Open thread for LNC discussions and updates: August 2014

No, not that LNC

This is the thread for our readers to discuss the latest news from and about the LNC. I meant to write up the main points of what happened since I posted the last one of these last month, and one of our other writers still can if so inclined, but I don’t have the time and energy to do it and besides, the main point of these posts is the comment section anyway, so here you go…have at it.

140 thoughts on “Open thread for LNC discussions and updates: August 2014

  1. Stewart Flood

    It better be $99. If not, we need to sue Helms-Briscoe. I’m dead serious about this. Vicki Kirkland wanted us to visit the Rosen Center, so we did. After seeing it, I certainly agreed that it was a great place for a convention.

    Vicki and I were handed a proposal (bid) for $99/night for 2016 by their representative. We had already been told that we had to let Helms-Briscoe handle bids, but when someone hands you an offer you have to at least look at it. It included $99/night and a lot of other very good “comps” that Mr Rosen wanted us to have. He likes Libertarians.

  2. Stewart Flood

    I can certainly understand that things shift, but what Alicia noted in her message is only partially correct. We were handed a rather extensive package, which I read in the room where we were meeting. While it may not have covered every point, it had most of them.

    Since we were not permitted to take the package (per what we had been told about Helms-Briscoe), I jotted down the room rate and one or two other points on a piece of hotel stationary and put it in my pocket. We did not take the package with us, since we weren’t permitted to accept it.

    They made it very clear that Mr Rosen wanted us there, so I can certainly understand why the room rate may have ended up eventually going lower and I’m certainly glad that it was not higher than the $99/night that we were told. That is certainly one less thing to worry about.

    My guess is that the room rate may have ended up lower because of Rosen wanting us and not necessarily because Helms-Briscoe made a better deal than we could. In fact, we were told in that room that they could offer us a better deal directly than they could through a company like Helms-Briscoe and that the offer was their starting point to negotiate from. They understood that we were working through Helms-Briscoe (due diligence, we had to tell them), and they said that they hoped they could get us as good a price through them.

    Yes, Helms-Briscoe in the business, and they certainly aren’t a small vendor. But we’re “small fish” to them.

    Either way, 2016 is going to be a really great convention. The facility is good, access to the city by car, plane and even train (my choice from Charleston!) is good. There are a number of vacation parks nearby that can be used to extend the convention into a family vacation and, of course, the Florida LP and particularly the Orlando area members will make sure that this turns out to be a great event. I have full confidence that the local county party will assist in every way possible.

  3. Sandy Sanders

    Why not Richmond Va for the LP convention? They have a great convention center, decent lodging and the LP has been surging in the Old Dominion in last couple of years – 2013 Sarvis gets 6.5% of vote – highest percentage in South for a third party in 40 years or so and this year there are eight Federal LP candidates. There also is one elected LP member (Occoquan Town Council) and may be two more in Harrisonburg. Here’s a website for more info:

    I think as a blogger for VA Right that the national LP convention would be great to attend!

  4. Andy

    “Sandy Sanders
    August 1, 2014 at 9:39 pm
    Why not Richmond Va for the LP convention?”

    Richmond, VA is probably not a big enough city to justify having a national convention there.

    I’ve long thought that Austin, Texas would be a cool place for an LP National Convention.

  5. Stewart Flood

    New Orleans was way too expensive the last time we looked at it.

    Austin was selected for 2010 but the deal fell through and we rushed to pick another city and ended up in St Louis.

    Bidding for 2018 should over bu now. If not, the LNC is not doing its job. They were supposed to do select that last term…so 2020 would be under way. Guess they goofed up…

    You need to stay a few years ahead to get better deals.

  6. Daniel Hayes

    Stewart…the bidding for 2018 has not even gotten started!! There are people on the LNC saying it’s too early to even start looking at properties. Relative to New Orleans with the Hyatt having Reopened in 2012, that added a lot of convention space for the small conventions of the sort we have. It makes older hotels like the Hilton Riverside much more competitive We need to get the 2018 convention set as well as the 2020 in the next few months. Convention planning should be 5 years out.

    This whole Convention discussion is going on currently because myself and a few others thought…Columbus, Ohio??? I went to convention, having no clue I would end up on the LNC, with the thought of letting the LNC know that the many local affiliates would love to help make a New Orleans convention happen. No offense to Columbus but..what do you think the attendance would have been in New Orleans as opposed to Columbus?

    Price should not be the only contributing factor in site selection. You get what you pay for Mr Heinlein. Location relative to large affiliates should be a factor as well. New Orleans is within driving distance of much of 2 of the largest affiliates, Texas and Florida. People’s desire to attend the city should play a big role also in selection. What good is cheap convention that nobody but the diehards want to go to? Then you need to look at local affiliate support in setting it up.

    We in Louisiana are in such a different place than we had been in the past. For the 2012 state convention, there were 7 people in attendance. Now my local PEC(Parish Executive Committee) has 10-15 people at almost every monthly meeting. Some affiliates have more than that. I think Louisiana formed more local affiliates in the last year or so(17) than any other State in the Country.. That can be largely attributed to having a full time staffer, Wendy Adams, who Walter Block has said is, “The most effective Libertarian Organizer he has ever seen.”. Those organizational skills along with the over 130 party officials we now have could be put to work to assist the party with putting on a production.

    Looking at this as someone from Louisiana, we would love to have a 2020 Convention. We have strong plans to increase our slice of the national influence pie. A presidential year convention with 6 more years of our growth would likely give us a substantial delegation during an election year. It would be easy for us to get to. However coming at this from the standpoint of a LNC member, we need to maximize participation for all our conventions. It just takes a basic understanding of human psychology to realize that you pick site locations like New Orleans during off election years as it increases interest when interest is lower. During Presidential election cycles should be when you look at other venues that are not major attractions in themselves.

    I am listening to these arguments for hiring companies to find the convention…put on the convention…and I find it humorous as hell that people write that in Email threads right after someone talks about TANSTAAFL..and then they lay out all these elaborate reasons of how we are getting someone for nothing from Helms-briscoe. Does somebody’s brother own that company?.

    I have spoken to Vicki Kirkland on this matter..and you yourself can confirm it. Mr Rosen was going to pretty much give us a cherry deal on the Rosen center because he had strong libertarian leanings but they got offended that Helms Briscoe was brought in. If the first deal someone offers you off the bat is as good as what was offered to you and Vicki, you go for it. Gently whittle them down with a few concessions. I mean they told you they could do better than their first offer. Also, its being said that Helms Briscoe had 2 representatives at our meeting negotiating down to the last second. I say if you have to go to the last second, you didnt do your job. That just strikes me as a bit of theater, an act to try and impress people.
    People are running around saying silly stuff like we benefit from Helms-Briscoe’s volume discount. 700 person conventions are 700 person conventions. Those are small.Those are not modest sized conventions..that’s SMALL. It can be contained in 1 hotel. If you have a convention that has maybe 25,000 attendees, THEN you might need an assist like helms-briscoe. Those guys save their mojo for the big ones.

    I am smelling such BS and see such a lack of understanding of the process, I am at a point of saying, forget New Orleans as a consideration and just put me on the dang site selection committee. If all people consider is price, size, perks, etc they don’t understand conventions.

  7. Stewart Flood


    You are saying pretty much what several of us were saying from 2008 to 2012. We managed to get two cycles ahead, so that we could start bidding for 2018 five years out. Two of those years have now been wasted.

