Published on Tom Stevens’ blog, Liberty Lion on May 8th:
Ken Krawchuk, the current Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, published a list of Board Members after the Board of Directors Meeting held on April 13, 2013 specifically excluding Dr. Tom Stevens, Immediate Past Chair, a voting member of the Board of Directors. First, Mr. Krawchuk resisted listing Dr. Stevens as a voting Board Member and when he finally did add his name to the list, he refused to count his votes saying the votes would only be counted if Dr. Stevens called him personally or sent it to him by first class mail. This burden was not placed on any other voting Board Member.
Lawrence James Fryman, LPPA State Chair, posted the following to the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group:
I believe Tom Stevens should be allowed to vote as immediate past chair.
Henry Haller, Western Vice-Chair, posted:
Tom did vote “No” and because he is still on the board as immediate past chair, his vote must be counted.
Richard Schwarz, Philadelphia County LP State Rep wrote:
Ken, Tom has voted. If you do not wish to accept his vote via email then in my opinion you should not be the Secretary of the LPPA.
Ken Krawchuk remained unmoved and refused to count votes cast by Dr. Stevens on the official Board Business Yahoo Group. Mr. Krawchuk posted:
I await Tom’s vote, aye or nay. Operators are standing by, and the USPO is undismayed by rain, snow, sleet, or hail. 215-881-9696, 117 West Ave, Elkins Park, PA 19027.
After reading this, Dr. Stevens filed a complaint with the LPPA Judicial Committee. It read, in relevant part:
I am being disenfranchised as a voting member of the Board of Directors and I would like the Judicial Committee to direct the Secretary Ken Krawchuk to do his job, to add me to the list of Board members, to record my votes and monitor all activity on the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group where only Board Members and alternates vote on motions and participate in discussions.
When told by other Board Members that Dr. Tom Stevens voted on pending motions, Ken Krawchuk wrote the following, which the Judicial Committee found to be a fact:
I wouldn’t know what Tom said. I’ve had him in my kill file for a while. I asked him to behave himself and he refused, and no one on the board has raised a point of personal privilege to start the process to silence his rude rants, so I took personal action myself to stop them. Nothing coming from any of his e-mail addresses can reach me. The resulting silence is quite nice, thank you, and I’d advise others to do the same (except Erik, of course, who seems to enjoy it all).
The Bylaws back me up in my actions too. Article V Section 5 says: “If any members of the Board of Directors do not wish to transact Board business over the Internet, when a vote is required the Secretary will forward to them via mail or phone sufficient information regarding the business at hand to allow them to vote knowledgeably.” I refuse to transact board business over the Internet with Tom. Period. If he has anything to say to me regarding board business, he can call or write.
It was then pointed out to Ken Krawchuk that he could record who voted by simply going to the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group Messages Section without unblocking any e-mail addresses.
Chuck Moulton, former LPPA State Chair, then posted the following message to Ken Krawchuk, LPPA Secretary, which said, in part:
Dr. Tom Stevens should be listed on the voter role as the Immediate Past Chair (because he is)…I don’t see why the secretary would post an inaccurate list of voting board members.
The secretary has an obligation to monitor board member emails for votes — if there is no vote, just stop reading the email. Blocking Tom’s email would be fine if the secretary would regularly look on the Yahoo group web archive to find votes and motions, but apparently he’s not doing that either. If the secretary is unable or unwilling to do his duty, then he should resign.
The LPPA Judicial Committee ruled in favor of Dr. Stevens and issued the following decision:
The Bylaws’ phrase “If any members of the Board of Directors do not wish to transact business over the Internet” manifestly grants an option to board members who are called upon to vote. There is no conceivable interpretation of this provision that gives the Secretary authority to refuse to count the e-mail vote of a particular member and require him instead to vote by mail or telephone.
Any vote count as to which Dr. Stevens or any other Board member was subjected to this discriminatory burden is null and void ab initio and is of no force and effect.
Matthew Kelly, LPPA Membership Chair who served as Acting Secretary at the Board Meeting held on January 26, 2013, commented as follows:
There is absolutely no excuse or possible explanation for Ken Krawchuk, the current LPPA Secretary, not listing Dr. Tom Stevens, Immediate Past Chair, as a voting member of the Board of Directors or for his refusal to count votes cast by him on the official Board Business Yahoo Group. It is a failure of his fiduciary duties, a betrayal of the trust Board Members placed in him, and cause for disciplinary action.
The fact that Ken Krawchuk could believe the LPPA Bylaws permitted him to place this “extraordinary burden” on a Board Member’s right to vote is unbelievable especially since no rational person could come to that conclusion. To quote the Judicial Committee Decision, “There is no conceivable interpretation of this provision that gives the Secretary authority to refuse to count the e-mail vote of a particular member and require him instead to vote by mail or telephone.”
Behavior of this sort is an example of what many fear is the face of things to come. Professionalism may soon be replaced by thuggery and blatant disregard for the bylaws of our organization. Ken Krawchuk also serves as Secretary of the Montgomery County LP. Steve Scheetz, who has announced his candidacy for State Chair, currently serves as the County Chair of the Montgomery County LP.
Ken Krawchuk was elected Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania by internet vote on April 12, 2013 and will serve until the Annual Convention, which is currently scheduled to be held on June 8, 2013.