Libertarians in Florida: Censure Mike Kane?

IPR received the following from Mike Kane, regarding an LPF effort to censure him:

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Motion to Censure Mike Kane – Alexander Snitker

I move to censure Mike Kane for the following:

Repeated violations of our Libertarian Party of Florida Standing Rule, Article IX, Section 6.

Recurrent misconduct by; Violating the unspoken confidentiality of members’ private contact information by distributing that information to third parties without consent from or without respect for the members of this assembly

LPF Standing Rule, Article IX, Section 6, states:

Section 6. All archives, document stores, electronic data, etc. that were created by, at the direction of, or authorized by the LPF remain its property and such archive or web entity should be owned and operated as directed in 1. However, the LPF expressly acknowledges the right of any person to compile and publish public information, so long as the compilation or publication cannot be reasonably mistaken as action taken by or authorized by the LPF.

“All archives, document stores, electronic data, etc. that were created by, at the direction of, or authorized by the LPF remain its property and such archive or web entity should be owned and operated as directed in 1.”

The first sentence of this standing rule in quotes above addresses ownership (copyright). It says nothing whatsoever about confidentiality.

“However, the LPF expressly acknowledges the right of any person to compile and publish public information, so long as the compilation or publication cannot be reasonably mistaken as action taken by or authorized by the LPF.”

This sentence only deals with the LPF and it’s official business. It doesn’t mention confidentiality at all (again).

Mr. Snitker and the members who voted to censure are inferring that “the LPF expressly acknowledges the right of any person to compile and publish public information” means only “public” (which the LPF sees as non-confidential) information may be published. Just because the standing rule expressly authorizes the publication of public information doesn’t mean the publication of non-public information is prohibited.

If they want to impose a confidentiality rule, then the LPF should actually introduce confidentiality rules — not try wrongly apply a copyright rule to do something clearly doesn’t apply to. For the record, I would vote against said rules, as I have been and will continue to be an advocate for complete transparency.

On May 29th 2013 Mike Kane, without approval of the chair, submitted a copy of the draft minutes of the LPF 2013 Annual Convention, which he obtained from Secretary, Lynn House, on a private online forum open only to members of the LPF EC. Although the Annual Business Meeting Minutes are not formally “approved” until the next Annual Business Meeting, they are made public after a review of the minutes by the EC is complete. Prior to these e-mails being made public, it was a clear violation of said Standing Rule. Mr. Kane was warned verbally and via electronic communication about his infraction by the chair.

I obtained the draft minutes of the convention, and posted them here to IPR. – https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/05/mike-kane-libertarian-party-of-florida-post-convention-report/

If you read the report, I clearly explained how this was in no way official. Only draft minutes with some of my opinion. Said draft minutes are public information and I could have done this regardless of whether I was a member of the Executive Committee or not. I will do it next year so that people know how the convention went.

On September 13th 2013 Mike Kane, without approval of the chair, and without approval of Elsa Martinez, successfully submitted to be published a chain of private, “EC member only”, e-mails, which contained an on-going conversation between multiple members. Elsa Martinez, rightly presuming the emails would not be made public in their raw form, did not alter her email signature, which contained her (then) private cell-phone number. Again, the chair warned Mr. Kane via electronic communication.

I would truly like to know where this was published. Regardless of whether or not her phone number was published, it doesn’t violate the standing rule at all.

Why would anyone think the compilation or publication was an action taken or authorized by the LPF?

Is Elsa Martinez scared that someone from her region might actually call her? This ivory tower mentality must end.

On September 17th 2013, the Chair, via email and the LPF Executive Committee private Facebook Group, urged the Executive Committee to take disciplinary action in regards to Mr. Kane’s repeated violation of the Standing Rules and reckless behavior. Mr. Kane also received this notice.

There was no violation of this Standing Rule.

On September 22nd 2013 during the last meeting of this assembly, Mike Kane, without approval of the chair, was distributing real-time minutes of our business on the LPF Solutions Page. Among these minutes was an inaccurate roll-call vote tally. Mr. Kane acting as an Executive Committee member who was currently on the call, clearly gave the assumption that his comments were representative of the LPF EC. Mr. Kane was immediately verbally reprimanded by the chair during the meeting and was removed from the LP Solutions page by the chair.

The EC calls are open to the public and anyone can call and listen in. I never said it was an official LPF publication, I simply posted a roll call vote as an individual. This, again, isn’t in violation of this or any other standing rule. It should be noted that people were voting on whether or not to shut down a certain forum, so I thought the users should know who voted in favor of shutting it down and who didn’t.

Mr. Kane has been given ample knowledge that his continuing infractions could result in further disciplinary action and made the decision to continue to disregard the Standing Rules put in place by the LPF Executive Committee. As a member of the Executive Committee, Mr. Kane must act within the same confines of our governing documents as the rest of this assembly. Failure to censure Mr. Kane at this time, would send a message that our Standing Rules are somewhat meaningless. Considering we spend a good amount of time during our meeting amending our Standing Rules, it would be hypocritical of the EC to not enforce them at this time by approving the censure of Mr. Kane.

Not one time has any one of the officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, or at-Large Directors) of the LPF called me to discuss any of these bogus allegations. In fact, I haven’t spoken with the state chair ever over the phone, and it’s been months since I’ve spoken with the Vice Chair. I do not even have the Treasurer’s phone number.

Readers should note the motion was introduced by the Vice Chair — who talks a great game about building the party but clearly his actions speak louder than words.

It should be also be noted that a similar draft motion was sent by LPF secretary Lynn House who ended her email by saying “Please note that Florida has a broad public records law, and that all correspondence to me via email may be subject to disclosure.”

To me, this seems like just another way for a certain group of individuals to purge those who don’t fall into line with their agenda and goals.

Just as late as last week, I was criticized publicly by the Chair for contributing money to the David Nolan Office Fund.

It’s truly unfortunate that I have to spend valuable time responding to such silly allegations, especially from folks who claim to be on the same team.

Mike Kane

144 thoughts on “Libertarians in Florida: Censure Mike Kane?

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m trying to stay neutral in this dispute, but it sure seems like the people currently in power are working a little too hard to silence certain people. I have to wonder why.

  2. Steve M

    What the Florida Libertarian Excon Committee doesn’t seem to get is that if they want financial help for their candidates they shouldn’t be engaging in this type of stupid tactic. For example, I have donated several hundred dollars to the Sarvis for Governor race in Virginia but I am unlikely to help the candidates in Florida at all until this silliness ends!

  3. Concerned LPF Member

    Mike Kane has done absolutely nothing for the LPF. The kid can’t even get one person to agree to start a county affiliate with him in his home county (a chair and treasurer are required by law, a total of two people). Mike did tell the Executive Committee that he plans to have an affiliate in his home county sometime between two months ago and “2025.”

    This kid is a cancer who offers nothing but negativity and that is why he has received so much flack. Kane’s actions have resulted in many members of the LPF leaving discussion groups and even leaving the party itself. His email and facebook rants, coming from a state executive committee member, are an embarrassment. And let’s be clear: he is a state EC regional rep because the former rep from that region was forced to leave the convention early and he won the position by default (I believe he garnered a whole 2 votes in favor from him and his girlfriend).

  4. Dana Moxley Cummings

    FYI Mike Kane:

    Executive Session

    An executive session in general parliamentary usage has come to mean any meeting of a deliberative assembly, or a portion of a meeting, at which the proceedings are secret. This term originally referred to the consideration of executive business – that is, presidential nominations to appointive offices, and treaties – behind closed doors in the United States Senate. The practice of organizations operating under the lodge system is equivalent to holding all regular meetings in executive session. In any society, certain matters relating to discipline (61,63), such as trials, must be handled only in executive session. A meeting enters into executive session only when required by rule or established custom, or upon the adoption of a motion to do so. A motion to go into executive session is a question of privilege (19), and therefore is adopted by a majority vote.
    Whenever a meeting is being held in executive session, only members of the body that is meeting, special invitees, and such employees or staff members as the body or its rules may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the hall. Thus, in the case of a board or committee meeting being held in executive session, all persons – whether or not they are members of the organization – who are not members of the board or committee (and who are not otherwise specifically invited or entitled to attend) are excluded from the meeting.

    A member of a society can be punished under disciplinary procedure if he violates the secrecy of an executive session. Anyone else permitted to be present is honor-bound not to divulge anything that occurred. The minutes, or record of proceedings, of an executive session must be read and acted upon only in executive session, unless that which would be reported in the minutes-that is, the action taken, as distinct from that which was said in debate-was not secret, or secrecy has been lifted by the assembly. When the minutes of an executive session must be considered for approval at an executive session held solely for that purpose, the brief minutes of the latter meeting are, or are assumed to be, approved by that meeting.

    …Just saying

  5. wredlich Post author

    I served on a town board (Guilderland NY). As a member I had the absolute right to talk publicly about what happened in executive session.

    Some executive sessions should not have been in executive session and it was my right to report that to the people. Some topics that were discussed in executive session, even if appropriate, did not need to remain private.

    There are things that should stay in executive session, such as discussions about settling litigation. But restraining the free speech of a member of an executive committee is an odd position for the LP.

    …Just saying

    And I’m not judging Kane or his relative merit, work, etc. Even if he’s an idiot or a jerk (I have no idea), it makes things worse when you do things like this. Just ignore a difficult character and move on.

  6. Matt Cholko

    I worked with Kane in VA for several years, and know him to be one of the best activists we’ve had during my time with the LP. He has done lots of fundraising work (both paid, and as a volunteer), volunteered to help every campaign in the northern Virginia area since he came around, ran a great campaign for the state house in which he broke the record for percentage of the vote, done tons of member outreach, helped organize events, recruit members, man outreach booths, and do every damn thing that the LPVA and LPNOVA could possibly have hoped for, and way more.

    This year, while working for the LASPAC for modest pay, Kane was instrumental in recruiting all of the candidates on the VA ballot right now. That includes our headline making governor candidate Rob Sarvis. Kane helped many of these candidates get their campaigns off the ground, get their paperwork filed, and the like. If he hadn’t been doing this work, there is no way that VA would have all of these great candidates. Frankly, I’m not sure that we would have Sarvis without Kane’s help.

    Since completing his work with the LASPAC, Kane has volunteered to help some of the campaigns in northern Virginia WHILE ON VACATION.

    During his campaign for the state house, I saw Kane give a great debate performance where he received a standing ovation for his great comments about marijuana legalization. After the candidates left the stage, ALL of the other candidates were ignored, while attendees lined up to have their pictures taken with Mike Kane. He ran this campaign with little help, and, as I mentioned before, broke the VA record for percentage of the vote.

    I say all this because I want to point out that Kane is a great activist, and an asset to the LP. I don’t know all of the details of the LPF drama. But, I do know that by pushing Mike Kane away, the LPF is making an incredibly huge mistake.

  7. Joe Wendt

    The LPF has been hijacked by LINOs. These people are hyporcrites. These people are blinded by their own delusions of grandeur, and would rather make the LPF a private club for those who agree with them and remove anyone who disagrees with them. These people make me sick.

  8. Steve M

    Matt,

    The Florida Libertarian Party belongs to the Registered Libertarian voters and not its Executive Committee. I trust Mike Kane knows this and I hope the current members of the Executive Committee come to understand this soon too.

  9. Marc Montoni

    I’ve said it before… the people running the LPF have way too much time on their hands.

    I wonder if they’ve even bothered to give Mike the database of LP members in his county. It’s kind of hard to start an affiliate without one.

  10. Pete Blome

    This is from Pete Blome, and LPF EC member who voted against the LPF censure on 6 Oct.

    This is nothing more than an attempt for Mike Kane to wrap himself in a robe of principle as he serially screws up as a member of a political party executive committee.

    Let us speak to the facts.

    By his own admission he published convention minutes before they were approved by the LPF EC, and also published real time LPF EC. He did not include warnings that these were his opinions only. To now claim that they are only his opinions or that there is no express requirement for confidentiality is purposefully deceptive because they look like real-time LPF reports, but aren’t, and they are often factually wrong on top of that. This serves no purpose other than to spread confusion among the public and his fellow EC members, and give fuel to those who would wish to use the inaccurate, but published, information. He could have waited for an official minutes and then said anything he pleased, but he preferred to be quick and look like an official source with bad information instead. It is unprofessional behavior in every sense of the word.