    We were talked into using Helms-Briscoe because they are “experts”. It was rubbish. I could tell immediately that we are too small a group for their services. As you said, a convention for 25,000 people is more in line with what they do.

  8. paulie Post author

    If New Orleans can be done affordably it sounds like a good choice to me, as does Austin or some place in Texas (Dallas, Houston or what have you).

  9. Thomas Knapp

    When’s the last time the LP had a national convention in the northeast?

    My recollection is:

    2016 — Southeast (Orlando)
    2014 — Midwest (Columbus)
    2012 — West/Mountain (Las Vegas)
    2010 — Midwest (St. Louis)
    2008 — West/Mountain (Denver)
    2006 — Northwest (Portland)
    2004 — Southeast (Atlanta)
    2002 — Midwest (Indianapolis)
    2000 — West Coast (Anaheim)
    1998 — Mid-Atlantic (DC)
    1996 — Mid-Atlantic (DC)
    1993 — West/Mountain (Salt Lake City)

    So more than 20 years since some place like New York, Philly, Boston …

  10. Stewart Flood

    We tried to get Philadelphia into the bidding for 2016, but certain people were against it and got it killed.

    The northeast is “due” a convention. Long overdue…

  11. Chuck Moulton

    I strongly agree. Philadelphia would make a great convention city. It’s ideal driving distance for the northeast / mid-atlantic, which is where a lot of the U.S. population is.

  12. Joshua Katz

    I think we should do New Haven.

    We’re not really discussing Dr. Tom. I was raising the point that the LNC is subject to certain requirements that the JC isn’t, and that this is problematic when we are required to be more loyal than our supervisors are. I chose an example, and the example became the topic.

  13. paulie Post author

    Much as with IPR and with forums and email lists everywhere, topics on LNC list meander. Nothing surprising about that. You brought up Stevens to illustate a point, but he became a whole side-discussion topic a a result.

  14. Daniel Hayes

    New Haven has a maximum room size of 9,200 Sq Feet. We generally need rooms over 20k.
    That one is out Joshua.

  15. paulie Post author

    Yes, that sounds right. I think there’s only 3 or 4 posts about him, though.

    I didn’t count them but I thought there were more. Ron Windeler of Alaska (the same guy who has been defending top two and also the idea that ten blog posts a month is enough) just posted again last night or this morning to defend Tom Stevens and the idea of bing an officer/candidate in multiple competing parties at the same time in general.

  16. Jeff Davidson

    What is the basic idea that Ron is using to defend top two? It could be that the LP in Alaska might have a shot at the general but that certainly wouldn’t be the case in most places.

  17. George Phillies

    I quote Windeler “The only reason that I am not currently a member of both the LNC and the Central Committee of the Republican Party of Alaska is that they excommunicated me for being in the inner circle of the Ron Paul for President campaign.”

    Republican activist.

  18. Mark Axinn

    Tom and Stewart are correct that the Northeast is way overdue, and that no one in New England, NY, NJ or PA would ever consider DC to be in the northeast. It’s actually a very southern city in many ways.

    However much I would love to hold a convention in New York, accommodations and meeting space are much too expensive here, but that is not true in Philadelphia. I think George suggested King of Prussia a couple of months ago, an close suburb to Philadelphia, which would be even more attractive financially yet close enough to get to the inner city for those who love things like culture, history, good food, architecture….

  19. George Phillies

    There appears to be a convention center at Valley Forge — not the small one LPPA uses — that may well be big enough. It is directly opposite the Mall at King of Prussia. It is immediately near around a dozen hotels, some exotic. It is, however, a bit of a haul from the Philadelphia airport.

  20. George Phillies

    Boston would be challenging. There are hotels that can handle a group our size, and perhaps the convention center would work.

    Worcester has a convention center with 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, that has handled 4000 person (poor seating, though) political conventions, but we are not near Boston, so transport would be amusing. The large center that I know in in NH is not big enough.

  21. Mark Axinn

    In defense of Columbus, it is the largest city in a major state, centrally located within a day’s drive of 70% of the LP membership. It is significantly larger than Orlando or New Orleans, just to name a couple of cities. It was a fine selection as both of those cities would be as well. (Although, if we ever hold the convention in Louisiana, I would love to be in Baton Rouge which is a smaller and very pretty version of NO.)

    The 2014 convention was not well-attended because we had virtually nothing to do. (Yeah, we made big deals over trivialities like usual.) That is an argument in favor of conventions every four years, not an argument against Columbus.

    So let’s get to something far more interesting than $95 or $99/night: The 2014 Convention cost over $500,000 and was not well-attended. Should we go to every four years instead?

  22. Joshua Katz

    We debated going to 4 year conventions at the 2014 convention. This seems to disprove the claim that there was no substantive business. I grow tired of hearing people moan about “moving commas around.” Adjusting the basic rules by which an organization functions is quite substantive business, as is adjusting what a party stands for. If people don’t find bylaws interesting, they could always not attend – and then find that, rather than moving commas around, real changes were made which they don’t like. Of course, if we have 4 year conventions, they can then wait 4 years to have a say about it…

    We changed how at-large members are elected. This undoubtedly changed the outcome of the at-large election. Again, no moving of commas.

    As an aside, as a former English teacher, I also find commas interesting.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    Mark wrote, ” The 2014 Convention cost over $500,000 …” Are you serious!? Is this cost correct?

  24. ATBAFT

    Continuing Knapp’s list, 1991 (presidential) was in Chicago and 1989 (non presidential) was in downtown Philadelphia.

    As I recall, the 1996 convention in D.C., which was a presidential one with about 1,000 attendees, had expenses of somewhere around $250,000 but the promoters still were able to make about $80,000 profit.

    If Columbus really cost $500,000 as a non-presidential event, then perhaps the answer is to
    lessen the hoopla and the extraneous expenditures for the business conventions and save
    the splash for the presidential conventions?

  25. Stewart Flood

    I can’t believe it cost that much. This is a rumor that needs to be squashed until we can hear what the real cost was. The $90K is probably the balance, so I’d estimate that it was twice that or slightly more. $160K-$180K is in line with recent conventions.

    King of Prussia. Lived there. Never want to go back. It is, at best, a 45 minute drive from the airport. At worst…several hours in rush hour traffic.

    KofP is NOT somewhere I’d hold a convention unless everyone is planning on hiking around Valley Forge Park. Or maybe we could hold it in the park? Yeah…lots of large fields…convenient log cabins…yeah…

  26. Daniel Hayes

    Official numbers… Columbus cost $123k..NOT $500K. The convention made money which is being used to fund ballot access.

  27. Stewart Flood

    $123K sounds right. How much did it make? There should be an “official” number by now, which will get into the monthly financial report.

  28. Mark Axinn

    $500,000 is an all-in number, not just cost to LP. And of course it is a very rough estimate.

    It includes the total cost of travel and hotel accomodations for three nights for all delegates, which I estimate to be at least $350,000, perhaps more like $450,000. (Yes I know some people stayed two nights, and others like me were there for four. Yes, I know some people live nearby, and others flew in from California. Yes, I know some people bought the gold package and others bought the $50 basic floor fee. It’s just an average.)

    Soooooo, if each delegate spent an average of $750-$1000 all-in and we changed some of the by-laws, strengthened the platform and elected a new LNC and JC, as well as hung out together and generally had a very groovy time, was it worth half a million bucks?

