LP chair Geoff Neale announces he won’t keep Carla Howell on as LP executive director

This was too major not to pass along immediately. I don’t know whether any other LNC members knew this was coming, but this is the first I’ve heard of the move.
Love & Liberty,
                                   ((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

 

Begin forwarded message:
From: “Geoffrey Neale” <liber8or@austin.rr.com>
Date: June 22, 2013 5:41:17 AM PDT
Subject: [Lnc-business] Official notice regarding the Executive Director
Please consider this to be my official notice to the LNC that, under my authority as Chair, I have decided to NOT extend or renegotiate the existing contract with Carla Howell.
I am currently evaluating my options regarding a replacement, and will update you all at some later point in time.
In the meantime, I will not disclose my reasoning for this decision in any public forum, but will be happy to do so during Executive Session during our upcoming LNC meeting.
For the record, I have offered to employ Ms. Howell on a month to month basis under the same compensation and benefits terms as are currently in effect during my search for a new Executive Director.
Geoffrey Neale
Chair
Libertarian National Committee
Update: Neale responds to several inquiries:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Geoffrey Neale Date: Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Subject: [Lnc-business] Official notice regarding the Executive Director – Followup
To: lnc-business@hq.lp.org

I have already received inquiries from multiple people regarding why this decision was made.

I cannot disclose very much, because as the Employer, I will bring significant liability upon the LP and LNC should I disclose too much regarding the decision to end a relationship with an employee of the LP. I must respect the risk to our liability by making any statements that can be viewed negatively, so I have chosen to say as little as possible.

Additionally, I hold Carla Howell in high regard, and am not interested in pursuing any activity that could be construed as damaging to her or her reputation.

The LNC Policy Manual provides an avenue for discussing this further – Executive Session. I will not discuss certain things outside of that venue.

Geoffrey Neale

Chair

Libertarian National Committee

38 thoughts on “LP chair Geoff Neale announces he won’t keep Carla Howell on as LP executive director

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    There was a discussion last month that I read on LNCDiscussPublic that I considered making an article here, but didn’t simply due to the time constraints I’m experiencing now. In it, Neale opened the search for Executive Director to others, but he was polite about it and didn’t present it that he particularily wanted to replace Ms. Howell, just that he was opening up the search. I’m not sure we need to know what the problem with Karla is, but this isn’t a total surprise to me.

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    This has been sent to IPR writers. Krzysztof may wish to include it as an update to his article, in which case it’s okay to delete this comment, but I thought IPR readers might like to see this:

    .

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Geoffrey Neale Date: Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM
    Subject: [Lnc-business] Official notice regarding the Executive Director – Followup
    To: lnc-business@hq.lp.org

    I have already received inquiries from multiple people regarding why this decision was made.

    I cannot disclose very much, because as the Employer, I will bring significant liability upon the LP and LNC should I disclose too much regarding the decision to end a relationship with an employee of the LP. I must respect the risk to our liability by making any statements that can be viewed negatively, so I have chosen to say as little as possible.

    Additionally, I hold Carla Howell in high regard, and am not interested in pursuing any activity that could be construed as damaging to her or her reputation.

    The LNC Policy Manual provides an avenue for discussing this further – Executive Session. I will not discuss certain things outside of that venue.

    Geoffrey Neale

    Chair

    Libertarian National Committee

  3. Steven Wilson

    Being employed in America is so risky. Being polite has taken over as tact.

    Howell seemed like a ED of good standing. Maybe she didn’t bring in enough funds to cover the LP activity. Maybe the new Nolan office doesn’t have room for people.

    I wish her all the best and I hope she finds a better gig than she had.

  4. Steve Scheetz

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Howell at the LPPA convention earlier this month, and over-all, I liked her, I liked her game “who’s driving”…

    This being said, there are many people who look at a couple splitting up and judging who was wrong.. At the end of the day, that couple lived with each other behind closed doors, and NOBODY can say what happens there, and therefore, nobody can judge who is at fault regarding what…

    Now, I have my own judgements regarding each of the two in this question, but at the end, before making judgement here, Ms Howell and Mr Neale do most of their work out of the public spotlight, and I, for one, do not believe that it is fair to judge what is what with whom, particularly with regard to fault.

    Steve Scheetz

  5. DaveTerry

    Would SOMEONE on the L.N.C., please inform Mr. Neale that the term “chair” is pronounced tcher, NOT Czar!

    I do not recall the LP Constitution and Bylaws being amended to permit the chairman virtual autocratic power over who the LNC hires or fires.

    If there is “probable cause” for the dismissal of Ms Howell, and IF it requires an “executive session”, so be it; BUT it is totally untoward for the chairman to make such an authoritarian position.

