LPPA Issues Formal Condemnation of Thomas Robert Stevens JD

This was found on the Facebook page for Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania – LPPA
Some history of Dr. Tom Stevens and the LPPA can be found here and here .

The current chairman of the LPPA, Steve Scheetz, had this to say as he posted the attachment to Facebook:

It is my belief, with this statement, that the LPPA can move forward, allowing Tom Stevens to do and say whatever he wishes, as a non-associate of the LPPA. We have decided, with this letter that we choose to NOT associate with Tom Stevens, or any organization he is associated with, or any business that profits from his efforts.

Please read this PDF to gain an understanding as to why the board spent several hours at the board meeting yesterday, 8/17/2013 hashing this out.

Sincerely,

Steve Scheetz

LPPA Formal Condemnation of Thomas Robert Stevens

The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) strictly adheres to the principle of the non-initiation of force, and asks all members to certify that they “do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force or fraud as a means of achieving political or social goals.” It is therefore very unfortunate when members who have agreed to this principle engage in activities contrary to it. However, when just an event occurs, it is the responsibility of the membership of the LPPa to recognize this behavior and take the appropriate actions as prescribed by the organization’s Constitution and Bylaws. Such is the case that the LPPa encountered in the person of Thomas Robert Stevens. Stevens violated the bylaws of the LPPa on multiple occasions, using force and fraud, which under Article II Section 3 of those Bylaws would be qualified as cause for suspension of membership. Even though Stevens attempted to voluntarily resign his membership in July 2013, the Board believes that a formal statement explaining why the Board felt the need to suspend his membership is necessary.
First, it is important to state that Stevens has a history of using political organizations for his personal aggrandizement, resulting in hostile engagement with the memberships of those organizations and almost always an eventual dismissal or his departure on bad terms.
Stevens was the first vice chairman of the Boston Tea Party, a political organization of Republicans and Libertarians located in that Massachusetts city. He was forced to resign from that position in 2008, when it was discovered that he “was creating state affiliate organizations that were empty shells to advance his personal agenda.”
Afterwards, he focused his efforts in the Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY). However, on June 6, 2010, his membership in that organization was suspended by the LPNY State Committee when it was discovered that he continued to act in a way that was counter to the principles and objectives of the LPNY, and continued to claim that he represented the LPNY while knowing that this is not the fact. His suspension came when he refused to stop his use of fraud after he was asked, by the LPNY to stop.
On December 14, 2011, the Carl Persons Campaign for the 2012 Libertarian Party nomination issued a statement terminating Stevens’ position as campaign manager for willfully mischaracterizing Persons’ beliefs.
Unfortunately, Stevens committed many of the same transgressions in the LPPa that he had done in other organizations. The Judicial Committee of the LPPa found that as chairman of the LPPa, Stevens failed to notify the membership of the date and location of the 2013 state convention, as prescribed by Article IX, Section 1 of the Bylaws. He
only informed those who supported his retaining the chairmanship, and kept other members and entire counties completely in the dark if he sensed any opposition to his controlling agenda. The Bylaws state that the membership must be notified at least 50 days in advance of a convention, and in taking charge of the convention Stevens attempted to manipulate the event to suit his personal goals.