    He admits he published materiel in the social media. This had private information in it but he published it anyway without using the simplest level of propriety or judgment in doing so. Through his ignorance and lack of caring, he violated a person’s privacy. His comment that Ms Martinez “lives in an ivory tower,” implying that it’s OK for Mr. Kane to decide what private information she reveals, is both reprehensible and completely unacceptable in a member of a political party executive committee, or any citizen at large for that matter.

    Curiously, Mike Kane was absent without explanation from the EC session where his censure was being discussed. I voted against his censure based on the simple premise any FLP EC member accused of such actions should be present to counter such accusations when they are read and debated. I my opinion, a delay of the vote until Mike showed would not alter matters one way or the other. Without Mike’s counter testimony, I believe the facts as presented by Alex Snitker. I know Mike Kane falsely reported how I voted in at least one of his “opinion” reports. It is clear Mike wore out the patience of everyone else on the EC, and I was out-voted.

    Even in this missive to the Independent Political Report he continues his errors. It is not surprising he considers these proceedings silly and “just another way for a certain group of individuals to purge those who don’t fall into line with their agenda and goals.” The reaction is typical of those who cannot fathom that there are consequences for inappropriate personal behavior. As regards the David Nolan Office Fund, Mike Kane is the only one to decide how to spend his own money, of course. However, by his own admission, he has voted to spend LPF monies while consciously and publicly withholding any personal financial contributions to the LPF. His poor leadership example of deciding how to spend LPF money, of which he contributed none, while giving contributions to the LNC, has not been lost on anyone.

    Mike screwed up. Censure, essentially a formal warning, is the appropriate response. Let us see if his character is big enough to realize what is happening, and make things right.

  11. Alexander George

    WOW! This is worse than I thought! I know the “top four” are doing everything in their power to discredit people who do not agree with them, but this is insane. First of all, anything having to do with Lynn House is questionable. Period. She is a powerhouse who controls everyone on the “top hour”, with perhaps the exception of Alexander Snitker. Mike Kane has done nothing but selflessly serve our party. That’s more that can be said for at least the three of the “top four”. In my opinion, all of the four should be removed. They will launch attacks against anyone who does not follow their mandate. The party has been hijacked by a bunch of nutjobs. I’m referring to the top four and NOT the entire Ex-Com. WHY, WHY is this party tearing itself apart?! Let’s remove everyone who has an opinion! That’s what this is all about!! Mr. Kane has helped this party. He is a true patriot. If anyone wants to talk about technicalities, and violations, I can list many… We’ll never unite and reach out if we keep tearing ourselves apart…

  12. Steve M

    Pete,

    From the outside it looks like the Florida Libertarian Executive Committee is behaving as a dictatorial entity which is a contradiction to what I believe libertarians believe. If you want us to trust you you need to trust us. Thais implies you need to trust us with the internal debate as it happens and not as you filter it to make it look nice.

    If you and the other Florida Executive Committee members are hiding the discussion from the Florida Party Members then the wrong individual was censored.

    If the Florida Libertarian Party Executive Committee doesn’t trust the Florida Libertarian Registered Voters why should these voters trust the Executive Committee?

  13. Pete Blome

    There is no dictatorial behavior here. The LPF EC enforced an action against irresponsible behavior that harmed both an individual and the organization. Executive session kept some of the rancor out of the discussion, but changed neither the facts nor the outcome, nor the public nature of the motion. Mike Kane reported events from known incomplete LPF documents giving the impression these were official reports. His personal, real-time reporting was factually incorrect. His poor judgment lead to personal information being revealed that should not have been. He was personally absent, without explanation, from a meeting where his censure was to be discussed. These are all things he did.

    Don’t lose sight that Mike is the author of this dilemma, and it came from his poor judgment. Even with my vote (centered on the idea he should be present to hear the accusations) the censure overwhelmingly passed.

    Overall, libertarians in Florida are coming together, contrary to some of the thoughts in this thread. What will tear us apart is misrepresentations, false reporting and treating some our own (Ms Martinez) like second class citizens. This is also something Mike Kane did.

  14. Lynn House

    @ Marc Montoni Yes, Mike Kane regularly gets a list of LPF members in his region and is sent the region’s new member information when they join.

    @ Steve M. Membership in the LPF is open to anyone who signs the NAP, asks to join, and has their NAP signature on file with the Secretary of the LPF. Our members do not join the party because they are registered to vote Libertarian.

    I asked to go into executive session because the subject was of a sensitive nature about a specific person. This was done to protect the personality involved, not the EC. What could have been said at that session could have ruined Mike’s Kane’s good reputation, so I believed that what was said in that session should not be known to the general public.

    I posted the motion to the EC as soon as I learned that it was to be added to the agenda to give Mike Kane fair notice that the Motion to Censure would come up and give him time to prepare his defense, apologize, or do whatever he thought best. What he thought best was to remain silent, then bring this to IPR. I find that a really ineffective way to solve an internal problem and have to question his motive for doing so.

    @ Alexander George. I can only think that your recent hostility toward me comes from the fact that you have shared too much of your personal life story with me and now are ashamed of yourself. To establish doubt about my credibility lays the foundation for denying what you think I might reveal. Rest easy, my former friend. I won’t talk.

  15. Warren Redlich

    I finally read through all the accusations against Kane. It’s a bunch of whiny crap.

    Call him a jerk if you like. But these “allegations” are silly.

    “Violating the unspoken confidentiality of members’ private contact information”

    Unspoken? Contact information?

    Grow up!

    “submitted a copy of the draft minutes of the LPF 2013 Annual Convention, which he obtained from Secretary, Lynn House, on a private online forum”

    Why would anyone care about this? Why are draft minutes a state secret? Is this the LP or the Kremlin?

    “Mike Kane, without approval of the chair, was distributing real-time minutes of our business on the LPF Solutions Page.”

    In other words, he live blogged an event.

    This is pathetic. Maybe he’s a jerk. Maybe. But this censure is absurd.

  16. Bill Wohlsifer

    LPF EC meetings are not subject to public disclosure. Despite many EC members (formerly including myself) adding to our email signature line, “Please note that Florida has a broad public records law, and that all correspondence to me via email may be subject to disclosure,” political parties are exempt from the Sunshine Law,at least, according to several Florida Attorney General opinions.

    For example: see Inf. Op. to Armesto, September 18, 1979, concluding that meetings of political parties are not subject to s. 286.011, F.S; also see AGO 99-74, Media General Operation, Inc. v. Feeney, in which the court held that under the circumstances of that case (involving access to records of cellular phone service provided by a political party for legislative employees), records of personal or private calls of the employees fell outside the definition of public records.

    Also see:

    Number: INFORMAL
    Date: September 18, 1979
    Subject: Sunshine Law–political party meeting

    Mr. Eladio Armesto
    District Committeeman
    District 28
    Post Office Box 7
    Riverside Station
    Miami, Florida 33125

    Re: Government in the Sunshine

    Dear Mr. Armesto:

    This is in response to your letter of September 10, 1979, in which you requested this office to determine whether a violation of the Sunshine Law, section 286.011, Florida Statutes, took place at a meeting of a Republican Party committee.

    I regret to inform you that this office must decline to issue an opinion in this situation. The persons to whom this office may give legal advice are limited. See section 16.01, Florida Statutes, as amended by Chapter 79-159, section 1, Laws of Florida. This office is not authorized to issue an opinion at the request of private individuals or political party officers. However, in an effort to be of some assistance to you, I am enclosing the following comment.

    Section 286.011(1), Florida Statutes, provides:

    “All meetings of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation or any political subdivision, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, at which official acts are to be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, and no resolution, rule, regulation, or formal action shall be considered binding except as taken or made at such meetings.” (e.s.)

    This section does not appear to be applicable to a meeting of a political party or to any meeting of a non-governmental body, nor am I aware of any court decision or opinion of the Attorney General which holds or determines that such a meeting by a political party of non-governmental body is subject to the Sunshine Law.

    I trust that you will understand the position this office is compelled to take in this instance and hope that this brief comment is of some help to you.

    Sincerely,

    Craig B. Willis
    Assistant Attorney General

    CBW/is

  17. Donald Sheldon

    This is “much ado about nothing” in my opinion. We have a very good Executive Committee. An EC that represents the Libertarian Party of Florida very well. I consider it a privilege to serve as a member and I am certain Mike Cane does as well. Michael Cane has sharp elbows. So do I sometimes. I owe Pete Blome an apology for having unintentionally offended him at our last meeting. Sharp elbows.

    Pete you were correct in your position that we needed to delay any action until Mike was present.

    I respectively suggest we put this behind us and move on. More I say not.

    LP Miami Dade had a very successful meeting attended by 25 enthusiastic Libertarians. Their speaker was excellent and well received. His focus was on improprieties by local city of Miami government officers. There are many issues that cry out Grand Jury investigations in the city of Miami according to this man. For example he showed how $400,000 can be transferred to a departing city employee TAX FREE. Now there is a trick we need to know about. WOW.

    Donald Sheldon
    10/10/2013 8:55 am

  18. paulie

    1) Why such different views of Mike Kane from those who worked with him in Virginia and the folks in Florida, where he moved fairly recently?

    2) Bill Wohlsifer – Sunshine laws aren’t applicable here. Mike has never said that disclosure of EC meeting events is legally mandatory. That doesn’t mean it is prohibited, either. Not everything in the universe is either mandatory or prohibited.

  19. Lynn House

    The draft minutes are private to the EC because they are a work in progress, they hadn’t been approved and at that point could have had serious errors or omissions. In only a matter of days, they would have been approved and opened to the public for distribution and comment.

  20. Alexander George

    Indeed, the LPF is starting to act like the (Soviet era) Kremlin. All of this nonsense is laughable and unnecessary. I am ashamed of the current situation.
    Regarding Mrs. House’s comment, I feel no personal hostility towards any member of the leadership team. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I simply disagree with the tactics that are being used by party leaders. If these senseless activities continue, I’m afraid that the Libertarian Party of Florida will be destroyed.

  21. Lynn House

    @ Paulie, If you find the answer to your point number one, I’d like to know that too.

  22. Warren Redlich

    “The draft minutes are private to the EC because they are a work in progress, they hadn’t been approved and at that point could have had serious errors or omissions”

    Lions and tigers and bears, Oh My!!

  23. Wes Wagner

    The “leadership” of the LPF are exhibiting the same traits the deposed “leadership” of Oregon .. Penn .. soon to be Nevada and the most recent past LNC cabal who lost to NOTA.

  24. Concerned LPF Member

    Paulie, I ask myself the same thing. It appears Mike has done some good things in VA and elsewhere but for some reason is insistent on either being destructive here in Florida OR doing nothing to advance the LPF (perhaps one in the same?).

    I believe that there may be some type of substance abuse or other psychological issue that Mike is going through because otherwise his behavior is unexplainable. The LPF has MANY different personalities, leadership qualities, and ideas yet the overwhelming majority of the people with these differences get along fine together and either choose to work with each other where they agree or let the other be when they don’t. To see this kind of problem with Mike should really highlight the specific issue with Kane rather than the LPF/LPF EC as a whole.

  25. Jill Pyeatt

    Lynn, Mike sent all the writers his comments. I would have posted them if Warren hadn’t first. I don’t have a horse in this race, but I will say that I find Mike’s correspondence to be intelligently written, he’s consistent in what he says, and he just doesn’t strike me as being such a bad guy. Yet, some of you are so defensive and just downright catty about him. That’s really off-putting to me. Paulie’s question is a good one: why so much difference in opinion between his fellow Virginia activists and you folks? I notice that Mike isn’t the only one subject to your criticism.

    Is is possible you haven’t communicated well before things blow up like this? Perhaps some discussion over a cup of coffee before things get out of hand might be more effective.

  26. Dana Moxley Cummings

    I think ALL of us involved in the LPF are wondering why Mike Kane was so productive in Virginia, yet so destructive in Florida.

    For someone like Mike Kane who preaches transparency, I wonder how all of you would feel knowing that he asked Chuck Moulton from the Virginia LP to secretly call into our EC meeting. It was only when we went into executive session (against my will, mind you) to protect the reputation of Mike Kane, that we discovered that Chuck Moulton had been on the call, yet did not announce himself when the Secretary asked if there were any guests on the line.

    Chuck Moulton, while he claims to have been there to assist Mike Kane in parliamentary procedure, still neglected to make his presence known, and since Mike Kane was supposedly absent from the call (although he logged in and out once we were in executive session), why did Mr. Moulton stay on the line?