  6. Han Shot First

    “If there is “probable cause” for the dismissal of Ms Howell, and IF it requires an “executive session”, so be it; BUT it is totally untoward for the chairman to make such an authoritarian position.”

    No one is being dismissed. Her contract is not being renewed.

    From George Phillies:

    “If you want to advance radicalism, even a tiny bit, you need to support candidates. We have a special senate election in MA this June. A Libertarian candidate, Dan Fishman, entered the race. This is a top-line election, and the only Senate election likely to occur for a while. Fishman asked the national party for help or , say, a fundraising email. I am advised by Fishman that Carla Howell simply turned him down.”

  7. Steven R Linnabary

    The position of ED should NOT be considered a life time nor even a long term position. It is a position that requires freshness and innovation.

    I love Carla dearly and she has been good for the LP in many ways.

    But her style is NOT fresh nor innovative. While technically correct, it seems every news release has been a variation of her “small government is beautiful” theme. Correct, but zzzzzzz…..

    I am not constantly fresh or innovative myself, I hardly expect anyone else to be.

    PEACE

  8. George Phillies

    @8 Try reading the Party Bylaws. The National Chair is the Party CEO and has the power to appoint and discharge LNC employees, subject to specific LNC rules.

  9. Michael H. Wilson

    Terry @ 8. It is in article 7 section 4. Try reading as Dr. Phillies has suggested and pay attention. No need to plagiarize on this one. Simply use quotations marks and cite your source.

  10. DaveTerry

    Geoffrey Neale; ” >I hold Carla Howell in high regard, and am not interested in pursuing any activity that could be construed as damaging to her or her reputation.””I cannot disclose very much, because as the Employer, I will bring significant liability upon the LP and LNC should I disclose too much regarding the decision to end a relationship with an employee of the LP.””The LNC Policy Manual provides an avenue for discussing this further – Executive Session. I will not discuss certain things outside of that venue.””For the record, I have offered to employ Ms. Howell on a month to month basis under the same compensation and benefits terms as are currently in effect during my search for a new Executive Director.””I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Howell at the LPPA convention earlier this month, and over all, I liked her, I liked her game “who’s driving”…””I love Carla dearly and she has been good for the LP in many ways.” “I am not constantly fresh or innovative myself, I hardly expect anyone else to be.

    But, ” it seems every news release has been a variation of her “small government is beautiful” theme. Correct, but zzzzzzz…..””The National Chair is the Party CEO and has the power to appoint and discharge LNC employees, subject to specific LNC rules.”

    And which “specific LNC rules” are you referring to?

  11. paulie

    If someone is going to quote Dave Terry, please at least warn me first. I just accidentally read some of his drivel being quoted by someone else because no one warned me first. Yech!

    Better yet don’t read it and don’t respond to it. Thanks!

  12. DaveTerry

    PLEASE DISREGARD PREVIOUS – computer clitch!

    Geoffrey Neale; ” >I hold Carla Howell in high regard, and am not interested in pursuing any activity that could be construed as damaging to her or her reputation.””I cannot disclose very much, because as the Employer, I will bring significant liability upon the LP and LNC should I disclose too much regarding the decision to end a relationship with an employee of the LP.””The LNC Policy Manual provides an avenue for discussing this further – Executive Session. I will not discuss certain things outside of that venue.”

    Oh yes, the notorious “Star Chamber” (this is a reference to the secret courts in 15th & 16th century Britain – NOT a reference to Aaron :>)

    >”For the record, I have offered to employ Ms. Howell on a month to month basis under the same compensation and benefits terms as are currently in effect during my search for a new Executive Director.””I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Howell at the LPPA convention earlier this month, and over all, I liked her, I liked her game “who’s driving”…”<

    Should this be considered a eulogy?

    SL @ 10; ""I love Carla dearly and she has been good for the LP in many ways.” “I am not constantly fresh or innovative myself, I hardly expect anyone else to be. But, ” it seems every news release has been a variation of her “small government is beautiful” theme. Correct, but zzzzzzz…..”

    From here it looks exactly like you "expect" her to be exactly what you claim not to be.

    GP @11; "The National Chair is the Party CEO and has the power to appoint and discharge LNC employees, subject to specific LNC rules.”

    And which “specific LNC rules” are you referring to?

  13. DaveTerry

    Thanks Paulie, I can’t think of ANYONE, I’d rather be hated by. The more you posture and trivialize, the more I know I’m on the right track.

    BTW, aren’t you late for aliyah?

  14. Bob Tiernan

    Dave Terry @ 8:

    I do not recall the LP Constitution and Bylaws being amended to permit the chairman virtual autocratic power over who the LNC hires or fires.

    Bob T:

    All ya gotta do, Dave, is twist the wording as
    Burke trained you to do and presto! – there’s
    the new meaning!