While Chairman of the LPPA Thomas Robert Stevens ran as the Objectivist Party presidential candidate in opposition to Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for president, in the November 2012 election. He garnered 3,855 votes in Florida and 235 votes in Colorado, with Gary Johnson running concurrently in both states. Article II, Section 3 of the Bylaws allows for the suspension of membership for those who are witnessed “endorsing or campaigning, in the name of the Party, for a candidate for public office in opposition to one nominated by the Party.” Stevens, as the chair of the LPPa, represented the party in the public sphere. If he wished to be the Objectivist Party candidate, he should have made his intentions publicly known in the LPPa and stepped down from his leadership position. Members had raised concerns about this conflict of agenda from the beginning of his term but he refused to consider these concerns and put his own attention-getting behavior over the best interests of the LPPa. These actions are in keeping with his track record of promoting himself while tearing down every organization he has been a part of.
While still a Board member of the LPPa, Stevens has recently created other political organizations, including a so-called Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance intending to create county chapters mirroring those of the LPPa. This “Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance” is a shell group used to hurl attacks at the LPPa and its members. While he was still the chairman of Northampton Libertarian Committee, he founded the “Personal Freedom Party” in New York, and under that banner, he began running for NYC Comptroller. In this role, he has been working to undermine the Libertarian Party efforts in New York. He then accepted a nomination to be the Republican Party candidate for that office. He would be competing with Libertarian candidate Hesham El-Meligy These are additional signs of his converted effort to undermine LP activism and his lack of commitment to any organization except for his political pursuits.
As chairman of the LPPa, he instituted a tyrannical communications policy on official LPPa channels, censoring and banning any member questioning his actions or opinions. Seeing membership discontent about the moderation policy, he should have followed the steps outlined in the policy guide and called “the full Executive Committee [to] decide the issue by majority vote (Article V, Section 8, Subsection D, Clause 2).” Instead he tightened communications at meetings of the board of directors, limiting discussion to only points that he thought pertinent by ending board meetings early and keeping any new business from being brought up by those who disagreed with his policies.
In his role as chairman of the “Personal Freedom Party,” he waged a campaign to discredit long-time LPPa members by falsely accusing them of being “homophobic”, “anti-Semitic,” “rabid religious fanatics,” and other libelous insults. His formal statements include claiming “homophobia and anti-gay sentiment in the Libertarian Party.” This accusation is derogatory, antagonistic, and utterly unfounded. Stevens knew that while state chair the Legislative Action committee of the LPPa worked to advance marriage equality in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Libertarians more than any other group believes in the importance of the individual and their personal choices. Quotes from Tom Stevens’s Blog “Rising Action” (renamed from “Liberty Lion” due to copyright infringement.)
As chairman of the LPPa, he sought to replace existing county committees with his own cronies in parallel committees, to deprive original LP activists of their recognition, meetings, and board representation. He personally organized and funded these pseudo-committees in order to gain loyal votes and cement his control over the state party resources. Never did he try to work with the existing committees. Finding no local Libertarians to organize another committee, he chose a top-down authoritarian take over, creating closed groups, inviting friends to create new chapters to gain more support on the board, and working to deprive existing committees of their representation.
For these and many other transgressions, the LPPa condemns Thomas Robert Stevens as a ‘persona non grata’ in the organization and formally revokes his membership in the organization. By taking this action, the LPPA acknowledges that as a political party it will not associate with him, any organization associating with him, or anyone, any organization, any company profiting from his efforts.