    Just saying….perhaps it may sound like Mike Kane has a point, but that is only because you usually only hear from him and his friends who seem to have nothing better to do than look for ways to build roadblocks for the LPF. Perhaps Mike Kane is still bitter over losing the Vice Chair race to Alex Snitker by such a large embarrassing majority. Only Mike knows his true motives.

    Regardless, I’ll be damned before I let someone like Mike Kane become an obstacle for all of the extremely hard-workers on the LPF EC. No ridiculous amount of lies or name calling will thwart me in my duties.

    If Mike Kane was so successful in Virginia, they are more than welcome to have him back.

  27. Steve M

    The party belongs to the registered voters! The executive committee exists to provide a service to these voters. When the executive committee steps beyond providing services (such as a level playing field to allow the voters to select their candidates) then the Executive Committee has failed! That participating in the internal politics of the Party is limited by pledge or dues or both is irrelevant. Without the supporting voters you have and are nothing!

    If this Executive Session of the Executive Committee was to protect Mike Kane and Mike Kane decides to open it up then it really wasn’t about protecting Mike Kane was it? More likely it was about carrying out an assault on Mike and the Executive Committee didn’t want others to know who participated in that assault.

    The Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee continues to embarrass itself and it’s doing so is damaging the very candidates it seeks to run.

  28. Marc Montoni

    Dana said:

    [P]erhaps it may sound like Mike Kane has a point, but that is only because you usually only hear from him and his friends who seem to have nothing better to do than look for ways to build roadblocks for the LPF.

    My opinion of the Florida situation has been almost entirely determined by your rantings about Mike Kane, “vetting”, “private information”, “executive session”, “unauthorized distribution of minutes”, and overly defensive answers about LPF finances.

    Very little of that opinion has been the result of anything Mike Kane said.

    I’ve seen this before.

  29. Chuck Moulton

    Dana Moxley Cummings wrote:

    For someone like Mike Kane who preaches transparency, I wonder how all of you would feel knowing that he asked Chuck Moulton from the Virginia LP to secretly call into our EC meeting. It was only when we went into executive session (against my will, mind you) to protect the reputation of Mike Kane, that we discovered that Chuck Moulton had been on the call, yet did not announce himself when the Secretary asked if there were any guests on the line.

    Chuck Moulton, while he claims to have been there to assist Mike Kane in parliamentary procedure, still neglected to make his presence known, and since Mike Kane was supposedly absent from the call (although he logged in and out once we were in executive session), why did Mr. Moulton stay on the line?

    As I already explained responding to a private Facebook message from Ms. Cummings days ago:

    Mike Kane called me asking for parliamentary advice earlier that day. He said he might like for me to attend the call; however he never got back to me with the call info. I found info about an earlier call which still worked for this one.

    I called in, entered the access code, muted my phone, turned on speaker phone, then multitasked. While liatening to the call for any word about Mike Kane (and largely tuning out the rest) I was playing bridge on Bridge Base Online, playing bughouse on the Free Internet Chess Server, and talking with a grad school friend on Skype. I didn’t notice a request for non-EC members to identify themselves — I don’t doubt it happened, but Ms. Cummings overestimates the attention I was paying to the call.

    Suddenly I heard my name mentioned, so I unmuted my phone and identified myself. At that point I was askes to hang up and I did.

    If Ms. Cummings wants to try to drag my name through the mud I’d be happy to put my LP activism record head to head with hers and produce records of my Bridge Base Online hand history, FICS game history, and Skype call history to substantiate myultitasking.

  30. Dana Moxley Cummings

    Chuck,
    I am not trying to drag your name through the mud Chuck. However, I do believe that if you were there to give Mike Kane Parliamentary advice, Wouldn’t you have hung up when you realized MIke Kane was absent? Also, how did you plan to give him advice? The whole story is just bizarre but reeks of Mike Kane. I’m sure you had no ill intentions Chuck, I just believe Mike set you up to look like you did. That is unfortunate, yet, it’s very characteristic of Mike.

    Steve M.
    The party does not belong to the registered voters. It belongs to the registered members of the LPF. If all you know is from what you read in IPR….well…that says it all right there.

    Also…I am as transparent as they come and will NEVER censor myself or refuse to defend false allegations made against me. I don’t care if it’s on IPR, Facebook, or the NY Times. I am who I am…and THAT person was ELECTED by a MAJORITY of delegates to chair this organization.

    Despite what is trying to be played off here, the majority of the members of the LPF are pleased with my performance as chair, as well as the performance of my fellow officers.

  31. Chuck Moulton

    I figured either Mike would call in later (in which case I could send him realtime advice over Facebook or email) or he wouldn’t call in (in which case it would be good to have an observer to the discussion and vote — which I did not know would be held in executive session).

  32. Dana Moxley Cummings

    Fair enough Chuck. I am quite familiar with multi-tasking and can understand the situation. As I said on Facebook, I welcome anyone on to our calls at any time. From the perspective of an LPF EC member, you must understand how the situation appeared a little sketchy.

    Unlike Mike Kane, your reputation (as far as I know) is that of someone who is honest and logical. I am not sure what exactly has caused such an odd 180 degree turn in the reputation Mike Kane had in Virginia with the one he has made for himself here in Florida, but I surely don’t fault you for it. I know many members of the LPF EC have tried numerous times to reach out to him to no avail. It seems that he continues to do good work for National and for that I am grateful. However, I am not sure how he sees it beneficial to work on tearing down the LPF while at the same time trying to build up National.

    Either way, the ball is in Mike’s court and his fate lies with the assembly. I am not sure why I am the prime target for him, nor do I really care. I only wish the shenanigans would cease.

  33. paulie

    If someone is claiming that the party belongs to registered Libertarians, what about the half or so of US states which have no such thing as partisan voter registration or where Libertarian is not one of the options?

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If someone is claiming that the party belongs to registered Libertarians, what about the half or so of US states which have no such thing as partisan voter registration or where Libertarian is not one of the options?”

    Missouri does not have partisan voter registration. You are a member of the party in whose primary you vote.

    Florida seems to be a lot like Missouri with respect to that — they want to be a “political party” when it comes to conveniences like ballot access, but then magically become a “private membership organization” when the dominating clique wants to get up to this or that kind of fuckery without being watched or held accountable.

    I hope that Mike Kane will realize the futility of electoral politics in general and devote his apparently considerable energies to something more productive. Barring that, he might perhaps consider starting a libertarian political party in Florida. Apparently there’s a vacancy in the niche.

  35. Dana Moxley Cummings

    Florida is a closed primary state. You can only vote in the primary for the party you are registered with the state, to vote for. Unless, all of the primary contestants are of the same party.
    Anyone can register as “Libertarian” with the Florida Division of Elections.
    The LPF is an Affiliate of the National LP. Not all members of the LPF are registered to vote as a Libertarian and not all registered Libertarians are automatically members of the LPF. To be a member of the LPF one simply must sign a non-agression pledge.

    I hope this clears things up a little.

  36. Wes Wagner

    DMC

    Sounds like the same system we had in Oregon until 2010. It tends to end very badly (especially for the people who try to protect it).

    I suggest you do an orderly reconstruction before the revolution hits you and a bunch of people become eternally persona non grata.

  37. Mike Kane

    I don’t have time to respond to most of this blather, as I’ve clearly stated my points in the original post.

    My activism speaks much louder than any words and my only regret is that I haven’t given enough.

    Some are asking “What happened?” I will tell you what happened, just briefly. Many members of the LPF EC are essentially out to get anyone who doesn’t support their Wyllie for Governor agenda, their private club mentality, or their lack of transparency. So they badmouth, try to discredit people etc. In this case they voted to Censure me.

    In addition, hard working activists are leaving the LPF because they are fed up with the way the party is being run and the way they are being treated. Look no further than Alex George’s press release where he discusses why he is running as an NPA. http://www.prlog.org/12223896-alexander-george-former-lpf-state-committeeman-will-run-for-governor-as-an-independent.html . This frustrates me to no end. It’s hard enough to get someone to show up to an LP meeting, let alone get them active and involved. Then for them to be pushed away because of poor party leadership, even more frustrating.

    That said, I will continue to work here to advance the LP, at the local, state, and national levels. While trying to start an affiliate here, I’m also doing outreach with the hopes of finding more candidates for statewide offices. I’m confident that a full slate is possible, but my opinion is that many folks who may be willing to do it are being turned away because they feel that Adrian is being handpicked by his supporters on the EC — in addition to fact that they don’t in general want their name associated with his. Not my words, theirs.

    All the best,

    Mike

    PS: It absolutely disgusts me that you would try to give Chuck a hard time here.

  38. Wes Wagner

    My read on this … the LPF EC picked their last fight and crossed a line they now cannot uncross because it would require admitting too many things about themselves they could never admit.

    Politically speaking they are all figuratively dead people walking. The rest of this drama plays out the same way..

    Mike … who is on your team to rebuild the LPF ?

  39. Dana Moxley Cummings

    Wes I agree with you that the system the state has us confined in is a piss poor situation. I don’t know anyone who tries to protect it. As far as the LPF EC, TRUST ME…we do not regret crossing ANY line if there was such a line in the first place.

    Mike, I would love for you to explain your apparent obsessive conspiracy theory regarding Adrian Wyllie and the EC? The exaggerated ramblings of such nonsense gets old the longer it goes on without anything to substantiate the story. We’ve all been waiting for quite some time….is there more to the story? Or just a bunch of rumors and lies you have twisted into this reality of yours? And Alexander George….has yet to ever address me personally regarding his grandiose tales of what is simply nonsense to the core. Probably because just that last little bit of Republican he can’t shake.

    It’s obvious that the apparent anger from your little faction seems to grow parallel to the success and growth of the majority of LPF. That being said, this is all quite the compliment to the LPF EC. Well deserved at that! No lie…your erratic behavior is actually the one thing that brings the rest of the EC together and I have at frequent times wondered if perhaps you are a genius morale builder, and all of this outlandish craziness was done purposefully.

    At least, that’s the story I like to try and tell myself.

    I guess we all can make up stories.

  40. Lynn House

    I’m beginning to get the picture here. A couple of readers must not only be opposed to the LPF, but also the LP, both organizations require signing the NAP to become a member and could be labeled a private club. It’s no longer a wonder why they want the LPF to be totally transparent, they want the LP to be gone and transparency makes us an easy target. Call me awake, until now I thought I was protecting the LPF from Republicans and Democrats. Then again, I suppose they could be major party “members”.

    I don’t count Mike Kane, or any member of the LPF, among those. Mike Kane is well-known to support the LP in many ways, but I have to wonder if he recognizes who he is attracting to support him in his drive for total transparency.

    .
    @ Mike. Are you sure that your problem with the LPF didn’t start well before Adrian announced for governor? Maybe before you moved to Key West, even? It seems to me that you rode into town,with your six-shooters blazing. I don’t fault you for that, given the reputation the LPF has on the national scene, but I think in your zeal you have overlooked some teachable moments, and only saw what you expected to see. Your decision to “expose” the LPF for what you wanted to see, rather than engage in a reasonable dialogue, is one thing that lead to this conflict. Lest you feel singled out, irrational zeal is not unique to you on the LPF EC, in fact, it may be the common denominator.for those engaged.

  41. paulie

    I’m beginning to get the picture here. A couple of readers must not only be opposed to the LPF, but also the LP, both organizations require signing the NAP to become a member and could be labeled a private club. It’s no longer a wonder why they want the LPF to be totally transparent, they want the LP to be gone and transparency makes us an easy target. Call me awake, until now I thought I was protecting the LPF from Republicans and Democrats. Then again, I suppose they could be major party “members”.

    I don’t know about LPF, but at the national level the folks fighting for transparency are the hardcore libertarians and long time LP activists, and the folks fighting against it are the ones who thought people like Bob Barr and Wayne Root would be our saviors. Far from making us an easy target, transparency makes us accountable to the membership and the public at large, including those considering joining and/or becoming active. Speculation about what may be hiding behind closed doors is almost always worse than the reality; outside input (“open source”) can often be helpful; just presenting the image of having nothing to hide paints a more positive picture. The idea that we have any secrets we really need to keep, or that we’ll be able to keep them from those we really want to keep them from, is just plain wrong. So, attempts at opaqueness don’t work (the opposition can easily infiltrate and spy on you while you think you are safe from their observation), and they send a bad message to your members and would-be members that you do not trust them.

    I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about the specifics in Florida, but that is what I have seen on the national level. And to the extent that I know Mike Kane and those who are friends with him at the national level, my instinct is that it is the same in Florida, although I am open to being shown otherwise.

