Tom Stevens: NYLP Board Tries To Void Results Of NYC Nominating Convention; Queens LP Objects

The following was published on Dr. Tom Stevens’s website, Liberty Lion, on May 11th:

A properly noticed New York City Libertarian Party Nominating Convention was held on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at the New York Irish Center located at 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, New York. At that convention, 50+ delegates from the four city-wide chapters nominated Joe Lhota for Mayor, Kristin Davis for Comptroller, and Vivia Morgan for Public Advocate.

The delegates disposed of a number of credentialing issues including whether all of the members of the Queens, Manhattan, Kings and Staten Island LP Chapters should be permitted to vote in addition to state party members living within the 5 boroughs. All members of county LP organizations voted at the last two New York City Nominating Conventions and on November 29, 2012, Mark Axinn, current Chair of the New York Libertarian Party, wrote to Kristin Davis and told her, “To vote at a City Convention, one has to join one of the four city chapters. That can happen any time before the Nominating Convention.” This was also the ruling of John Clifton, the Queens LP Chair who was Chairman Pro Tem at the New York City Nominating Convention (said ruling that was sustained) and of Janet Hopf, the Manhattan LP Chair.

Blay Tarnoff, a resident of Nassau County and the NYLP Secretary, argued that all City Chapter members must also be state party members to vote but his argument was not accepted by the duly credentialed delegates in attendance at the New York City Nominating Convention. Mr. Tarnoff then lobbied primarily Nassau and Suffolk County LP members serving on the Board and persuaded the NYLP Board of Directors to vote on Sunday, May 5, 2013 to declare the decisions and nominations made at the New York City Nominating Convention null and void and to appoint himself as the facilitator of a new New York City Nominating Convention to be held on June 11, 2013. Janet Hopf, Manhattan LP Chair, voted against the motion.

On Saturday, May 11, 2013, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Queens County (along with all LPQC members in attendance at the meeting) voted unanimously to issue the following statement regarding the attempt by the state Board of Directors to undo the decisions and nominations made by duly credentialed delegates at the New York City Nominating Convention:

It is the position of the Libertarian Party of Queens County that the Board of Directors of the New York Libertarian Party has no authority to overturn the decisions and nominations made by the delegates at a properly noticed New York City Nominating Convention. Delegates at a properly called convention have the power to decide credentialing issues and to rule on points of order raised and the New York Libertarian Party Board of Directors cannot declare the decisions and nominations made by the delegates null and void just because they don’t like the results. Whatever one thinks should have happened at the New York City Nominating Convention held on April 9, 2013, what did happen was that Joe Lhota obtained the Libertarian Party nomination for Mayor, Kristin Davis obtained the Libertarian Party nomination for Comptroller, and Vivia Morgan obtained the Libertarian Party nomination for Public Advocate. Those nominations stand. Any nominations for citywide office made at the upcoming rump New York City Nominating Convention scheduled for June 11, 2013 will be, in our opinion, void ab initio.

Dr. Tom Stevens, Political Director of the Libertarian Party of Queens County and the elected LPQC State Representative, said:

The power of duly credentialed delegates in convention to make decisions and nominations is supreme. If that convention was properly noticed, as this one was, no Board of Directors can declare the actions of the delegates null and void. Any dispute or ambiguity in the interpretation of the state party bylaws were addressed, debated and decided by the delegates in attendance.

The Libertarian Party of Queens County was founded on October 6, 1994. It is currently the largest and most active chapter in the New York Libertarian Party with over 70 paid members.

4 thoughts on “Tom Stevens: NYLP Board Tries To Void Results Of NYC Nominating Convention; Queens LP Objects

  1. Mark Axinn

    Tom quotes an email I sent six months ago regarding qualification to vote at an NYC Convention for a City-wide office.

    I was mistaken in that email.

    At the time I was not aware of the bylaw provision which also required membership in LPNY.

    I am now aware of such requirement, but for some reason Tom has chosen to ignore it and instead to rely upon my misinformed email from months ago.

    He is free to do so, but it is not correct.

  2. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 1

    The point is that based on the information you e-mailed to Kristin Davis in two e-mails, she took action and had her supporters join both the Manhattan LP and the Queens LP so they would be able to support her at the NYC Nominating Convention.

    I don’t know if you ever sent an e-mail to Kristin Davis telling her you were mistaken. Had she received that, she would’ve had her supporters join only the state NYLP.

    It was a little late for them to have paid $20.00 to join the Manhattan LP and Queens LP only to then expect them to also join the NYLP in order to vote.

    The state bylaws need to be changed so it is clear that BOTH NYLP members living in NYC AND Chapter Members from the 5 boroughs should be permitted to vote.

    The Queens LP has 70 members but maybe only 18 of them are State Party members. Is it really fair that 52 Queens LP members cannot vote for who gets nominated for citywide office?

    I don’t think that’s right or fair.

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