24 thoughts on “LPPA Issues Formal Condemnation of Thomas Robert Stevens JD

  1. Jed Siple

    Stevens was the nominee of the Objectivist Party before he was even elected as state party chair. Sorry, but the state party is wrong for even accepting his candidacy for party chair.

  2. From Der Sidelines

    People seem to forget that Stevens was also on the LPUS Judcom (and making erroneous rulings!) while still in that Objectivist Party in 2009 as well. The man has a history of conflicts of interest and obliviousness to them all, simultaneously.

  3. Reality Watch

    Is it really the end of the world if someone is associated with more than one party?

    Do you all hate fusion voting too?

    Why the need to be so partisan?

  4. Steve Scheetz

    RW, you are free to have him in your organization. We will not associate with you or your organization so long as you do, and frankly, you deserve what you get if you do decide to have him “help” your organization.

    The LPNY wrote 117 pages worth of statements and charges against Thomas Robert Stevens JD. Unfortunately, few people attended the convention in 2012, and very few of those who attended actually researched his “qualifications”…

    The problem is that his behavior is so outlandish that nobody really believes that anyone would be capable of such actions. Well, he is, and our statement demonstrates exactly why we have terminated his membership.

    The actions that brought everyone together to do this began when he started hurling insults and fabricated charges at the membership. He tried to resign as chair while appointing himself as “executive director” of Northampton County’s LP, in doing so, he would enable himself to keep a foot in the LPPA while insulating himself from any board action (having already resigned his membership)

    Well, his behavior is now a public statement. We agreed to post it here in IPR because IPR already knows what he is about, and many Libertarians from around the nation have an understanding of what went on in NY, Boston, the Carl Person’s campaign, PA, etc.

    AGAIN, you are welcome to have him as a member of your organization. The LPPA will no longer associate with you, and you will ultimately gain an understanding, too late, into why we did what we did.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  5. The Rev. Professor Councilman Former Blackboard Monitor Erik Viker

    I don’t have enough popcorn available for this entertainment.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Stevens was the first vice chairman of the Boston Tea Party”

    No, he wasn’t. My recollection is he was at least the third, possibly the fourth, but he certainly wasn’t the first.

  7. Darryl W. Perry

    “a political organization of Republicans and Libertarians located in that Massachusetts city. ”
    There are multiple things wrong with this statement in relation to the BTP. To my knowledge there was never a BTP affiliate in Boston or in Massachusetts. If there was one, it was likely one of the many shell affiliates created by Tom Stevens.

  8. Steve Scheetz

    I meant that for #8. Tom tried to use fraud in order to manipulate the member vote. when the vote was STILL not going his way, he deleted the poll…

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve,

    Thanks for pointing out the error in Stevens’s Wikipedia page. I edited it to reflect the fact that he was an interim vice chair in 2008, not the first vice chair of the BTP.

    @11,

    Not exactly. Here’s what happened.

    When the BTP’s national committee stopped functioning in late 2007 — things would come up for a vote and none of the members would bother to actually cast one, etc. — I unilaterally took dictatorial control, and appointed an interim chair, Jim Davidson, simultaneously resigning my own position on the committee.

    Jim made appointments to the “interim national committee,” including Stevens as vice chair, with an eye toward having a 2008 convention and getting things back on track.

    One thing Stevens did, at least in terms of what he was announcing he was doing, was to aggressively recruit/start new state affiliates, which were then duly recognized by the national committee.

    Concurrent with the LP’s 2008 national convention, the BTP held a physical meeting in Denver, inaccurately characterized by some as a “convention” (the BTP’s bylaws required its conventions to be held entirely online).

    At that convention, Stevens pushed for a presidential ticket to be nominated at the upcoming online convention on the basis of “one affiliate, one vote” as opposed to the bylaws required “one member, one vote,” and apparently attendees at the meeting agreed to that and that was how the national committee planned to do things.

    Up to this point, there was no indication of bad faith, etc. on anyone’s part. Jim Davidson, for example, cared more about getting the organization going than about strict bylaws adherence. It wasn’t like he was trying to derail the party or anything like that.

    However, the bylaws allowed a given number of members to appeal any national committee action, and that appeal to be polled to the full membership. I got the endorsement of the required number of members for such an appeal, posted the poll on the web site … and Stevens went in and deleted the poll.

    After that, I suspended Stevens’s administrative privileges on the party’s web site (I was still the site’s main administrator), and he had a temper tantrum about a “mere member” (his words) daring to challenge his AUTHORITAH.

    It was at this point that both Jim Davidson and I got suspicious and started looking at two questions:

    1) Why was Stevens so dead set on “one affiliate, one vote?”

    2) Were the several state affiliates he had allegedly started real organizations, or were they just shell organizations created to provide him with the presidential/vice presidential nomination results he wanted?

    At this point, Stevens and Alden Link were running as a ticket for the BTP’s nomination (I forget which one in which slot).