  42. paulie

    In addition, hard working activists are leaving the LPF because they are fed up with the way the party is being run and the way they are being treated. Look no further than Alex George’s press release where he discusses why he is running as an NPA. http://www.prlog.org/12223896-alexander-george-former-lpf-state-committeeman-will-run-for-governor-as-an-independent.html .

    I don’t know if Mr. George is correct or not, but he should really study up on how to write a press release if he wants to run for office. That…rambling monologue, or whatever it is…makes for a horrible press release. If you actually read it all the way through, buried deep inside is the revelation that he has not decided what he wants to do as far as running NPA or not, contradicting the headline. It could actually be a nice example of what NOT to do when writing press releases for a class on that subject.

  43. paulie

    My read on this … the LPF EC picked their last fight and crossed a line they now cannot uncross because it would require admitting too many things about themselves they could never admit.

    Politically speaking they are all figuratively dead people walking.

    When you’re a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

    Unless you know a lot more about the Florida situation than I do, making pronouncements like “they picked their last fight” is just grandstanding.
    Your problems in Oregon took literally decades to develop to the point they did. I have no reason to believe that Florida is anywhere near that stage yet, although anything is possible.

    For a different example, the problems in Pennsylvania, as far as I can tell from outside, have been resolved fairly quickly and peacefully.

    Not every case of party infighting has to turn into scorched earth total warfare.

  44. Wes Wagner

    Paulie

    I believe Penn resolved faster because there was no faction at national trying to protect a particular regime. I believe the same will be true of Nevada here soon .. also likely made less complicated by national non involvement … despite attempts being made to involve them.

    Florida will resolve itself faster if there is no national involvement IMO as well.

    The scope of the conflict in Oregon escalated because one faction, who was in control of the LNC at the time, attempted to use their influence to guarantee an outcome to a political ally.

    The price to be paid for that by the LNC has not yet been extracted.

  45. Bill Wohlsifer

    In response to Mike Kane’s statement that “Many members of the LPF EC are essentially out to get anyone who doesn’t support their Wyllie for Governor agenda, their private club mentality, or their lack of transparency. So they badmouth, try to discredit people etc. In this case they voted to Censure me.”

    In my opinion the above statement has not merit whatsoever. If this is Mr. Kane’s perception of what has transpired, then I would suggest that the censure was ineffective.

  46. Marc Montoni

    It’s obvious that the apparent anger from your little faction seems to grow parallel to the success and growth of the majority of LPF. That being said, this is all quite the compliment to the LPF EC. Well deserved at that! No lie…your erratic behavior is actually the one thing that brings the rest of the EC together and I have at frequent times wondered if perhaps you are a genius morale builder, and all of this outlandish craziness was done purposefully.

    Taken with some other things said, this is dipping into some rather irrational territory. You can’t argue with an irrational personality.

    Mike, I’ve said several times that I’ve seen this before.

    The only advice I can give you is to stop fighting them. Let them conduct their purge, and let them do things their own way. I give them a year, maybe two, before they will have alienated even their former allies. The fact that they can goad you into fighting them is a win for them — they feed on the desire of most people to just get along and do the business of the organization, and they can present you as an obstacle.

    People like this use their access to the database to recruit support for themselves. In essence, they get to talk to people first, before you do. When you show up to a meeting, the well has already been poisoned against you.

    I’ve fought a rearguard action in the past, and it simply wasn’t worth my time, or the aggravation. It wasn’t worth being on pins-and-needles wondering what they were going to accuse me of next. And they didn’t leave me the hell alone until I let them destroy themselves — which they did, in less than a year.

    The individuals they *would* be annoying this week are not yet targeted because these people are still dealing with you.

    My advice is to just forget it. People who engage in this kind of character assassination are NOT worth giving the time of day. There is nothing you can do to change what these people are or how they act. Let them wear themselves out on other enemies, because that’s what they will do as soon as you’re out of the way.

    Keep to Key West, and if you want to remain active, do what you can with the LP there. Ignore the state party. There is a chance they will attempt to interfere there as well, to get you pushed out of the organization at that level, as people who are paranoid tend to do the “hot pursuit” thing if they think their target remains the least bit of a threat. If they do, just leave. Join up with SFL or something and start organizing small-l student groups and maybe a taxpayers group or something.

    When I found myself squeezed out of the Virginia LP for a while, I wrote up a list of things I could do for other state parties, figured out how much I would want to be paid to do them, and hired myself out to a half-dozen other state LP’s that needed help. You could do the same thing. There are 50 opportunities to be active in the LP in some way.

    You don’t need to associate with the leadership of LPF to remain active.

    You’re young, Mike. Don’t waste your youth fighting paranoia; because paranoia wins every time (until it wears itself out).

  47. Dana Moxley Cummings

    Wes,
    What do you mean when you say “Florida will resolve itself faster if there is no national involvement IMO as well.”?

    As far as most of the people in Florida are concerned there is nothing major to resolve. It’s essentially an unrealistic utopian dream to believe, or even desire, to have a completely harmonious membership (or even EC) in a state with a population close to 20 million people.

    Out of conflict brings resolutions. Differing opinions spark healthy debate. I surely wouldn’t call a few loose screws anything that would classify the LPF as being in some sort of crisis.

    That being said, what kind of National involvement are you referring to? This is a bottom-up organization, and if there is some kind of conflict within the state, I’m not sure I see what kind of National involvement would even be warranted or allowed to be honest.

  48. Jill Pyeatt

    Dana, I’m really trying to stay out of this so I’ll simply point out an observation:

    “Mike, I would love for you to explain your apparent obsessive conspiracy theory regarding Adrian Wyllie and the EC? ”

    Perhaps this idea is out there because you folks are so heartily endorsing Adrian while a few others are still running for the LP’s governor spot.

  49. paulie

    Sound advice from Marc Montoni.

    For whatever reason Mike is not getting along with the LPF team. I am not interested in unraveling who is at fault – I have my instincts, but am not well informed – but I do have a strong suspicion that further engagement will not be productive on either side. Whether you love him or hate him, I think everyone agrees that Mike has a lot of energy and ability. We have lots of projects we could use that energy for, some of which I have discussed with Mike on the phone. That energy is being wasted tangling with the current LPF leadership. I’d rather see it be put to better use. That’s my takeaway on this.

  50. Alexander George

    Paulie – Thank you for the critique of my press release. Having written many in my lifetime for myself and others, I agree that the format is way off. Thank goodness it’s not my formal announcement. Due to space limitations on PRLog, we had chop it up a bit. (part of it is taken from my blog). In any event, thanks for pointing out the flaws. Advice is always appreciated.

    Dana Moxley Cummings- I’ve already pointed out my issues. I feel no personal animosity towards anyone on the EC. Still, the fact remains that the top four officers of the party are openly pro-Wyllie for Governor. It’s almost as if you’ve formed a cult. Many people see it for what it is: CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Also young lady, you need some leadership lessons: 1.) Watch you language. It’s unbecoming of a party chair to use profanity. 2.) You should step down for the good of the party. This is not going to happen. Therefore, you should take advantage of my offer from a few months ago: I have a former college professor who’d be happy to tutor you.
    Here’s some free advice regarding one of your comments: “Alexander George….has yet to ever address me personally regarding his grandiose tales of what is simply nonsense to the core. Probably because just that last little bit of Republican he can’t shake”. Nonsense? You openly call me a liar, and that’s fine. I can handle attacks from you and your friends. I’ve been doing so for months. I know many LP members who are former Republicans. Are all Republicans liars? You’ve hijacked the party and are openly alienating other candidates. Congratulations. You’ve won that battle and have driven away members as well as candidates. Excellent strategy! Don’t forget that after you crown Adrian as the LPF nominee, your team must appeal to ALL voters. Do you feel that Republicans, Democrats, Greens, etc. have some sort of disease? Will that message be part of your general election strategy? In effect, what you are saying is: “Anyone who isn’t a Libertarian is a liar”. That won’t go over well with the voters. Think before you speak young lady. You are destroying the party. I look forward to the day when you are up for re-election… When that great day comes, I hope the Libertarian Party of Florida is still standing.

  51. Marc Montoni

    Alexander, I have mentioned the cult thing going on in LPF, so I agree with you.

    Otherwise rational people can find themselves tripping into a cult. I think this is what has happened within a small part of the LPF leadership. Those who are stuck in that mental rut do not respond to normal forms of human communication; they find only conspiracy and betrayal if you engage with them. The only way to deal with them is to walk away and ignore them.

    The Amish use “shunning” to punish those in their community who engage in egregious behavior. As far as I know, that is the only effective way to deal with them. Arguing with them is beyond pointless; it is an utter and complete waste of precious minutes of your life.

    Years later, these same people are going to find themselves browsing through some of the things they wrote to or about others, and they’re going to realize just how much they went off the deep end.

  52. Alexander George

    Marc, Thank you for your post. I agree wholeheartedly. Nevertheless, I am deeply saddened. The “top four” are tearing this noble party to pieces. I do not want to run as an NPA candidate, but I do not have a choice. The current leadership has left me no alternative. I look forward to the day when we can vote them out and take back the LPF.

  53. Dana Moxley Cummings

    FACT: There is only ONE LPF Certified candidate in Florida for Governor at this time and his name is Adrian Wyllie

    A couple things Alexander George should know:
    -There is no such thing as a State Committeeman for the LPF
    -I’m not sure why you find it necessary to refer to me as “young lady” as we are the same age, give or take a year.
    -You are right about ONE thing….I’m certainly not going to take any advice from you, not now, and likely never.

    I really have no clue what skewed version of reality this thread is currently in so it’s pretty impossible to respond. Which is a shame, because this has painted a clearer picture for so many people both from the LPF, and other state LP’s, on who the “crazies”, as one person put it, really are.

    I swear Mike Kane could possibly be on to this seriously genius reverse psychology outreach tactic. Every time he causes a scene, It gets new people fired up and all angry to get active just to simply defy Mike Kane’s will to destroy.

    Sorry Alex George, your stories don’t have that same effect. It actually seems like people are very bored of your same old story. Maybe you could get up with Mike Kane and pick him as a running mate, apparently he has some quality that you are lacking that provokes any sort of passionate response from anyone.

    Thank you to IPR for being the TMZ of third party politics.

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    “FACT: The ruling clique only endorses one candidate in Florida for Governor at this time and his name is Adrian Wyllie, and is abusing the party’s resources in favor of that candidate instead of doing the right thing, acting neutrally, and leaving the choice up to the party’s voters.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

  55. Joe Wendt

    “that last little bit of Republican he can’t shake.”

    What’s that suppose to mean? So, being a former Republicans who join the LP is apparently a bad thing by the way she makes it sound. I guess she’s not a fan of Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Barry Goldwater, John Hospers, Roger McBride, and Ron Paul (circa 1988).

  56. Lynn House

    Fact is, there is only one candidate for governor who has gone through the process, our members required, to get our support.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Fact is, there is only one candidate for governor who has gone through the process, our members required, to get our support.”

    If by “our members” you mean the members of the private club that wants to be treated as the Florida LP, you’re absolutely correct.

    If by “our members” you mean the actual members of the actual Florida LP (those registered to vote as Libertarians in Florida), not so much.

  58. Lynn House

    By members I mean the people who are eligible to be delegates at the State Convention. The people who elect the EC and vote on our by-laws.

  59. Wes Wagner

    Whenever the state parties have ballot registration, and try to create two classes of membership, collect dues, etc… it will always end badly.

    If you want to prevent what happened in Oregon in your state, knock the silly cult shit off right now and level the playing field.

    The younger 20-30 crowd will eventually slather you in BBQ sauce and eat you if you don’t — and they will be right to do so.

  60. paulie

    I’m not sure why you find it necessary to refer to me as “young lady” as we are the same age, give or take a year.

    “My fair lady” meets Max Hardcore.

    Thank you to IPR for being the TMZ of third party politics.

    Actually, IPR is more like a whole channel full of different programs, and you happen to pick the ones that are most TMZ-like to pay attention to. We can’t help that. BTW, send us your news – you say you have all these positive things going on. Write them up and send them to us, and you could be seeing a lot of positive articles about LPF as well.

    “FACT: The ruling clique only endorses one candidate in Florida for Governor at this time and his name is Adrian Wyllie, and is abusing the party’s resources in favor of that candidate instead of doing the right thing, acting neutrally, and leaving the choice up to the party’s voters.”