    P.S. to Josh–I never taught English, but I did minor in it at Columbia so I appreciate your attention to punctuation!

  29. Mark Axinn

    I could argue marginal costs too like the time spent on the Convention (both before and during) which could have been spent on other activities, but let’s leave that for the economists.

    The point I am raising is this:

    There is a tremendous total cost to frequent conventions, as well as several benefits. Do they outweigh the costs? Or to be blunt: Is holding a conventions in a non-presidential year a legitimate use of delegates’ limited resourses?

    Obviously I felt it was for me this year or I wouldn’t have been there, but many others felt differently and did not attend.

  30. George Phillies

    I was there for five, myself. I drove from Boston. and left Monday. $1000 to attend sounds like a reasonable ballpark estimate. There were about 400 delegates. $130,000 in LNC costs is actually rather low by historical standards. A half a million is therefore plausible.

    The cost could be cut considerably by giving each state one delegate per electoral vote (Tom Knapp idea), requiring that delegates be appointed by their state party, and requiring that delegates have as their legal residence the state with which they are sitting. A convention of 538 people (plus delegates from Puerto Rico, Marianas, Guam, and other islands) would be a lot easier to house.

  31. Stewart Flood

    I believe the high water mark was about 450 delegates. Estimated income “opportunity cost” would add between $90K and $130K. Travel, lodging,…who knows. I would say closer to $700K if you add everything up.

    But the only “hard” cost that the party can track is the cost of the event facility, including food and “entertainment” expenses. Everything else is variable. Some, like me, drove. That was split three ways (actually two because one person “bummed” a ride and never even offered to pay his share). So that cost was significantly less than air fare. Splitting a room also cut the cost.

  32. Michael H. Wilson

    I have unsuccessfully argued for some years that money spent on attending conventions is money that goes to hotels, etc. and is not available to the party, or candidates as contribution. Given the small pool of contributors that the LP has to draw from I think that this is an issue that some people need to think about more often.

  33. Eric Sundwall

    What’s wrong with Albany? They have a Southwest terminal. Easy traffic. Sufficient media. Capital of the Empire State. We could put a tent in my backyard that would fit a thousand delegates . . . .

    NO LNC/POTUS token system! Let any member in good standing make their case for Liberty.

  34. Mark Axinn


    I can think of about 1000 things wrong with Albany, as can you, none of them having anything to do with conventions. 🙂

  35. George Phillies


    A VP candidate who thinks Edward Snowden is a traitor will lead to plenty of debate. A Presidential candidate whose campaign would start a million dollars give or take in the hole is also dubious.

  36. AndyCraig

    ^if those wildly misleading talking points are the best you have against Johnson/Gray ’16, then they will both win on the first ballot again.

  37. Ed Snowden for VP

    There’s this page too –

    This is because Judge Jim Gray said to my face “Ed Snowden needs to face prosecution. Anyone who engages in civil disobedience needs to accept responsibility for their actions. Why did he flee to Russia?” to which I noted that the US had revoked his passport in Russia and grounded private jets that were on their way to pick him up.

    Judge Gray also doesn’t believe in the concept of Jury Nullification.

  38. Marc Montoni

    If early indications are correct, the 2016 convention will be another yawner where the majority will make the same decisions they have in the past.

    Ergo, I am likely to go just so I can socialize with my friends.

    Frankly I think the only people who should be given a vote at the national convention should be those who have signed up at least 100 national members in the previous two years (buying memberships for them doesn’t count).

  39. Bondurant

    The liberty wing of the LP rank-and-file made their voices loud and clear in Vegas. The top-down power brokers of the LP were brought to their knees. WAR barely made it on the LNC and walked away shortly after from the LP.

    Snowden could be and should be a hot topic and I think it’s enough to put Judge Gray out to pasture. Anyone who thinks Snowden should be punished is not a libertarian in any shape or form.


  40. Losty

    Maybe I should rephrase.

    There May be debate, but it seems that I am not sure anyone else would have the votes either way.

  41. Marc Montoni

    Nice thought, Bondurant, but it’s not accurate. 2012 was not the rout you think; they only lost a couple of their more widely-disliked adherents. Most of them were re-elected at the national convention or returned to the LNC by the state parties in their regions (Lieberman, Weiner, etc).

    They only lost the chairmanship because of Knedler’s tantrum; they only lost Secretary because the hyper-partisanship of the one who lost had so thoroughly annoyed so many of the rank-and-file.

    The 2014 convention reversed even those small losses. The restored majority faction is now once again as it has been for almost a decade.

  42. Bondurant

    All the fun will be in Orlando. It’s when those of modest income, that WAR so despised, will make the necessary sacrifices to attend the LP Convention and we’ll raise hell again.

  43. George Phillies

    The LP of Oregon State Committee meets this evening. Apparently there is some issue related to the National Convention having tampered with their last two state delegations to National.

  44. George Phillies

    I have received — it also went to the State Chairs, — a message from the Oregon Libertarian Party. It reads

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Wes Wagner
    Date: Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 7:39 AM
    Subject: Resolution of Censure and Referral of Action against the National Libertarian Party

    Please be advised that the Libertarian Party of Oregon passed unanimously at our board meeting last night (8/5/2014) the following resolution. It should be also well advised that the past transgressions that gave rise to this situation, most of which were even more egregious, shall be taken into account when we take final resolution of this dispute at our convention.


    Libertarian Party of Oregon

    Board of Directors Meeting, Beaverton, Oregon

    August 5, 2014

    SUBJECT: 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention

    WHEREAS the Libertarian Party of Oregon, founded under Oregon law prior to the founding of the National Libertarian Party, is an independent organization neither subordinate nor bound by any contract to the National Libertarian Party,

    WHEREAS at the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention, the delegation from the Libertarian Party of Oregon was modified by the convention without the consent, and over the objection, of this state affiliate,

    WHEREAS the National Libertarian Party bylaws require that “[e]ach state-level affiliate party shall, in accordance with its own Bylaws and these Bylaws, determine who shall be its delegates to all Regular Conventions” (NLP bylaws §6(3)),

    WHEREAS the National Libertarian Party bylaws require that “… delegates to a Regular Convention shall be selected by a method adopted by each affiliate party” (NLP bylaws §11(3)(b)),

    WHEREAS the Libertarian Party of Oregon bylaws make it a duty of the board of directors to appoint delegates (LPO bylaws §5(3)),

    WHEREAS the board of directors adopted the following delegate appointment rule: “to accept applicants in the order they were received, with later applicants being placed in alternate slots”, (LPO Board meeting, January 15, 2014),

    WHEREAS the Libertarian Party of Oregon solicited delegates via a sign-up form in our 2014 primary election announcement letter, mailed to every person registered to vote as a Libertarian in Oregon,

    WHEREAS the Libertarian Party of Oregon also solicited delegates via a sign-up form in our 2014 primary ballot materials, mailed to every person registered to vote as a Libertarian in Oregon,

    WHEREAS the Libertarian Party of Oregon also solicited delegates via announcements on our website and other social media,

    WHEREAS the National Libertarian Party bylaws direct that “[a] list of the names and addresses of all delegates and alternates chosen by each affiliate party shall be sent to the Credentials Committee” and that “[a]mendments to such lists may be made by the affiliate parties and submitted to the Credentials Committee” (NLP bylaws §11(5)(c), emphasis added),

    WHEREAS there is no suggestion anywhere in the National Libertarian Party bylaws that any body other than the state affiliate party is ever granted the authority to determine its delegation,

