. Neale would not go out of his way to cut me some slack. Ergo – Mr. Neale forwarded Mr. Burke’s e-mail, with my e-mail quoted in it, to the lnc-discuss e-mail list.
If I had written that e-mail and sent it to lnc-discuss myself, I agree that would have been very unacceptable, because LNC members need to be as objective as possible, and as polite as possible, when talking about other members of the Libertarian Party in public.
I am disappointed that Mr. Neale chose to forward my obviously private remarks to the entire world, but so be it.
I am not going to change my opinion of Mr. Wagner’s strategy and tactics just because of Richard Burke’s innocent mistake. I do urge everyone in the LP to talk to all the of the sides in a dispute before forming an opinion. Often these disputes are like icebergs – only 10% is visible above the water line.
Scott Lieberman Region 4 Alternate, Libertarian Party National Committee”
The story will be updated as needed.