    Bob T

  15. paulie

    Really, you guys are still responding to him? Oh well, at least you didn’t quote him, so this time at least I wasn’t tricked into reading his nonsense.

  16. Steven R Linnabary

    From here it looks exactly like you “expect” her to be exactly what you claim not to be.

    You’re damned right I expect an ED to be better than me. And I could be good for maybe six months, she has been a wonder. Going on two years is almost a record. And more than I would expect out of myself.

    And this is a demanding job. A thankless job. A never ending job with lots of loose ends, it some ways it is a miracle that anything seems to get done.

    I have nothing but praise for what she HAS done.

    PEACE

  17. Jake Porter

    @8 and 13

    Article 7: Section 4 “The Chair is the chief executive officer of the Party with full authority to direct its business and affairs, including hiring and discharging of National Committee volunteers and paid personnel….”

    That being said, no one was fired, her contract was not renewed and for an Executive Director in a party with a lot of infighting she has been in her position for a while.

    I am sure that it cannot be a fun job and I know I wouldn’t leave my current job to do it for anything less than $150,000 a year.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    DT @8,

    “I do not recall the LP Constitution and Bylaws being amended to permit the chairman virtual autocratic power over who the LNC hires or fires.”

    Not sure when the relevant clause was put into the bylaws, but I’m pretty sure it’s been there for more than a decade. It’s Article 7, Section 4:

    “The chair is the chief executive officer of the Party [sic] with full authority to direct its business affairs, including hiring and discharging National Committee volunteers and paid personnel, subject to express National Committee policies and directives issued in the exercise of the National Committee’s plenary control and management of Party [sic] affairs, property and funds.”

    Normally the”express National Committee policy” is that it must approve the executive director’s contract — but the chair decides whom that contract is offered to and whether or not to renew it at its expiration.

  19. DaveTerry

    @22; “LOL @ all the people trying to prove that 1 plus 1 equals 2 and the sky is blue, etc.

    Ludicrous, indeed; every one knows that 1 fox plus 1 chicken equals 1 very full fox + hundreds of chicken feathers.

    I can see the sky from my office window and at
    this very moment, it is clearly “Gray”

    Is there a point to your post, Paulie?

  20. Han Shot First

    The point is that trying to get through to your dumb ass, even with facts, is futile.

  21. Mark Axinn

    In my tenure as a state chair, I have worked with both Wes Benedict and Carla Howell, and found both of them to be highly supportive, professional and helpful. I am particularly glad that Carla’s Dad was our guest at the 2012 LPNY Convention where she gave the keynote address, one of the last speeches he heard her give before he recently passed away.

    I know that Wes is doing well as an ex-LP ED, and I wish Carla all the best when she is too.

  22. DaveTerry

    Han Shot First and blew his own brains out, thus;
    “The point is that trying to get through to your dumb ass, is futile.”

    You got THAT right. Sorry, I’m not oriented that way. Try your friend, Paulie.

  23. DaveTerry

    MA @25; “I know that Wes is doing well as an ex-LP ED, and I wish Carla all the best when she is too.”

    Que the violins! Everybody join together in a group hug. All is well on the LNC.

    Rated G

  24. Han Shot First

    26 – I find your lack of knowledge of the Star Wars saga disturbing. Your comment’s revisionism rivals that of Lucas.

  25. Chuck Moulton

    Carla Howell has been great to work with. I’m sad to see her contract not renewed.

    If she is to be replaced, I hope Neale picks someone younger who understands the possibilities of technology for outreach, fundraising, and volunteer coordination. Arvin Vohra would be ideal.

  26. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    @32

    Arvin would be an excellant choice! He’s young, dynamic, has really done a phenomenal job with the Facebook page, and he’s also a radical.

  27. Jill Pyeatt

    I agree that Arvin would be a great choice.

    Chuck, do you know if any discussions are happening with Mr. Vohra? Would it be appropriate to write to Geoff Neale with a recommendation?

  28. DaveTerry

    @33; Can we, at least, HOPE that he is a “moderate” radical? It really depresses me, to see, the party that I have supported for 40 years follow Alice down the rabbit hole.

  29. Chuck Moulton

    I’ve heard nothing about Arvin being considered or expressing interest in the position. He’d just be my top pick if I were chair right now.

  30. Matt Cholko

    I seriously doubt that Mr. Vohra is interested in the job. From the tiny bit that I know of his other business interests, it seems that taking the job of ED would be a very strange career move.

  31. Stewart Flood

    This is a tough job. It requires nerves of steel and the ability to deal with knives in the back, front and sides — from those who are supposed to be your friends!

    No ED is or ever will be perfect, but she did a darn good job.

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