    WHEREAS the procedure used to modify the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s delegation – amending the Credentials Committee report – is not permitted by the National Libertarian Party bylaws,

    WHEREAS the exclusive means to modify a delegation during the Convention is provided by §11(5)(e) of the National Libertarian Party bylaws,

    WHEREAS the purpose of the §11(5)(e) provision is to enable the state affiliate to submit additional members of its delegation to the Credentials Committee during the convention,

    WHEREAS the fact that §11(5)(e) is silent regarding who may make submissions to the Credentials Committee is not an implicit grant of authority for any other body to make submissions on the state affiliate party’s behalf, or over its objection,

    WHEREAS even if others could make submissions, the application of §11(5)(e) requires a seven-eighths vote, which was not obtained,

    WHEREAS “[m]otions that conflict with the corporate charter, constitution, or bylaws of a society … are out of order, and if any motion of this kind is adopted, it is null and void” (RONR (11th ed.), p. 343, ll. 14-17),

    WHEREAS the convention did not act to modify or suspend the National Libertarian Party bylaws in the course of modifying the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s delegation,

    WHEREAS the Libertarian National Committee, aware of these facts, has failed to apologize to the Libertarian Party of Oregon for violating the autonomy guaranteed to it under the National Libertarian Party bylaws §6(5), invoking either an erroneous reading of §11(5)(e) or erroneously believing that its parliamentary authority binds it to defend actions of the convention even when they are void,

    AND WHEREAS the Libertarian Party of Oregon, as one of the founding affiliates of the National Libertarian Party, is hurt and saddened by the National Libertarian Party’s failure to adhere to its own bylaws and by its apparent disrespect of this state affiliate party; now, therefore be it

    RESOLVED, that the Libertarian Party of Oregon repudiates the modification of its convention delegation and CENSURES the National Libertarian Party for that act.

    RESOLVED, that the Libertarian Party of Oregon invites other Libertarian state parties to join in this censure to support us, to defend the integrity of their future convention delegations, and to defend their own autonomy,

    RESOLVED, that the topic of the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s relationship with the National Libertarian Party shall be placed on the agenda of our next state convention by our Convention Committee.

    RESOLVED, that the long history of the National Libertarian Party’s unacceptable conduct toward the Libertarian Party of Oregon will be discussed at our convention, with consequences as may be chosen by our members.

    RESOLVED, that the Libertarian Party of Oregon will welcome a representative or a statement from the National Libertarian Party at our convention concerning this matter.

    Wes Wagner
    Chairperson, Libertarian Party of Oregon

    Wes Wagner

  45. GJJG16

    Edward Snowden isn’t eligible to run for Vice President in 2016. Not old enough (He’s 31, you have to be 35) and arguably would not meet the US residency requirement. Several, probably most, states would refuse to put him on the ballot, which means also refusing the Presidential ticket (this has happened before to third parties who tried running candidates below the age limit, or who openly admitted to being naturalized citizens). I also really doubt Snowden would be interested in accepting the nomination, which makes the whole thing moot.

    Jim Gray has said he’s not opposed to stepping aside if a better candidate for VP comes along. I think he has the right idea in that regard, and if he were eligible Snowden probably would be one the very short list of people (and probably the only non-officeholder) worth making such a consideration for. Even though he’s a fine candidate and did a good job in 2012 in my opinion, it would make sense for the Judge to make way for a higher-profile libertarian if one could be recruited.

    However, the key point is that there actually be a better candidate and that they’re willing to run. I have yet to see any names proposed that fit both of those criteria- and no, perennial party activists with zero name recognition, zero experience in office, and zero media coverage don’t count. If you really want to get in your protest votes against Gray, somebody should submit Starchild’s name into the nomination. And of course there’s always NOTA.

  46. George Phillies

    If we keep running Republican losers, we will keep losing. Johnson 2012 did approximately nothing for building our party, though it did pretty well for some of his campaign staffers.

  47. GJJG16

    Johnson’s 2012 campaign was, by every objective standard, either the best or second-best performing ticket the LP has ever nominated for President. He put the LP firmly back into third place in the vote count, a position not occupied by the party since 1988 (when we ran another “Republican loser” with a state-level officeholder as a running mate). If we can’t even beat the other minor parties, we have little hope of moving up as “the” third party, nevermind winning. Gary continues to have an active public presence, speaking to state conventions and endorsing Libertarian candidates for other offices. He received substantial media coverage by LP standards, easily the most ever for our Presidential campaign, and even some modicum of name recognition. The party has seen a strong surge in activity, new interest, the number of candidates run, voter percentages received, and successful ballot access efforts since 2012: the importance of us being treated as the primary non-D/R alternative in that election has a lot to do with that. The pragmatic centrist model presented by Johnson, and adopted by such candidates as Sarvis and Overby, is another success emanating form 2012. More votes were cast for Johnson, than all the other minor-party candidates combined. Of course we all would have liked to see more, but wishing and whining is not a plan to actually do any better.

    If you’re going to contend that some other candidate who’s never held office, never mounted a serious campaign, and has no organization to speak of would do better at any of those things, I’d love to hear how you think that would happen, and I’d like to hear some possible names. Is the theory that millions of voters will suddenly flock to the LP because we nominated somebody really principled (as defined by whatever ideological sub-set of purists manages to get a few hundred delegates to Orlando) but who is totally unknown? Has that ever worked at getting more than 0.5% and fourth place the multiple times we’ve done it before? Or are we just supposed to nominate a candidate without regard to what voters think and how well the candidate will perform? If your proffered strategy also has a 0% success rate at winning elections, and no plan for improving other than “be more radical”, then lobbing the accusation of “loser” against those who have done relatively well seems…. hypocritical.

    I also love the damned-if-you, damned-if-you-don’t approach you seem to have towards raising and spending campaign funds. If he’s not spending money, then he’s not “building our party” (which, it should be noted, is not even the primary purpose of any candidate’s campaign). If he does spend money and has a campaign that involves more than just unpaid volunteer efforts, then that’s just evidence of a bunch of campaign staffers lining their pockets.

    If the party doesn’t continue to grow as fast as you’d like, maybe the problem is less that the Presidential candidate didn’t do enough or was insufficiently pure, and more that our LP affiliates are spectacularly bad at organizing themselves and electing sane, competent, and involved party officers. When state executive committees fail to even muster a quorum for their regular meeting, and monthly local meetings in major cities involve three people showing up- as I’ve seen happen more than once- then the problem isn’t national. It’s the affiliate party’s job to interface with the public and build the party. Compared to some of things I’ve seen presented to local voters by state parties, the ideological purity of the Presidential candidate should rank a bit further down on the list of concerns I think, particularly if your ostensible concern is the LP actually winning elections.

  48. Stewart Flood

    Win elections? Like the re-election of the Mayor of James Island, who is a former LP county party chair as well as a past congressional candidate? Second term…a Libertarian elected to a second term…fancy that!

  49. Stewart Flood

    For the record, while municipal elections in South Carolina are non-partisan (by law), everyone knows what party the candidates belong to. So they knew they were electing a Libertarian and they knew they were re-electing him — by a two to one margin. We call that a landslide victory.

  50. Chuck Moulton

    The LP presidential candidate isn’t going to win the election anytime soon — Gary Johnson or not.

    You seem to be putting vote total above all else as a measure of success. I disagree.