    The pledge signers of Florida who assembled as delegates in convention passed that requirement. What if Florida did away with partisan voter registration as some states have, would that mean the LP would suddenly have no members there? Just because the state mandates a primary and has the LP as a choice on its voter form does not mean LPF can’t vet candidates. Democrats and Republicans vet candidates all the time, and in some states (including here in Alabama) can actually keep unvetted candidates off the primary ballot, which the Florida LP can’t do.

    “that last little bit of Republican he can’t shake.”

    What’s that suppose to mean

    From context, it means that he still (allegedly) has some affinity for non-libertarian NSGOP ideology and/or for the NSGOP itself. I don’t see the implication that you do that being a former Republican is in and of itself the issue. For example, I’m a former Democrat, but no longer hold any affinity for that party.

    If by “our members” you mean the members of the private club that wants to be treated as the Florida LP, you’re absolutely correct.

    If by “our members” you mean the actual members of the actual Florida LP (those registered to vote as Libertarians in Florida), not so much.

    So again, the Florida LP would cease to have any members if the state does away with partisan voter registration? I don’t think so.

  61. paulie

    And a new comment originally posted to an old thread:

    This is a bs, JWS should be listed on the national site; how the hell are people going to know that there’s a primary.

    The national LP’s policy is to defer to state affiliates in deciding which candidates to list and which candidates not to list on the national website, and this policy applies to all the states. As for Florida voters knowing that there is a primary, that is covered in sample ballots, newspapers (if nothing else, by publishing sample ballots), sites such as this one, the actual election ballot – any number of ways.

    The point is for there not to be a primary. The LPF is doing everything it can to make sure Wyllie makes it to the general election.

    There is a primary, which is mandated by the state, and LPF can do nothing about it.

    In real political parties, voters choose the candidate via primary.

    In political parties that are trying to be real political parties but don’t have primary ballot access or are located in non-primary states, the members choose the candidates in convention.

    A group that “vets” candidates instead of letting the members or voters choose among them isn’t a political party and isn’t trying to be a political party. It’s just a clique playing control games.

    In many states, Republicans and Democrats vet their candidates and in some states (including here in Alabama) unvetted Demopublicans can be kept off the primary ballot altogether. The Democrats and Republicans still, at least in theory, choose their presidential candidates in convention. Why is choosing candidates by convention instead of primary inherently bad? If the taxvictim subsidies to political party primaries stopped, I bet a lot of Democrats and Republicans would be nominated by conventions.

    is the vetting mandatory to being voted on to be the Libertarian candidate at LPF’s state convention?

    The convention does not pick the candidate, the primary does. Vetting is not mandatory to be in the primary. However the state party treats unvetted candidates as persona non grata, for example not listing them on the state party website and asking national to do same.

    Funny, I seem to remember someone not getting vetted due to someone’s objection over a criticism of Adrian’s stances. And then following that, after the LPF EC decided to not vet candidates in local non-partisan races (and hence forth not have on their site), look who they have on their site a candidate for a local non-partisan election. Wow, guess it’s different rules for different folks.

    That sounds like a legitimate complaint. Any response from anyone on LPF EC?

    wasn’t the LPF sued under Adrian’s leadership because they devetted a candidate over his stance on the Trayvon Martin shooting? And wasn’t that candidate victorious in court? Yes, that happened.

    Any response from LPF leadership?

  62. Pete Blome

    Paulie, who are you? You’ve not gotten involved with the LPF, but you sure are willing to tell other people what to do.

    I believe parties should be able to choose their candidates. If there is a party vetting procedure, a candidate seeking to be on that party ballot should go through it. Political parties are a means to put people and money together to elect candidates. It is a voluntary process. If this were anywhere else, would you, as a libertarian, advocate the voluntary contributions of labor and money from libertarian party members be given to someone that the party does not want? If a libertarian wants to support a candidate the rest of the party does not want, there is little in the way (fl law, contribution limits) of that person giving time or money direct to the candidate.

    John Smith should not be listed on the national listing until he either becomes a real candidate (in his case, by paying the ballot fee since few would sign a petition for him), or he gets vetted. He was on the national listing when Adrian Wyllie was not. That wasn’t right either.

    I personally dream of a libertarian primary. Little else would spread the libertarian potential more. If Alexander and Smith decide to invest the considerable personal resources to get on the ballot, it’s good for them and it is good for the LPF. I don’t think I am alone in this sentiment.

    You don’t understand Florida political law. It is a real flaw in Florida law that both Smith and George can run as primary candidates under the LPF banner if they get themselves qualified according to the state (not the LPF). I oppose this feature of the law because it allows any crackpot with a big enough checkbook to run under any political party banner for the primary, no matter if they are supported by their party or not. If they are the only candidate (as is often the case with libertarian candidates) they can be the only person representing the Party on the general ballot even though the Party does not want them. The LP voters in Florida will get to decide, as you wish, if the opponents are willing to pony up the money (around $8700, at last check).

    There is no voting for candidates at the convention.

    As regards Franklin Perez, he got his candidate fee (part of Florida law ballot fee) returned, but no damages. Franklin came out in public statements that he wanted to arrest Zimmerman for “something.” He wanted to ignore due process and the presumption of innocence, and instead wanted to use the Lenin dictum of “Show me the man, and I will show you the crime.” Hardly libertarian. Devetting him was the right thing to do as a libertarian. The LPF EC, subsequently, voted to return all candidate fees that get turned in to the party, even though Florida law would allow us to keep them. If you want to call this a victory for Franklin, fine, but be careful who you support and what they stand for. By the way, Zimmerman won.

  63. Lynn House

    The vetting rules were just being established when we discovered that we could not vet local candidates. According to our by-laws the LPF is strictly limited to what we can do when there is an affiliate. Local candidates were decided to be outside the scope of our bylaws. Unfortunately we had already vetted one local candidate when that decision was made, so we had to withdraw his vetting.

    Our Bylaws

    ARTICLE I Objects and Purposes

    Section 1. The LPF shall not initiate any political action in a county affiliate’s political domain. except get out the vote, voter registration drives, fundraising, or establishing new county affiliates.vetting and supporting multi-county or state wide candidates for office. The LPF may provide additional support to candidates seeking to serve a district fully contained in a county with the affiliate’s permission

    Section 2. A county affiliate may request political information and action from the LPF.

    Section 3. The autonomy of an affiliated party shall not be abridged by the LPF Executive Committee, or other officer, committee or agent of the LPF – except as provided in the Constitution and Bylaws

    Yes, the LPF was sued for about $1200 by Perez, for his filing fee and court costs. . No, the complainant did not prevail. The judge split his decision between the two litigants. Neither party won, and neither party lost. The LPF gave him half his filing fees back and paid half his court costs.

    http://officialrecords.seminoleclerk.org/NV_Records/details.asp?doc_id=5098519&file_num=2013008509&doc_status=V

  64. paulie

    Paulie, who are you?

    There are many ways to answer that question. It might be helpful if you asked what in particular about who I am you would be most interested in knowing.

    You’ve not gotten involved with the LPF,

    I don’t live in Florida, so why would I get involved with the LPF?

    but you sure are willing to tell other people what to do.

    I was mostly just asking questions. Something wrong with that?

    I believe parties should be able to choose their candidates. If there is a party vetting procedure, a candidate seeking to be on that party ballot should go through it. Political parties are a means to put people and money together to elect candidates. It is a voluntary process.

    Correct, and my comments supported that. Perhaps you misread them? The parts in italics were what I was responding to, not comments from me.

    If this were anywhere else, would you, as a libertarian, advocate the voluntary contributions of labor and money from libertarian party members be given to someone that the party does not want?

    My opinions on what should happen in Florida are no different than what should happen anywhere else. Why would they be? Incidentally, I agree with you. Why did you think I don’t?

    John Smith should not be listed on the national listing until he either becomes a real candidate (in his case, by paying the ballot fee since few would sign a petition for him), or he gets vetted. He was on the national listing when Adrian Wyllie was not. That wasn’t right either.

    I’m not sure why Smith was in the original national listing. I support the national policy which defers to state affiliates in making those determinations.

    You don’t understand Florida political law.

    I’m certainly not an expert on other state’s election laws, but I understand it better than you seem to think I do.

    It is a real flaw in Florida law that both Smith and George can run as primary candidates under the LPF banner if they get themselves qualified according to the state (not the LPF).

    Yes, I knew that, and pointed it out in my comment. Thanks, though.

    I oppose this feature of the law because it allows any crackpot with a big enough checkbook to run under any political party banner for the primary, no matter if they are supported by their party or not. If they are the only candidate (as is often the case with libertarian candidates) they can be the only person representing the Party on the general ballot even though the Party does not want them.

    I also oppose it for the same reason. What about my comments caused you to misread them and think otherwise?

    The LP voters in Florida will get to decide, as you wish, if the opponents are willing to pony up the money (around $8700, at last check).

    Please stop misrepresenting my views.

    There is no voting for candidates at the convention.

    Correct, as I already pointed out.

    As regards Franklin Perez, he got his candidate fee (part of Florida law ballot fee) returned, but no damages.

    He only got it returned after suing. Why wasn’t it returned without a lawsuit?

    Franklin came out in public statements that he wanted to arrest Zimmerman for “something.”

    It’s his right as individual to hold that view, which was one I shared. Nothing about holding that view means he disagrees with 20% or more of the LPF platform, which is the standard that has been said here is used for vetting.

    He wanted to ignore due process and the presumption of innocence, and instead wanted to use the Lenin dictum of “Show me the man, and I will show you the crime.”

    Arresting someone is not ignoring due process. It is part of due process. The arrested person is then entitled to a trial.

    Hardly libertarian.

    Saying someone who killed an unarmed teenager should be arrested is unlibertarian? What are you talking about?

    Devetting him was the right thing to do as a libertarian.

    Not according to the standards that have been repeatedly and publicly posted here.

    By the way, Zimmerman won.

    Unfortunately, in a process which members of the jury have subsequently revealed was more than a little bit flawed, his guilt could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That doesn’t mean he was necessarily not guilty in reality, but that is the law. So Franklin Perez said he should have been arrested, and he was arrested. So what? As you point out he was found not guilty. Yet, he has continued to exhibit violent and erratic behavior since then. It’s probably only a matter of time before he kills another innocent person. Hopefully, his next would-be victim will be armed and will stand THEIR ground.

    Regardless of whether you disagree with me on the Zimmerman issue, he had not been tried at the time, so why would Franklin Perez not be allowed to express his opinion on the issue?

  65. paulie

    The vetting rules were just being established when we discovered that we could not vet local candidates. According to our by-laws the LPF is strictly limited to what we can do when there is an affiliate. Local candidates were decided to be outside the scope of our bylaws. Unfortunately we had already vetted one local candidate when that decision was made, so we had to withdraw his vetting.

    Thanks, that makes sense. It seems that at least as of the time Wendt made that comment, you were listing one local nonpartisan candidate as a vetted candidate on your site. I haven’t checked to see if you still are listing that candidate.

    As far as Perez goes: did he refuse to be vetted? If he was vetted, did he disagree with 20% or more of the platform? Why would you refuse to return his filing fee in the first place and cause him to sue?

  66. Joe Wendt

    If they don’t endorse in non-partisan races, why do they still list a non-partisan local candidate on the site:

    http://www.lpf.org/candidates/

    Marcos Miralles is in a non-partisan city council race (since in FL city council races are non-partisan). They’ve already broken they rule they’ve stated that they cannot endorse non-partisan candidates.

  67. Lynn House

    Perez was vetted and approved. He must have agreed to at least 80% of the platform. His approval was withdrawn because the majority on the LPF EC believed he violated the NAP by calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman before the police had cause to arrest him.

    This gets a little tricky to understand but Perez called for the arrest (which is advocating the initiation of force) and because he did it as a candidate, he advocated the initiation of of force to achieve his political goals.

    It was suggested to Perez that he withdraw as a Libertarian Candidate and file NPA, which is cheaper because there is no party kickback for those filing NPA. He stubbornly refused and paid the full fee. The LPF got our portion of his filing fee, and by that time the thinking was that the kickback to the party was an equal exchange of values. The candidate paid to use the Libertarian brand ( against our wishes) so we deserved to keep the money. We are not required by law to give the candidate back our portion of the fee, but previous to this had returned it to vetted candidates. (maybe others, I don’t know about that).

    When we didn’t return the kickback, Perez sued.

    At our last convention, the delegates voted to return all the kickback money to any candidate who runs Libertarian.

    PS, I use the term kickback because I don’t know a better word for what the State gives us from the candidate filing fee.

    .

