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.
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.