    It’s great to have higher vote totals, but that’s just one metric among any. Sure, 1% of the vote is better than 0.4% of the vote… however, if the 1% candidate promotes himself while the 0.4% candidate grows the party (in terms of membership, donations, activism, etc); if the 1% candidate pitches big new taxes while the 0.4% candidate articulates actual libertarian positions and spreads the libertarian message in the process; if the 1% candidate drains lots of donor money paying it to cronies while the 0.4% candidate runs a fiscally responsible debt free campaign leaving money in donor pockets for other candidates and causes instead of squandering it; then I’ll take the 0.4% candidate any day of the week.

    We can do better.

  51. Joe

    Chuck Moulton @ August 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm wrote:

    “Then I’ll take the 0.4% candidate any day of the week.”

    Well said. Took me a couple of conventions to wake up to this reality. Vote totals are seductive, but not always in the best interest of maximizing the vote totals in the future — which is a function of growing the party, and not a function of growing a candidate who has other primary interests (like paying off old debt, selling books, getting back into the republican party, etc).

  52. Joshua Katz

    I suggest spending our scarce time and money running in races we can actually compete in. The presidency doesn’t qualify at the moment. However, I’d want to see a candidate if someone like Rand Paul was running in order to maintain ownership of the brand, so to speak.

  53. Fred

    I don’t think a single attack style that we all agree on is either necessary or viable. Concentrating on more winnable races is a fine strategy–but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be gained from what a national campaign can do for us.
    Chuck is right that there are many factors about party growth beyond just votes gained in a national election. Vote totals can also be deceptive for many other reasons. The quality of the other candidates in the race, the perceived importance of the perceived differences of the two dominant party candidates on the general public, the electorates general feelings toward the system all play a significant part in how many people will vote for the Libertarian candidate (regardless of who we put on the ballot)

  54. Michael H. Wilson

    Bingo! Chuck Moulton is absolutely correct. I agree fully with one comment. This is true of all candidates up and down the ballot whether it is someone running for city council or the president. Sticking to the message and building the party is more important that a few more percentage points in vote totals.

  55. George Phillies

    Vote totals are rather minimal as indicators. Also, in a few months those totals are totally forgotten except for a few historians. The objective of the Presidential campaign should be to build the party by reaching out to people who will readily agree to join us and by campaigning with our down-ticket candidates to build their vote totals. Also, the record of the last four campaigns makes clear that the prominence of the candidate has approximately no effect on raising money. The last four candidates, post-nomination, each raised a million or a million and a half dollars. Brown raised and spent another two million to get the 2000 nomination; Johnson spent a similar number to fail to get the Republican nomination.

    When you hear someone say that our candidate, because he is a well known former member of the Duopoly Party, will raise tens of millions of dollars for a Libertarian Presidential campaign, you are hearing someone who is an idiot or a liar, and who should be given a chance to organize the street where he or she lives for our party.

  56. Jill Pyeatt

    ^^^Well said, George.

    And I’m tired of being called a “purist” because I want a Libertarian candidate to be Libertarian.

  57. GJJG16

    @George Phillies

    “””Vote totals are rather minimal as indicators.”””

    Then why bother competing in electoral politics at all? If all you want to do is grow a movement or club (“political party” is a misnomer for what you describe), then why choose the LP as the outlet for that at all? That anybody who purports to have or seek a leadership role in a “party” would seriously say this should have them checking their assumptions about what exactly it is they’re trying to do.

    The purpose of any individual campaign is to get as many votes and as much positive attention as possible for its candidate and their message. When you contribute to a campaign, that’s what you’re agreeing to support with your contribution. If you’d rather give to the party, then give to the party.

    “””The objective of the Presidential campaign should be to build the party by reaching out to people who will readily agree to join us and by campaigning with our down-ticket candidates to build their vote totals.”””

    Wait, I thought vote totals don’t matter? So the goal of the Presidential candidate should be to maximize votes for Libertarians in every race except the Presidential election? Nevermind that what you vaguely describe is exactly what OAI and GJ, and other Libertarian candidates, have actually been working to do since 2012.

    Growing the party is the job of the party as a whole. Nominating strong candidates helps that, but it’s misguided to place responsibility for the party’s growth on any individual candidate, even at the national level. A candidate more focused on growing the party than running for office is a feel-good proposition that shifts blame for lack of growth away from the LP itself, but it’s fundamentally contradictory. In what substantive way is a Presidential candidate (or any candidate) supposed to grow the party, other than by running as strong a campaign for the office they’re seeking as he/she can?

    You seem to be taking all of the responsibilities of the LNC, national staff, the convention delegates, the affiliate parties, and local members, and laying it all at the feet of the Presidential candidate. And yet you accuse others of over-promising the potential of a Libertarian Presidential campaign….

    “””Also, the record of the last four campaigns makes clear that the prominence of the candidate has approximately no effect on raising money. The last four candidates, post-nomination, each raised a million or a million and a half dollars.”””

    Meaning that some of those campaigns were more than two to four times as effective (at least) as others at turning that money into votes. If you don’t like vote totals as a measurement, and earned media coverage for the candidate is just evidence of the candidate being self-serving, then what other measure of “growing the party” would work? Dues-paying members? Convention attendance? Local activity? Candidates run and vote totals for lower offices? Setting aside that all of those things have been on a bigger uptick post-2012 than after any previous Presidential campaign, at least in most states, why should “growing the party” matter to people if it does nothing to grow vote totals and ultimately, theoretically, further the goal of electing Libertarians and moving public opinion and government policy in a more libertarian direction?

    Your deliberate exclusion of the pre-nomination period also works to flatten the numbers more than they really are, given that some of those candidates were already in full campaign mode before the convention and others only began fundraising in earnest after getting the nomination. In reality we’re looking at at 300% swing (using your numbers) across that time period from minimum (presumably 2000 or 2004) to maximum (GJ 2012). That’s not “no effect”, nor did the money spent on promoting his candidacy in the primary of no effect. Even if we’re being ultra-conservative and budget GJ2016 at $2 million, that’s double what the party was spending a decade ago on its Presidential campaign.

    “””When you hear someone say that our candidate, because he is a well known former member of the Duopoly Party, will raise tens of millions of dollars for a Libertarian Presidential campaign, you are hearing someone who is an idiot or a liar, and who should be given a chance to organize the street where he or she lives for our party.”””

    Nice strawman there. This might not be the case in your state, but in most of the nation ballot access is a real concern to the people “trying to organize our party on the street they live on.”- and in most of those states the difference between 0.3% and 1-3% in the Presidential (and/or statewide) elections means thousands of dollars and man-hours spent on petitioning over the next two to four years. Unless you think “come gather 10,000 petition signatures with us so we can get half a percent again!” is a message which will bring more people into party activism on the local level.

    I’m saying that even if we have the same baseline of resources and expected material support to work with, Johnson is still a better ’16 nominee than anybody else on the table. I think four years of groundwork going into a 2016 campaign will also deliver more- by whatever nebulous standard you use- than a few months going into the 2012 one did, but regardless I think you’re being overly generous in implying that money would be there regardless of who we nominate and what kind of campaign they run.

    You lay out a lot of hypothetical about a candidate vaguely doing more, but you offer nothing in the way of particulars as to what you or such a theoretically acceptable candidate would actually do different. I’m curious if any of our previous Presidential nominees fits your criteria- and if so, how.