  68. paulie

    His approval was withdrawn because the majority on the LPF EC believed he violated the NAP by calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman before the police had cause to arrest him.

    That’s more than a little bit weak.

    Perez called for the arrest (which is advocating the initiation of force)

    No, it would be responsive force and part of due process. Are you seriously saying that no LPF candidate can ever call for anyone’s arrest before the police actually arrest that person?

    Also, saying that a candidate can disagree with up to 20% of a political party platform means there is room for people to disagree. That’s a different standard than strict 100% adherence to someone’s interpretation of the non-initiation of force principle.

    At our last convention, the delegates voted to return all the kickback money to any candidate who runs Libertarian.

    A wise decision on the part of your delegates. It should have been the policy all along.

  69. paulie

    Whenever the state parties have ballot registration, and try to create two classes of membership, collect dues, etc… it will always end badly.

    If you want to prevent what happened in Oregon in your state, knock the silly cult shit off right now and level the playing field.

    Perhaps someone will answer my question. If the state eliminates partisan voter registration, does that mean that by your definition the LP will go overnight to having no members?

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Perhaps someone will answer my question. If the state eliminates partisan voter registration, does that mean that by your definition the LP will go overnight to having no members?”

    No.

    Missouri, for example, doesn’t have partisan voter registration. It defines a person’s party membership on the basis of what party’s primary that voter chooses to vote in.

    The key issue here is that in the United States, political parties are part and parcel of a state-created, state-administered system, which means that the state sets the rules. If the LP wants to be a political party, those state-set rules are the applicable ones.

    If it wants to be an organization of some other kind, then it should try to do that instead of being a political party. It’s just bullshit for state LPs to demand to be treated as political parties when they want the benefits of being political parties, then assert that they are “private member organizations” when they don’t like this or that aspect of being political parties.

  71. Lynn House

    Joe, to answer your question. The affiliate that vetted him asked for our help. (gave permission).

    Section 1…. . The LPF may provide additional support to candidates seeking to serve a district fully contained in a county with the affiliate’s permission.

  72. paulie

    TLK

    I meant that in a more concrete sense.

    Let’s pick a number out of the air and say Florida has 25,000 registered Libertarians.

    Let’s say LPF defines member as registered Libertarian.

    It’s membership roll would then consist of the state’s registry of registered Libertarians.

    Now, let’s say a bill would pass and become law which would eliminate partisan voter registration.

    On the day after that bill takes effect, who constitutes the membership of LPF?

    Let’s now take another example, North Carolina. NC has partisan voter registration, and LP is one of the options in NC right now. They have thousands of registered Libertarians, so it is plausible to propose that registered Libertarian should be their definition of member. However, if they fall below 2% for Governor – which they came very close to doing last year – all those registered Ls become registered independents. So would the party then suddenly have no members?

    Some states have partisan voter registrations, some states don’t. Some states which have partisan voter registrations have the LP as one of the choices, some don’t. Why does the LP, which is a national political party, have to have a different standard for membership in states which happen to have partisan voter registration and in which the LP happens to be one of the options? And what happens when those standards change?

    Let’s take another example. Alabama does not have partisan voter registration right now, but they are considering creating it. If they do, the LP will not be one of the choices. Does that mean we can have members if that happens, or that we can’t?

    Now, suppose that we successfully petition our way onto the statewide ballot and get retention. A big stretch in our case, but we did it once before. So then, if in the meantime the state creates registration by party, the LP will become one of the parties that voters can register with. Now does that mean that all of a sudden state party membership will be defined as registered LP voters? What will that mean for previous party members who aren’t registered LP voters, and in some cases are not allowed to register to vote?

    Now, suppose two years later we don’t get retention and are no longer a party that voters can register with. So all our previous registered Ls are then no longer members, correct? Do the prior members who aren’t registered voters then regain their membership, or do they need to apply again?

  73. Lynn House

    @Paulie “it would be responsive force and part of due process. Are you seriously saying that no LPF candidate can ever call for anyone’s arrest before the police actually arrest that person?”

    Not without cause, in my opinion. You may not agree with the EC on this, but It was a fair discussion and a fair vote. Perez had a lot of input through emails and didn’t manage to convince the EC of his position.

  74. Wes Wagner

    Paulie is exemplifying why libertarians are often losers. They let the fear of “what if” prevent them from pursuing the only viable strategy for growth and traditional political success.

    He also is trying to create a tempest in a teapot to protect the cult libertarians have created around their own organization because he has been married to it so long he can’t possibly consider that the creation of that cult could possibly be wrong.

    The answer to what if sudden;y you are not a political party anymore? Hold a fucking convention to reconstitute a private organization until you can gain status again. It is not rocket science — you obviously have a list of people to invite… they are all the people the state just disenfranchised and they are going to be pissed as hell.

    Direct assaults by power mongers and statists is the very thing that motivates and rallies our base… you should welcome it and even encourage your enemy to do something beyond the pale… now cower in fear wetting yourselves.

  75. Wes Wagner

    (w/ typos corrected)

    Paulie is exemplifying why libertarians are often losers. They let the fear of “what if” prevent them from pursuing the only viable strategy for growth and traditional political success.

    He also is trying to create a tempest in a teapot to protect the cult libertarians have created around their own organization because he has been married to it so long he can’t possibly consider that the creation of that cult could possibly be wrong.

    The answer to what if suddenly you are not a political party anymore? Hold a fucking convention to reconstitute a private organization until you can gain status again. It is not rocket science — you obviously have a list of people to invite… they are all the people the state just disenfranchised and they are going to be pissed as hell.

    Direct assaults by power mongers and statists is the very thing that motivates and rallies our base… you should welcome it and even encourage your enemy to do something beyond the pale… not cower in fear wetting yourselves.

  76. paulie

    “it would be responsive force and part of due process. Are you seriously saying that no LPF candidate can ever call for anyone’s arrest before the police actually arrest that person?”

    Not without cause, in my opinion.

    Well, he did kill an unarmed teenager and lots of people were calling for his arrest, so it wasn’t “without cause.”

    How in the world a difference of opinion on that is cause for devetting a candidate is beyond me.

    Perez had a lot of input through emails and didn’t manage to convince the EC of his position.

    It’s more than a little bit weird and scary that they thought it was reason to devet him.

  77. paulie

    The answer to what if sudden;y you are not a political party anymore? Hold a fucking convention to reconstitute a private organization until you can gain status again. It is not rocket science — you obviously have a list of people to invite… they are all the people the state just disenfranchised and they are going to be pissed as hell.

    Yeah? What about states where we have never been an option to register to vote with?

    And BTW which state privileges exactly do we have to have before we are obligated to use state voter rolls as our definition of membership?

    For example, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Maryland have LP voter registration, yet still have to petition to get on the ballot. Under Knapp’s definition are they obligated to use the state voter rolls for their definition of membership?

    In the case of Florida, they have to petition or pay filing fees for candidates, even though the party as a whole is on the ballot.

    What about California? Is access to a primary “election” ballot which can’t elect anyone to be considered a state privilege that necessitates the state party to use the state voter rolls to define its membership?

    the only viable strategy for growth and traditional political success.

    Disagreed on that.

    He also is trying to create a tempest in a teapot to protect the cult libertarians have created around their own organization because he has been married to it so long he can’t possibly consider that the creation of that cult could possibly be wrong.

    Your stilted terms to the contrary, I’ve considered your position and have not come to agree with it.

    (w/ typos corrected)

    You can now edit your comments after the fact without signing up to post articles here.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Let’s say LPF defines member as registered Libertarian.”

    If by “LPF,” you mean the club that pretends to be a private organization when it considers that beneficial, but wants to be a political party when convenient, that’s not LPF. The state of Florida defines the LPF and its membership requirements. Political parties are part of the state apparatus. That’s how it works. We don’t have to like that. That’s how it works whether we like it or not.

    “Now, let’s say a bill would pass and become law which would eliminate partisan voter registration.

    “On the day after that bill takes effect, who constitutes the membership of LPF?”

    Whomever the state says constitutes the membership of LPF.

    Political parties are created by, defined by, and operate as an instrument of, state election laws.

    Once again, that’s how it works — whether we like it or not. I happen not to like it, and wish it was not the case. Just like people in hell wish they had icewater.

  79. Thomas L. Knapp

    “OK then, what if the state has no opinion on the matter?”

    It seems unlikely that a state would have no opinion on its own processes for selecting its own officials. If I ever run into such a situation, I might have an opinion on that myself. Until then, it’s sort of like faeries in the back yard — I think they sound interesting, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.

  80. Robert Capozzi

    tk: The state of Florida defines the LPF and its membership requirements. Political parties are part of the state apparatus.

    me: Strikes me that political parties ARE private, but that they are chartered by the state to participate in elections. To maintain the charter to participate in elections, a political party needs to play by the rules the state sets.

    “Part of” seems like a stretch. Are corporations “part of” the state apparatus, or do they need to play by the rules the chartering state sets IN ORDER to do business as a corporation.

    tk: Once again, that’s how it works — whether we like it or not. I happen not to like it, and wish it was not the case. Just like people in hell wish they had icewater.

    me: Wonderfully Taoist of you. It is what it is!

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Are corporations ‘part of’ the state apparatus, or do they need to play by the rules the chartering state sets IN ORDER to do business as a corporation.”

    Both.

  82. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Wonderfully Taoist of you.”

    Maybe. If I had to characterize my religious beliefs, they’d fall somewhere in the Hicksite/Universal Sufism range (inner light/Noor) with a seasoning of Zen.

  83. paulie

    It seems unlikely that a state would have no opinion on its own processes for selecting its own officials.

    On the other hand, there must be some states that don’t care very much how the LP in those states defines its membership, otherwise they would not be allowed by the state to define their membership in the way they do. In the case of Florida, the state does require the party to participate in primaries, but it also allows it to define its own membership as it wants to for the purposes of holding conventions and selecting party officers, vet its candidates and so on.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    I haven’t started reading the Florida election laws yet (I’ve only lived here nine months, and since I no longer do electoral politics, they’re not of as much importance to me as they used to be).

    So, I’ll fall back on the example of Missouri. Missouri election laws actually very specifically define parties’ memberships (their members are those who vote in their primaries), their internal structure (from township/precinct committees on up), etc. It’s just that “third” parties in particular tend:

    1) To fly under the radar and get away with doing pretty much what they want; and

    2) To benefit from the “major” parties’ ability to get away with flouting the election laws.

    For example, in Missouri any constitutionally eligible candidate can file to run for office in any recognized party’s primary (but only one party’s primary in any given election — can’t run in both the GOP and Libertarian primaries, for example). All they have to do is pay a filing fee, which is payable to the state committee of the party they want to run for the nomination of. The party has no say whatsoever in terms of “vetting” candidates — that’s for the primary voters to do.

    Back in the “old days,” this meant that when (actual cases) a convicted murderer or an admitted neo-Nazi filed to run in the Libertarian Party’s primary, a real Libertarian would need to also file and then run a real campaign in order to win the primary.

    Then one year, a neo-Nazi filed to run as a Democrat (and then as a Republican, and then as a Libertarian), and the Democrat Secretary of State miracled up a new angle that was wholly unsupported in the election laws. She decided that even though all the law required or mentioned was for the candidate to PAY the filing fee, that if a party’s state committee refused to ACCEPT the filing fee, the candidate was just out of luck.

    The Missouri LP’s executive committee spoke for the state committee in “refusing” that candidate’s filing fee, and then immediately proceeded to start informally “vetting” candidates, knowing that it could just 86 any candidate it didn’t like. It did this not only in violation of Missouri’s election laws, but, for the first couple of rounds, in open violation of its own state committee’s refusal to authorize such activity.

  85. paulie

    Some states don’t have rules like that. Some states have them, but only for parties that pass a certain threshold that we do not pass. Some states have them, but only applying to certain things and not others (say, candidates for public office vs. candidates for internal party office). Some states do have these rules and they do apply to the LP, in which case, yes, the LP should be constrained by them unless it can challenge the laws in court and win.

    It doesn’t universally follow that in states which make LP voter registration an option the LP should define its membership that way. Not all of those states have any such mandate.

  86. Thomas L. Knapp

    We seem to be talking past each other here.

    It’s not complicated: In the US electoral political system, political parties are creatures of the state, and the state gets to decide how they are configured and what they may and may not do.

    The fact that the state may miss an opportunity to set forth specifics now and again doesn’t change the essential fact that political parties never have been, are not and never will be “private membership organizations” within such a system.