    Both Jim and I concluded that the Stevens-chartered affiliates each consisted of one or two people, all of whom held positions in other Stevens organizations … and that the chair of each affiliate appeared to live primarily in New York.

    In other words, Stevens attempted to defraud the BTP’s members, attempted to shut me down for contesting that fraud, and went berserk when he found out that the BTP wasn’t as easy to game as he expected it to be.

  10. Thomas Simmons

    Let’s just call a spade a spade: Stevens is a needy, mentally unbalanced megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur and no clear ability to distinguish reality from his fantasy world.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    TS @ 15,

    That seems like a fair description, although I think that there may be an additional element of at least some intentional evil/dishonesty/fuckery there, not just mental dysfunction.

  12. Steve Scheetz

    When I read the character piece put up by the LPNY, my initial analysis, which still stands, is:

    Narcissistic Sociopath

    He has no conscience, he refuses to accept the possibility that he is to blame for anything…

  13. Mark Axinn

    Warren @ 5–Yes, Tom is welcome at Queens LP events, many or most of which he organizes. His official position in LPQC is Membership Director.

    David @14–Yes, he was a member of the New York delegation in St. Louis. At that time, he was still a member of LPNY. Approximately two months thereafter, he was the first person in the 40-year history of the LPNY to be formally expelled by overwhelming vote of the LPNY State Committee. (I don’t have a vote as Chair, except to break a deadlock, so I did not vote on the expulsion motion.)

    Two months later, the second and only other person in 40 years to be expelled from LPNY was Sam Sloan.

    I do not know if Sam and Tom will be submitting nominating petitions for the Personal Freedom Party. The deadline is tomorrow at Midnight.

  14. Ed Reagan

    Rev. Viker @7

    Don’t start making the popcorn yet, the star of the show has not yet showed up for us to roast him. LOL

  15. Warren Redlich

    @15-17 The interesting question is not about him but about the rest if us. Why does anyone trust him in the first place?

    I’m happy to say I never did. But so many others have – good people and intelligent. Why do we fall for such people?

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    WR @ 20,

    I can’t say that I’ve ever trusted him. I never really noticed him until he tried to pull the takeover of the BTP.

    But, broadly speaking, the Libertarian Party in particular seems to attract a very credulous active membership — people who will believe that Wayne Root is famous, Bob Barr is libertarian, and Gary Johnson is fiscally responsible, for example.

  17. Steve Scheetz

    Warren, a couple of reasons were on display in PA when he was elected.

    1. very few people were in attendance at the 2012 LPPA convention. (I had to work, and there was a great deal of apathy. The fact that 4000 people were at a Ron Paul Rally in Philly may have had something to do with it as well)

    2. a significantly smaller number actually read the 117 page statement made by the LPNY regarding why they were throwing him out.

    3. what cannot be discounted is the fact that even though some members became aware of what happened in NY, and even though they were shouting to the rooftops about what they found, the charges were just so impossible for anyone to believe, consequently the charges were discounted as just crazy ramblings.

    Now, a year and change later, we ALL are painfully aware of just how little Tom’s behavior has changed since LPNY threw him out. While I was reading, I felt an overwhelming bit of dejavu! Nearly verbatim, Tom’s rants from PA could have been lifted from some of the transcripts of his rants within the LPNY….

    Tom also created shell organizations within the LPPA just like with the Boston Tea Party, and for the same reasons.

    Anyway, He is gone from the LPPA now, and will not be coming back. (Though he IS trying to have our statement overturned by the Judicial Committee…. I say let him try!)

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  18. George Steek

    If anyone is interested, Tom Stevens attempted to have the board decision overturned by the LPPA’s Judicial Committee.

    His attempt was a failure, but I am certain that there will be a “Rising Action” blog post about this, for everyone’s entertainment pleasure….

    G

  19. paulie

    At this point, Stevens and Alden Link were running as a ticket for the BTP’s nomination (I forget which one in which slot).

    Stevens was on top.

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