    If your objection to Johnson is ideological, that’s fine. We can debate that. I’m not even going to disagree with many of the “radical” or “purist” or just-plain libertarian, if your prefer, criticisms of him. He’s made missteps, he’s screwed up at times, he’s contradicted the platform or taken a position that I would advise on some issues. I don’t think that places him beyond any but the most ridiculously narrow conceptions of what counts as “libertarian”, and that 99% of the “he’s not even a libertarian!” criticisms are vastly overblown, but that’s not the argument you’re making here. None your complaints are ideological- they’re all tactical, organizational, or otherwise campaign-strategy based, in which you assert that somebody else could do better, but give us zero indication that somebody else actually would do better even by your standards.

    And to be clear, I think you’re an asset to the internal functioning of the LP. Keeping tabs on internal party functions is important, helping to keep members informed is important, and questioning whether our dollars are being well-spent is important. I’m glad you do those things, even when I disagree with what you have to say on those topics. But your complaints as to our choice of candidates- which I predict will be leveled against the 2016 nominee after the election is over no matter who runs- offer nothing which can actually be built on.

    If somebody is going to present the anti-Johnson option at the convention (and I have no idea if you actually are willing to do so or not), then you’re as good a candidate as anybody else who’s been discussed. But I don’t think it would be a very persuasive campaign to the delegates, and if we’re actually going to run somebody else, then at the top of the list of possible names should be Libertarian candidates who have run relatively strong statewide or Congressional campaigns in the recent past and/or who have at least some degree of credibility outside of the LP. None of whom, I’m guessing, would satisfy the malcontent caucus.

    If we really want to recruit *better* candidates in the future, then maybe the first step is that the loudest voices in our party should stop treating our nominees like shit after they’re run, blaming them for not being the miracle candidate who single-handedly turns the LP into a major party. Just maybe the cause of our dysfunction is a little closer to home than the Presidential nomination.

  58. Joe Wendt


    Gary Johnson was not an effective candidate. If he were, he wouldn’t have been overshadowed by Ron Paul during the entire election. Gary Johnson did poorly in both GOP debates he partcipated in during the primaries (I watched both, and it’s sad when a fmr two term governor is outperformed by Herman Cain), and couldn’t out shine Ron Paul. Rather, Ron Paul was an effective spokesperson for the Libertarian ideals, and won the hearts and minds for the cause. Ron Paul inspired people to give the LP a chance on election day because of his association with and his advocacy for the ideology; not Johnson’s rather bland and uninspiring campaign that spent way too much money on staffers.


    Please Run and Give the LP a real Libertarian candidate.

  59. GJJG16

    You make a compelling case for Ron Paul as a better candidate. Let me know when you convince him to come out of retirement, re-join the Party, and accept its nomination. Given the readily available comparison to 2008, I also don’t think it’s true that the only increase in LP votes in 2012 was due to Ron Paul’s GOP primary campaign. Not once did Ron Paul encourage people to vote Libertarian in 2012.

    Besides, Phillies is not Ron Paul, nor does he posses any of the characteristics you say Paul has but Johnson lacks. It’s particularly rich if your objection is that Johnson is too “bland” and “uninspiring”- and then propose we nominate instead somebody whose main professional qualification is as the author of “Phenomenology of Polymer Solution Dynamics”.

  60. Joe Wendt


    George Phillies may not be Ron Paul, but he would leave the Party stronger organizationally after election day. He would actually work to build the LP and help the candidates.

    Besides, considering the Johnson campaign still owes $1014510 according to the FEC, Johnson has clearly shown he isn’t fiscally responsible.

  61. George Phillies

    GJJG16 The main campaign achievement of your candidate was seeing how much he could pay his campaign staff, in which your candidate appears to have broken the Barr 2008 effort’s record. When I ran a campaign, my checks cleared on time as promised. Your guy is still working on that. The only debt my campaign has is to me, a record which your candidate might find it challenging to match, given that he spent almost no money of his own on his campaign.

    in fact, our national committee felt obliged to to spend thousands of dollars of its own money to pay off legal debts left behind by your candidate.

  62. Wes Wagner

    I think Wiener’s proposal to pay the debt off by the end of the note is a very reasonable proposal. To accomplish it some of Katz’s suggestions may be very necessary.

  63. mikesteraz

    Hi all, I made a Facebook group where we can discuss specific posts in their own threads fairly simply, basically you can click in the upper-right corner of any post on LNC Votes to find a “Link” command that you can paste into a new thread for discussion there.

    Here is that Facebook group:

    Here is an example link to a message I find particularly worthy of a grassroots dialogue:

    And here is an example of that link posted to the group for discussion:

    I hope at least some people find this useful. I am learning that checking the list towards bedtime is a delightful late-night pasttime and the only thing missing is the shared experience of trading comments with others I know are probably reading too.

    Please note, this group’s content is public in the spirit of the transparency movement, so anybody can find it and read what’s being said.

  64. Dave Terry

    Jill Pyeatt wrote

    “And I’m tired of being called a “purist” because I want a Libertarian candidate to be Libertarian”

    And HOW, exactly, do you ensure that a Libertarian candidate is a “Libertarian” when those who nominate them are Libertarians in name only?

    Would you agree that, at minimum, a “Libertarian Party member/candidate” should, at minimum,
    sign the NAP?

  65. Jill Pyeatt

    Trust me, Dave, you don’t want to know what prompted that comment. It had nothing to do with Oregon.

  66. david terry

    SOMEBODY wrote: “This is because Judge Jim Gray said to my face “Ed Snowden needs to face prosecution. Anyone who engages in civil disobedience needs to accept responsibility for their actions.”

    I can’t believe that Jim Gray actually SAID that. Can someone verify this?

    If it IS true, than if Gray is on the LP ticket, I will probably NOT vote for it, for the first time since
    1972, when I wrote Hosper’s name down on my California ballot.

    Further, this is not a traffic ticket or a misdemeanor, I have sworn allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, not ANY government official or department.

    Despite what government claims, they are not exempt from the authority of our Constitution.
    The day ANYONE, private citizen, police officer OR Federal Agent comes to confiscate my weapons of self-defense, they will have to, as best expressed by Charlton Heston, “pry them from my cold dead hands”.

    But not until I have exerted every effort to exert deadly force to resist.

  67. Mark Axinn

    Most of our national nominees have been both small and large L libertarians.

    I remember proudly voting for Bergland, Paul, Marrou, Browne (twice) and Badnarik from 1984-2004, each of whom qualified on both counts. (I voted for John Anderson in 1980, so I knew enough not to vote for Reagan or Carter then, but was not yet a Libertarian Party supporter.)

    Both Barr and Johnson were members of the LP and so qualified as large L Libertarians. Moreover, each also espoused many small-l libertarian positions, particularly on privacy and personal relations, but each of them also supported various issues with which those of us in the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party would not agree.

    Does that make them failed candidates? Clearly many on this list would say Yes, but I am grateful to both of them (and to their running mates Wayne Root and Jim Gray) for their service to the Libertarian Party and the freedom movement. While I am disappointed in Wayne’s subsequent neo-con behavior and disagree with Jim Gray on the police, I was pleased to have worked with each of them in 2008 and 2012 to advance the Libertarian Party and to present a message of freedom and economic prosperity to the sheep of the United States as opposed to one of dependence and warfare from the Demopublicans.

  68. Jill Pyeatt

    David Terry, once in a while you and I agree on something. I agree with everything you said in your last comment.