    LP functionaries need to make up their fucking minds whether they want the organizations they are trying to run to be political parties or private membership organizations. They don’t get to be both.

  87. paulie

    They get to be a hybrid of both, within certain constraints created by the state. The fact that some states create one particular type of constraint – for example, defining membership as those who register as voters of that party with the state – does not mean the party has to create for itself those same constraints in other states that do not impose them.

  88. Wes Wagner

    Paulie

    Attempting to be a hybrid of both is going to create revolutions in the states. I know you can’t understand it because you are so hopelessly inured with protecting the cult you are a part of, but the rest of the world has a different opinion of what the cost of entry is to be part of the process and expects it to be parallel with other organizations of the same type.

    Libertarians in particular do not take kindly to a group of people telling them what extra hoops they must jump through to be accepted by the clique in command.

    Your position is unwise and will end badly and you will eventually find yourself on the wrong side of the coming libertarian revolution.

  89. Thomas L. Knapp

    “They get to be a hybrid of both”

    That’s like saying they get to be sort of, but not exactly, pregnant.

    I know that you didn’t create the existing political system. Like you, I’m not fond of the existing political system. But closing your eyes, clicking your heels together, and asserting that the existing political system is not what it is does not constitute any part of the recipe for success within that system.

    While I’ve personally concluded that there are no prospects for libertarian success within the existing electoral system, it’s just flat painful to watch others who believe that such prospects do exist going out of their way to make damn sure that such prospects remain out of reach by pretending that, and acting as if, the system isn’t what it is.

  90. George Phillies

    The successful arrangement in Massachusetts has been that political designations have no state-specified organization. Political parties do. Small political groups typically fluctuate between being a party and not being a party. The arrangement that has actually worked here is that there is a private club that exists continuously, does politics as its state and Federal political action committees, and helps people get on the ballot. If Libertarians temporarily get Party status, the group that ran the candidate that got us the status is entitled to become the major party. Last time around, that was the Committee to Elect Bob Underwood, which declined to act on the matter. On paper, the voters of Massachusetts are allowed to elect a state committee to represent them. However, that election occurs every four years, in a year in which we are unlikely to have major party status. The effective approach has been to allow the voters to elect a State Committee to do their thing for the voters, the Association to do its thing for the activists regardless of how registered, and just get along with each other. Neither group has any legal effect on putting candidates on the ballot — Oregon is the reverse of this — with one exception every four years, so the parallel structures are a nonissue in terms of running people for office.

  91. Wes Wagner

    George

    How do you think you would do things in Mass if you had full party registration and full time ballot access w/o having to petition?

  92. paulie

    I know you can’t understand it because you are so hopelessly inured with protecting the cult you are a part of

    I’m not part of any cult.

    but the rest of the world has a different opinion of what the cost of entry is to be part of the process and expects it to be parallel with other organizations of the same type.

    As previously mentioned, Democrats and Republicans vet candidates. They also have dues paying memberships at various levels, and in some cases party loyalty pledges.

    And that’s assuming they are the same type of organization as we are. That’s not necessarily true.

    Libertarians in particular do not take kindly to a group of people telling them what extra hoops they must jump through to be accepted by the clique in command.

    Including, in some cases, registering to vote with the state.

    eventually find yourself on the wrong side of the coming libertarian revolution

    We’ll see, but I think not.

    I really don’t believe my preference to associate with those who sign the non-initiation of force pledge, over those who check a box on a government form, puts me on the wrong side of some libertarian revolution or makes me part of some cult. If you choose to believe such fantasies, that’s on you.

  93. paulie

    “They get to be a hybrid of both”

    That’s like saying they get to be sort of, but not exactly, pregnant.

    No, it’s not. There’s nothing against the rules in some states for, for example, using registering Libertarian as the criterion for a primary, and pledge-signing and/or dues-paying membership as the criterion for selecting party officers, voting on a party platform and bylaws, etc. In some states which have libertarian primaries they actually select the candidates; in others the convention picks the candidates and the primary is just for show.

    asserting that the existing political system is not what it is does not constitute any part of the recipe for success within that system.

    I’ve made no such assertion.

  94. paulie

    pretending that, and acting as if, the system isn’t what it is.

    I’m not. I know what it is and what it isn’t.

    When the Democrats and Republicans vet candidates, what is that you think they are doing? Pretending the system is something it is not?

  95. Robert Capozzi

    The “coming L revolution” will be over VERY quickly as there are so very few who believe in – much less challenge – the non-existent cult of the omnipotent state.

  96. Wes Wagner

    RC

    My experience to date with the younger generations of libertarians can be generalized as:

    1) They have no faith in government to solve problems
    2) They recognize the need to work collectively on common works (they do not expect anarchy to be a viable solution, but neither is statism — they are looking for a middle road)
    3) They do not appreciate pledges, dues, or people who wear funny clothes to show higher rank – nor tolerate hierarchy in the party
    4) They refuse to get involved in the LP as a formal entity until its behavior will match its rhetoric
    5) They do not tolerate authority — they expect leadership through action, not dictation
    6) They get really pissed off when people in the party who have done nothing but fail for 30 years tell them what to do or how the party should function

  97. George Phillies

    Wes,
    We do have full registration, and have had it for 30 years or more now. You can register as a Libertarian. You can run as a Libertarian. That’s been true continuously for the past 30 years or more. In Massachusetts, absolutely everyone from Teddy Kennedy on down must get signatures on nominating papers to get on the ballot. If we had nomination by a state committee or convention, we would be in a totally different boat, probably handling things the way Oregon, Texas, and Indiana do. Hopefully we would have more candidates. However, we do not have nomination by decree, so we must set our sails to match our wind.
    George

  98. Marc Montoni

    Political parties *are* private organizations, despite what illiterate judges and lawyers claim. The fact that they have enacted laws regulating them is IRRELEVANT, except to the extent that political parties must jump through the hoops in order to perform the acts for which they were formed (which is *some* electioneering).

    This is little different than any other private NGO. Nonprofits in many states are *also* regulated in various ways. The fact that they are, does not make them “agencies of the state”.

    Knapp filters his views of political parties through the dark-tinted lenses of national LP hatred he is not able to graduate beyond.

    As I pointed out to Mike Kane a while ago, those who say political parties in FL are not allowed to charge dues are simply unaware of how the majors get around (or just ignore) that prohibition. In addition, I seem to recall the prohibition itself has been challenged in a couple of court circuits and at this point is probably unenforceable.

    The Florida Democrats for instance, charge a fee of each delegate to their state convention of $40. Yes, a “floor fee”. But then they don’t charge dues, at least none that I can find.

    The Florida RP does charge dues. The magic sentence is: “…and I have paid the assessment levied against me, if any…”

    They can do this because they have a two-tiered membership plan. To be a “member of the RP” all you have to do register R. But to be on the decision-making body — the equivalent of an LP general membership meeting — you have to pay the assessed fee to join the “______________ Executive Committee”.

    So, it is not exactly correct to state the D/R parties do not charge dues; nor is it correct to say it is illegal. Sure it’s illegal to charge a fee of someone who wants to **register** R/D. But before they give you the keys to the car, they’re going to get some money out of you, one way or another.

  99. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Knapp filters his views of political parties through the dark-tinted lenses of national LP hatred he is not able to graduate beyond.”

    Granted it’s only Sunday, but that statement is already front-runner for “dumbest thing I’ve read this week.” I do not, and never have, hated the LP.

  100. Robert Capozzi

    WW, OK, your experience of “younger generations” of Ls is your experience, and might well be in the neighborhood of accurate. What that has to do with the “coming L revolution” escapes me.

    Please help me understand your thoughts on this matter. Surely I’m missing your point….

  101. Marc Montoni

    I didn’t say you hated the LP; I said you hated the *national* LP.

    Your constant harping on how national organizations have no right to control the chartered affiliates who use their name is a pretty good indicator. You hide your opinion behind state laws regulating how parties may interface with the state apparatus.

    Perhaps if you toned down the sneering about “private clubs” when you refer to those of us who want “members who run the organization to have some financial stake in it”, it would seem like your dark-tinted lenses had been removed.

    I do not agree with you that political parties “belong” to the “voters”, and I don’t care what the law, ignorant lawyers or judges say, or how politically correct it is.

    When people gather together to promote an ideology, they have a fundamental human right to do exactly that. It’s called free speech. Deride it as a private club all you want.

    Organizations belong to the members who created them and are invested in them. “Voting” don’t cut it.

  102. paulie

    Agreed with Montoni.

    Phillies: “. If we had nomination by a state committee or convention, we would be in a totally different boat, probably handling things the way Oregon, Texas, and Indiana do.”

    I think you missed the point of the question. Wes and Tom are hung up on the idea that nominating by primary – and making all other decisions on how the party is run by primary – is better than doing it by state committee or convention. In other words, Oregon does not do it the same way as Indiana or Texas, although it used to.

    Wagner: ” They do not appreciate pledges, dues, or people who wear funny clothes to show higher rank – nor tolerate hierarchy in the party”

    …but have a fetish for checkboxes on government forms? I’ve spent a fair amount of time with the younger generation. Guess what…many of them are active in organizations that have pledges, dues and even ranks.

  103. Robert Capozzi

    MM: I said you hated the *national* LP.

    me: It’s the use of the word “hated” or “hate” that seems to be the issue here. As an apparently evolved soul, TK may not “hate,” Instead, he may find the organizational structure of the national LP (or LNC, more properly) as “dysfunctional” or “overreaching its authority,” or somesuch.

    Who has the energy to hate? Hate only hurts the hater, not the hated.

    For ex., you might think that I “hate” the language: “cult of the omnipotent state.” I, for the record, don’t “hate” it. I simply find it false, crazy-sounding, profoundly dysfunctional, and a relic of the unfortunate 60s/70s Randian/Rothbardian histrionical approach that just doesn’t and can’t go anywhere due to its rigidity and hyper-emotionalism.

    Rothbard esp. might find my stand “euphemistic.” I just find his false.

  104. George Phillies

    Paulie, My understanding of the Indiana, Texas, and Oregon ballot access procedures…the three states not being the same …does not match the words you are using to describe them. Perhaps we are using very different ways to describe the same elephant.

    After all, if MA has Party status, ballot access is via a primary election, even if there is only one candidate or no candidates at all.

  105. paulie

    Perhaps. But ballot access wasn’t the question, as I understood it.

    Oregon used to nominate candidates in convention. The people eligible to vote at the convention either signed the pledge, paid dues, or both – I’m not sure which. They now nominate by primary, as well as pick their state party leadership, bylaws etc by primary. Either way, they have no problem with ballot access. They’ve chosen to change their governing structure themselves, not because of a change in the law.

    Indiana and Texas also have no problem with ballot access for either the party or individual candidates. I’m not sure if having a primary is an option they could choose and haven’t, or whether they have not met the vote test threshold which would allow them to have a primary, but in either case what they do is pick their candidates, platform and bylaws in convention.

    In Alabama we were given that choice once, in 2002 when we had major party status for the only time, and the consensus was that we did not want to stick the taxvictims with the bill for our primary. Since we have no registration by party, any voter would have been free to choose the LP primary ballot if they wanted to, and there would be no way to predict if we could pay for it, among other things.

    I think Wes’s question was, ballot access aside, if you had a choice between nominating (and running the party) by primary vs nominating and running the party by convention, which one would you choose. At least that was how I understood it.

  106. Wes Wagner

    Paulie

    In Oregon nomination by convention before we had a primary was required by state law to be done only by libertarian electors.

    Whereas dues paying members of the party had full control of the party apparatus and could determine where to hold the nominating conventions (say the top of Mt Hood… ) only registered libertarian electors could participate in them.

  107. Wes Wagner

    It might be worth pointing out that although there was never anything quite as egregious as “Top of Mt Hood” … games were played with nominating conventions. This ultimately created acrimony that ended badly for all those who supported said games.

  108. paulie

    In Oregon nomination by convention before we had a primary was required by state law to be done only by libertarian electors.

    Was this law followed? I seem to recall that non-Oregonians and non-voters were among the members who participated and that this was part of the issues you all had. I also seem to recall the other faction claiming that your side was incorrectly claiming that some, but not all, of the laws that apply only to major parties that have crossed some electoral threshold that the LP has not crossed apply to the LP. My memory on the details of that is somewhat hazy.

  109. Wes Wagner

    This law was followed for nominating conventions quite consistently.

    The faction that liked to play games had a disproportionate number of registered republicans and out of state members who would participate in business conventions for internal party business.