    My issue with Gray is his support of policemen as “noble servants”. We need someone who aggressively fights the police state that’s engulfing our country.

  69. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    Dave Terry, I live in Arizona. I am a 2014 Libertarian party candidate for county office. Any person or group that wants to promote a NAP signatory endorsement system is certainly welcome to do so. Here in Arizona (and I suspect other states also have this ‘liberal’ system) the only requirement to be an official party candidate is to collect independent or signatures of registered voters and fill out some forms. While there have been some problem candidates here in Arizona (usually about one per election season) I still rather like the system the way it is as I don’t want the organized to have the power to veto the candidates when the registered Libertarian party voters of Arizona can do that via the primary election ballot (by voting for a better Libertarian candidate). I like discussing the NAP and the ZAP but I am not sure that I would be willing do donate money or time to an endorsement system predicated upon signing it. I rather prefer L. Neil Smith’s Bill of Rights Enforcement movement. Better pledges aren’t the problem, the goal is holding people to the pledges they already agreed to.
    *** Non URL ad *** Google “Bill of Rights Enforcement L. Neil Smith”

  70. Dave Terry

    Thane “Goldie” Eichenauer wrote:

    “Better pledges aren’t the problem, the goal is holding people to the pledges they already agreed to.”

    I’m not quite sure that I understand your meaning. The NAP is the ONLY pledge necessary.
    But THAT pledge is absolutely essential to insure that the person actually purports to be a Libertarian, and accepts the fundamental axiom of libertarianism.

    ” I don’t want the organized to have the power to veto the candidates when the registered Libertarian party voters of Arizona can do that via the primary election ballot (by voting for a better Libertarian candidate)”

    Can you state the source of your fear of “the organized”? Isn’t that was the Libertarian Party is supposed be? A “better Libertarian candidate”? How often do you have more than one running for the same office? How does the signing of the NAP allow “the organized” to veto anyone?

    ” I am not sure that I would be willing do donate money or time to an endorsement system predicated upon signing it.”

    There is no need to raise money, since the form would simply be filed with their nomination papers.

  71. Ed Snowden for VP

    David Terry,

    He said to me personally in front of 5 other Libertarians at this years National Convention in Columbus.

    Unfortunately I don’t have it on tape. However, if you don’t believe me, simply ask him yourself. I’m confident he’ll give you the same answer.


    You mustn’t understand the concept of 3rd parties in general. Gary’s campaign was OK at best. But like Chuck said, we can do better. Let’s have a candidate out there espousing Libertarian ideals, not quasi-libertarian skirt around the edges type. Let’s nominate a candidate who wants to end government programs, not make them work better. I remember hearing Gary Johnson say “If federal government would have just block grant us the money for medicare and medicaid in New Mexico, I could have done a much better job in implementing these programs”. So rather than discuss the Libertarian solution – ending medicare and medicaid, he shows his true colors. And as Chuck touched on, he over paid his consultants, grossly mismanaged his finances, all while diluting the message for the sake of a few thousand votes.

    In regards to his age, the whole point of nominating Edward Snowden is simply to show the American public that the Libertarian Party is the party of principle, and that we appreciate what he did in essentially confirming the size and scope of the government’s spying programs. Snowden did more for the cause than Judge Gray ever has or will. Snowden as our Vice Presidential candidate will draw media coverage to our hopefully very Libertarian Presidential Candidate and all other down ticket candidates in 2016.

  72. Ed Snowden for VP

    PS: And with regards to his age, so what? The Constitution to many Libertarians is simply a document of no consent that either has implicitly allowed for the government as we have today, or was powerless in stopping it. Plus it allowed for slavery. Need I say more?

  73. Deve Terry

    “Plus it allowed for slavery. Need I say more?”

    NOT if it is silly as the above!

    No one has said that the Constitution is a ‘perfect’ document. However, it was written by very enlightened men in a very unenlightened world. I might point out, relative to “slavery” that in Article I, Section 9; did place a moratorium on the importation of slaves as of 1808.

    There is no way the Constitution would have been ratified, had slavery been abolished up front!

  74. Mark Axinn

    We have run many candidates in the past who were under-age or did not live in the district or some other issue which would disqualify the person from serving if elected.

    I would take the risk that he might not qualify to serve if Mr. Snowden wanted our nomination for office.

  75. Fred

    Unfortunately, people are willing to sign things they don’t agree with when they feel they have something to gain. The only people who we would eliminate by requiring a pledge are people who both disagree with the pledge AND have the ethical center to only sign statements they agree with 100%.

    Unethical people who disagree are often willing to sign the NAP if they think it gains them something
    This has in some instances inspired people to create rules to remove people’s memberships because they “don’t follow the NAP” which spirals into a war of getting rid of people that we don’t like.

  76. Wes Wagner


    Don’t forget “allegedly not following the NAP” because they actually reciprocated in order to deal with other people’s initiations but the casual observer can’t discern what is going on and tries to support the status quo because of a bias towards normalcy.

    Of course I would hope better of people who call themselves libertarians, but I have learned over the years that most people who call themselves that, aren’t.

  77. Michael H. Wilson

    I don’t take the whole idea of the NAP seriously. First it was a fig leaf to keep the FBI off the party’s backside during the turmoil in the 1970’s and secondly a lot of aggression depends on the circumstances.

  78. david terry

    Fred wrote: “The only people who we would eliminate by requiring a pledge are people who both disagree with the pledge AND have the ethical center to only sign statements they agree with 100%”

    Oh boo hoo!.That is precisely WHY the NAP is so important. Those are precisely the people we wish to “eliminate”!!!

    I can ONLY speak for myself, but if one does NOT pledge to refrain from the initiation of force,
    “properly defined” (I am not speaking of circumstance were one is provoked by threatening actions); that person is NOT a libertarian and has not business calling themselves libertarians.

    EVERYTHING, the LP stands for is a derivative of the NON-AGGRESSION PRINCIPLE!!!!!!!!!!!

  79. Wes Wagner

    We really should have put you in jail for your criminal conduct that night David. Mercy was clearly wasted on you.

  80. david terry

    Fred; “Unethical people who disagree are often willing to sign the NAP if they think it gains them something
    This has in some instances inspired people to create rules to remove people’s memberships because they “don’t follow the NAP” which spirals into a war of getting rid of people that we
    don’t like.

    You are being disingenuous, Fred. Disliking someone for various reasons is ONE thing!
    Violating the NAP is QUITE another. Surely you don’t object to the LP bringing charges against a member for advocating aggressive violence OR the “clear and present” actions thereof.

    But, of course, as Michael Wilson notes, acts “of aggression depend on the circumstances.”.

  81. Thomas Knapp

    “I might point out, relative to ‘slavery’ that in Article I, Section 9; did place a moratorium on the importation of slaves as of 1808.”

    Yes, you might. But you’d be incorrect.

  82. Thomas Knapp

    “I don’t take the whole idea of the NAP seriously. First it was a fig leaf to keep the FBI off the party’s backside during the turmoil in the 1970?s ”

    Um, no. The NAP pre-dates the party by a looooooooooooooong time. Which is one reason why the claim that it was “a fig leaf to keep the FBI off the party’s backside” was always unmitigated horseshit.

  83. Wes Wagner

    The NAP pre-dates the party all the way back to the Age of Reason. Turning it into a pledge was started by the party.