    That same faction frequently was involved in scandals that revolved around character assassination and disenfranchisement of members. (even included repeatedly “losing” Tonie Nathan’s lifetime membership) – As well as citing conventions in far away places in order to increase participate costs (you know… to try to ensure a proportion of “higher quality delegates” as they call them)

    Then there was the blowback for nearly a decade of repeated abuses.

  110. paulie

    It might be worth pointing out that although there was never anything quite as egregious as “Top of Mt Hood” … games were played with nominating conventions. This ultimately created acrimony that ended badly for all those who supported said games.

    There, we agree. I want conventions to be more accessible to more people.

    Speaking of which, thanks to my token donation, the national LP now has a National Convention Delegate Fund. If anyone would like to donate, go to https://www.lp.org/contribute and in the bottom box where it says Comment (optional) put National Convention Delegate Fund. The purpose of the fund is to make it affordable for more people to attend in case there is a floor fee, or perhaps it could also help with the costs of getting to and from the convention and getting a room. However, Scott Lieberman has said that the money contributed to this fund would have to be used to offset the price of all the packages – not just the lower priced ones – and that the fund would have to be cutoff once the prices are established. I expressed my disagreement based on the intent of the convention motion that led to that discussion, and so far no one else on LNC has expressed an opinion.

    And while we are on the subject of national conventions, since some states have LP voter registration and some states don’t, how is national to treat this fact for the purpose of determining its membership?

    What about states where some counties, but not others, make LP voter registration extremely difficult, for example New York?

  111. paulie

    This law was followed for nominating conventions quite consistently.

    I seem to recall some discussion here of underage children voting at the conventions. So as I understand it, you are saying this was never the case for nominating candidates, only for other convention business.

  112. Wes Wagner

    Paulie

    Regarding underage children on internal party business — yes, that was only internal business conventions, not nominating conventions.

    With regards to national conventions — my understanding of the national convention rules is that delegates must be either members of the national party – or members of their state parties. (not both) This would mean that state affiliates who use registration as the basis for voting membership would meet the criteria that their delegates are state party members. People who use engaging in animal sacrifice rituals for the basis of membership for their state party … etc etc etc

    My reading of the national bylaws regarding the sovereignty of affiliates would come down to a simple tautology – “state affiliate members are who that state affiliate says they are”

  113. paulie

    That’s fine. So, in other words, it’s OK for national to be a “private club”, since some states will be represented by delegates from states that don’t have Libertarian voter registration. Got it.

  114. Wes Wagner

    I am not saying that is “OK”. I am simply stating how it is.

    National parties are, by nature, “private clubs” … if you look at how the national republican party and democratic party operate. That is a result of each political party being instantiated at the state level in each state. They need some form of confederated central organization to deal with presidential nominations. They also choose to collaborate on a national platform.

    I would be quite in favor of a rule that national delegates may “not be a registered member of any other political party” if someone were to propose it – since there is not the capacity to have universal membership across all states like the Democrats and Republicans have at this time.

    I have seen many issues that appear to be a result of divided loyalties. (included what also at times appears to be orchestrated controlled opposition)

    I would also be in favor of suspending dues at the national level. “I paid money so I deserve to have my ideas be respected” is actually a terrible moral hazard, for reasons which I will not take the time to detail because I am not going to convince anyone in this forum who does not already have the experience and knowledge of psychology and sociology … and if they did they probably understand it and agree with me already. I will thus only state opinion — that the LP will not succeed until it adopts a free-market – nigh-anarchistic – attitude towards meritocracy. it is the primary defense against sociopathy and narcissism.

  115. paulie

    National parties are, by nature, “private clubs” … if you look at how the national republican party and democratic party operate

    As previously noted, in certain aspects they are “private clubs” at the state and local levels as well.

    since there is not the capacity to have universal membership across all states like the Democrats and Republicans have at this time.

    Actually, even Democrats and Republicans don’t have this ability, since some states don’t have registration by party at all.

    I would also be in favor of suspending dues at the national level.

    Tried that. Lost about a third of our dues paying membership, which we never got back. Non-dues paying pledge signers did not increase as a result. Party income went way down, and hasn’t recovered. The experiment was scrapped after six months.

    On the other hand, I would be in favor of moving most of the sign-up push away from annual membership, where the default option is not to renew, and more towards monthly pledges, where the default option is to renew (IE the person has to take an active step to discontinue the pledge). Plus, $5 a month is psychologically more affordable than $60 a year, even though they are the same thing. The same applies at higher levels.

  116. Wes Wagner

    paulie

    Tying “membership” to cash is not a great idea IMO … however not giving people services, such as the newsletter, access to official discussion boards, discounts on cool things, a discount and early access to elite convention packages, etc., is a much better marketing structure. Also — requiring a monthly ongoing contribution to get those services is also a good move.

    Calling them “supporters” rather than “members” (which is part of the nomenclature of sustaining membership…) actually matters to some people.

    Note, that given the current rules, anyone can show up at a national convention as a state delegate so long as they are a member of the state party… membership in the LNC Inc. has very little value compared to membership in a state affiliate — unless you plan to run for the LNC.

    De-emphasizing cash for membership and turning it into cash for benefits would do much to diffuse as very contentious political issues between some of the factions of the party. Making it monthly, as you suggest, is also an excellent idea. You then only have to deal with expiring credit cards every 3-5 years (on average) instead of annually.

    Upselling someone on offering $10/month or $25/month is also mentally easier than asking them for $500 outright.

    I would also suggest to stop selling lifetime membership. The money is usually spent within months but the lifetime liability to provide services remains. If these funds were being put in a trust… maybe… but you know that won’t happen 🙂

  117. paulie

    however not giving people services, such as the newsletter, access to official discussion boards, discounts on cool things, a discount and early access to elite convention packages, etc., is a much better marketing structure. Also — requiring a monthly ongoing contribution to get those services is also a good move.

    I’d be fine with that, but it’s up to the convention. The bylaws prohibit the LNC from monkeying around with the basic dues paying membership cost right now.

    Calling them “supporters” rather than “members” (which is part of the nomenclature of sustaining membership…) actually matters to some people.

    I’m open to experiment with that. If we could get 3,000 people to pledge $10 a month it would almost replace 15,000 people paying $25 a year. Of course, some of the people pay more than $25 a year, but then some people would pay more than $10 a month.

    Note, that given the current rules, anyone can show up at a national convention as a state delegate so long as they are a member of the state party…

    Actually, they can be anyone a state party selects to be their delegates. Not necessarily members of anything at all.

    You then only have to deal with expiring credit cards every 3-5 years (on average) instead of annually.

    Once someone’s card declines you can try updating expiration date by 3 years, 4 years or 5 years, and in most cases that gets them back on track. If they meant for it to expire they’ll let you know.

    I would also suggest to stop selling lifetime membership. The money is usually spent within months but the lifetime liability to provide services remains

    I don’t know if the LP would have gotten a thousand dollars out of me if it didn’t offer a lifetime membership. More likely, I would have let my dues lapse sometime in the intervening years and I may or may not have come back. I’m sure the LP would not have gotten a thousand bucks from me that year, anyway.

    If we get away from a membership model, selling additional lifetime memberships wouldn’t be an issue. But we should honor existing ones. I don’t think it’s been a huge liability, and overall I think it has probably worked out in our favor. Many lifetime members do continue to make additional contributions, too.

  118. Marc Montoni

    …membership in the LNC Inc. has very little value compared to membership in a state affiliate …

    Jesus, not this again.

    There is actually quite a bit of value in supporting national if you understand the nature of the payback, and appreciate it.

    In Virginia we are dealing with a local party that is basically a bunch of Republicans, who say the same thing about the state party (ie that there’s “no value in it”). Take the fact that in every election they have asked their own members to vote Republican, yeah, I guess the state party isn’t going to help them with that.

    If anything, I see the *most* value in the national party. It provides the touchstone for the affiliates to remind themselves about what our goals are (more than a few have a problem remembering); it provides a fairly regular newsletter; it provides a national convention every couple of years where activists can get together and recharge; it helps every state with ballot access, it helps train new activists, and so on. There *are* tangible benefits. It would be more accurate to say that **you** have chosen not to see any benefit.

    If you think there is no value in national, Wes, then it’s time to leave. Your problems with national stem from about 10 to 12 individuals who are generally adherents of the Reform Caucus, that others of us have had a devil of a time getting replaced with better people. **Part** of the reason we have had a devil of a time getting them replaced has been the inability of you and a few others who *should* be helping us in that effort, to hold your tempers in check.

    Personally, I want to end the ability of anyone to vote at the national convention unless they are a national member. I’ve thought about Paulie’s idea of getting away from the default annual expiration and going to a default “continues until they change it” monthly pledge of $5. This fits in with my desire to increase dues substantially, and even bringing back dues sharing.

    I’ve said in the past that I think dues should be $75 or so — maybe $100. Changing to default monthly pledges would accomplish that aim. I would couple that with a return to dues sharing with state LP’s — along the UMPII model, as mentioned in the link above.

  119. Wes Wagner

    Marc

    I disagree… as it stands being a member of the national party has little to no value.

    On the other hand I view donating money to ballot access and affiliate development has a great deal of value. There is security in having strong neighbors.

  120. Wes Wagner

    Just to clarify the membership-value issue:

    Consider the % of members who attend conventions.

    Then consider the floor fees and donations collected at conventions.

    Is the membership really contributing to the convention? Am I getting value? Not really… I can attend without being a member and pay the exact same prices everyone else does for packages.

    Regarding helping train new activists … I have not really seen high quality materials, videos, programs and on-site instruction in this regard. Michael Wilson would probably agree with me on that point.

    The newsletter? Mediocre quality — honestly. This is probably more a result of long-term apathy. I am sure among 14,000ish members we could all provide better content for the newsletter … but the motivation has not been there for some time. This is all our faults… not so much the LNC. But again, not alot of value for $25 … but would we get alot of value if we all contributed more? Most certainly.

    The membership side of the equation, IMO does not generate much value.

    The ballot access fund raising drives … great value.
    A subunit of this often is incubation/revitalization of a defunct affiliate.

    This is a function national can do better than our affiliates.

    There are others if we could get to scale… such as having an actual lobbying and grassroots coordinator who can get people to phone bank on congress regarding specific bills and organize get out the vote efforts on key issues, etc. No one state affiliate could take on D.C. by itself… we have a common interest and need to pool resources for it — because it is something that affects all of us.

    In short, that reform faction and the people who call themselves the radical caucus have both been fighting way too long for control of the LP and having an extremely introverted focus of what needs to be done once they are successful in taking some of the rings of power.

    We need to end that B.S. and fight our real enemies.

  121. paulie

    In short, that reform faction and the people who call themselves the radical caucus have both been fighting way too long for control of the LP and having an extremely introverted focus of what needs to be done once they are successful in taking some of the rings of power.

    We need to end that B.S. and fight our real enemies.

    That’s one thing we definitely agree about.

  122. George Phillies

    % attending NatCon 4-5% of National Members as a count, may not be same people.

    I occasionally send news and editorials to LP news from liberty for America; this has no effect.

  123. paulie

    I’m not aware of LP News soliciting, or accepting, outside editorials any time recently. They do ask for affiliate news.

  124. George Phillies

    Paulie, LP News is of course welcome to continue not to publish with any frequency. Just because it is one of the few member benefits perceptible this year, well, your mileage may vary.
    At this point, Liberty for America has more affiliate news coverage in most months.

    As a first step to improving LP News, repeal the bylaws requirement that it be published in a tabloid format. That’s a requirement that is oh so 20th century.

  125. paulie

    You are welcome to correspond with the bylaws committee or make any bylaws proposals you want from the floor, if we get to proposals from the floor. If you have any suggestions you want me to pass to the LNC list, preferably things the LNC can actually do, I will pass those along as well.

    I’d like to see it come out more frequently, too. And I’d like to see it ask for submissions. If history is any guide, staff will probably say that reading through submissions will cost more staff time than writing it all themselves.

  126. Marc Montoni

    I’d like to see it come out more frequently, too. And I’d like to see it ask for submissions. If history is any guide, staff will probably say that reading through submissions will cost more staff time than writing it all themselves.

    Well, having been the editor of the LPVA newsletter from 1984-2009 with a few exceptions and breaks, as well as having edited other newsletters for other organizations for pay, staff would have a point.

    More than once I had to basically re-write entire submissions for stupid stuff like grammar, punctuation, spelling, flow, relevance, and basic fact-checking.

    Wow, this conversation has seriously “jumped the shark”.

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