    The Libertarian Party was founded on the principles of the Age of Reason — and we are not “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” … we are liberal. Period. And being liberal means you don’t hold other people at gunpoint and threaten them with death if they refuse to live in the manners you would like them to. The side effect of that are policy positions that have the appearances and trappings of being socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but are by no means the core of what we actually believe.

  84. Wes Wagner

    (also liberalism and non-violence taken to its natural philosophical conclusion would advocate for anarchism, not libertarianism)

    I am just pragmatic enough to accept a libertarian solution as training wheels for a violent species that needs to heal itself.

  85. Steve M

    In a society based upon laws, their are only two recourses for violating the laws. Face prosecution or receive a pardon.

    To ignore one persons violation of a law while prosecuting another persons violation of the law plays towards bias and favoritism.

    If we don’t like a law or believe that whistle blowers should be exempt from the law then change the law.

    Snowden should be prosecuted and I would hope a Jury of his peers would find him not guilty or better yet the President of the US would issue a pardon or some sort of clemency.

  86. Dave Terry

    Wes Wagner; “We really should have put you in jail for your criminal conduct that night David. Mercy was clearly wasted on you.

    Wagner, you are ALMOST as insufferably arrogant as your shadow/sidekick Vetanen

  87. paulie Post author

    It was mentioned in another thread, but since this is the correct thread for LNC discussions, Guy McLendon has co-sponsored Alicia Mattson’s Oregon motion along with Rob Oates. The need one more full LNC member to bring it to a vote. If they lose, expect an appeal to JC.

  88. paulie Post author

    Reactions from the State Chairs list:

    Doug Craig, GA:

    Guy you are now becoming part of the problem. …we should stay out of this .Mattson is on the big reason we are having these problems ,if you have hooked your wagon to Mattson you have picked the wrong person to team up with.If I was the chair I would continue to be upset at national…why would not expect Wagner to be would too.If this gets worse you will now be one of the reasons for this. Mattson is one of the reasons we have this problem in the first place. Right now Georgia is on fire..we are one of the hottest states with news coverage and great candidates….this is what we need to be doing.At this point you have now causing me to spend time on this subject instead of doing the work of Liberty…please mind your own business and leave Oregon to r ake care of its business. ..Doug Craig chairman of the libertarian party of Georgia. ..and one of the states that is getting stuff done.

    Kevin Knedler, OH:

    re: LNC
    I continue to see not much more than “deck chair moving” from the LNC–truly SAD !
    Stop with the internal stuff which revolves around moving commas, changing a sentence or messing with Oregon.
    The LNC is a Board of Directors and it should be focused on:
    #1 Get the LP into the 21st century with a new web site, data system, and a potential shared platform with states!
    Damn it, I have been screaming for this for 5 years.

    #2 Develope a plan to help train candidates. Or turn that all over to the LNCC to do, with supportive funding.

    #3 Develope a plan to help affiliates with their operations in the areas of ballot access, FEC filing, leadership training, etc. Or turn that all over to the LSLA to do with supportive funding.

    #4 Ballot access is critical and there needs to be a bigger team on this, including potential pro-active legal moves in specific states.

    #5 Work on successfull National Conventions. The LNC team of 2010 to 2012 picked THREE future National Conventions. Nothing since? 2018 should be worked on asap.

    #6 Fundraising to support ALL of the above.

    Goodness, it’s no wonder people don’t want to be on the LNC, including me.
    I stated it in Austin, Texas at a 2010 LNC meeting. If the LP and LNC doesn’t get it’s “act” together, another political party will evolve or rise and replace the LP as a viable alternative to the two legacy parties from the 19th century.

    Wes Wagner:

    The LNCs attempts over the course of 4+ years to disrupt an otherwise successful state party by trying to recognize an illegitimate leadership led by a known petty theif and con artist, suing for control of a party without the consent of the governed, at the behest of the Oregon Republican Party’s general counsel has killed anything once redeemable about the national organization.

    Guy merely exemplifies the figurative death of anything worth saving about the LNC and in the end should be held up as an example as why the LNC died in retrospect.

    To even take under consideration the notion that the LNC has the power to decide such things is treason.

    Steve Scheetz, PA:

    There are 50 Libertarians on the ballot in Oregon this coming November.

    What is important to the LNC?

    A motion to tell the State of Oregon that it needs to reconsider its decision on the legitimacy of the Libertarian Party currently recognized therein…

    I have advised several on the LNC to simply take its nose out of the business of Oregon.

    First and foremost, the state of Oregon will do what it wants to do regardless of what the LNC asks/demands.

    Secondly, it is not easy to find 50 Libertarian willing to go out and get the support required to achieve ballot access. This motion undermines the effort of all Libertarians who have done the legwork involved to achieve ballot access.

    Thirdly, If the LNC passes such a resolution, it will lose credibility when it fails to convince the state of Oregon to do anything (other than throw the request in the garbage).

    Finally, it will undermine the trust other state parties have with national.

    Here in Pennsylvania, we had a rather noisy problem with a rogue chair bent on his own goals. If the LNC poked its nose in Pennsylvania’s business, this very discussion could be happening about the problems with rival Pennsylvania organizations. I would likely not be a participant in that event, because if it went down in that way, I know that I would have simply left the party to die.

    This is not an easy gig, as many of you know. We are not paid for our efforts, we spend our own money to make things happen, and why do we do the things that we do?

    Because we BELIEVE in the philosophy that stems from “your life your way provided you do not interfere with others living their lives their way.” This is NOT a complicated philosophy, but it is definitely one born on NON-INTERFERANCE!

    My question to the LNC: Why in the WORLD would you go against your own philosophy and interfere in something that is clearly NOT your business?

    Brett Pojunis, NV:

    State Chairs,

    Why is the LNC focusing on Oregon? Unless there are candidates they are trying to support, who cares? Oregon needs to focus on the 2014 elections (as do the rest of us) not fighting with the LNC. They are going to have a convention in 2015 that will be widely promoted and they can duke it out there. Hopefully after their convention this issue is settled for good.

    The LNC should be working on developing materials to assist the affiliates with growth or providing help to us should we need it. As I have said before, when I was elected I received nothing… Everything has been on the job training and calling a bunch of audibles. The LNC needs to focus on supporting the affiliates, not getting in their way and causing additional problems.


    Brett H. Pojunis
    Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Nevada

    Mark Axinn, NY:


    I have to agree with Steve, although from a slightly different perspective.

    I consider many on the Reeves/Burke side to be my friends, especially M Carling, Alicia Mattson and Aaron Starr, all of whom I have supported for office on LNC or JC in the past.

    I believe that the Wagner group acted improperly years ago, ignored Oregon bylaws, staged a coup, and took control of the state affiliate. (I actually think Wes would admit as much.)

    And then it was appealled to the Judiciary Committee and the Wagner Group won.

    End of story.

    I disagree with the prior JC determination, but it was rendered and there is no reason to continue to litigate a divisive issue which is none of my business.

    I do not want to interfere in Oregon just as I do not want others to interfere in New York or Steve wants that in Pennsylvania.

    Let’s move on.

    Mark N. Axinn
    Chair, LPNY

  89. Joshua Katz

    As the governing body, the LNC does have an interest in knowing how to contact its state affiliates, where to direct data dumps, and so on. The LNC should not be involved in the running of an affiliate, but must determine with whom it will deal. To say that the LNC should just ignore the question is not helpful. This is not me expressing an opinion on the current motion.

  90. Thomas Knapp


    While affiliation with the LNC and recognition by the state are two separate things, that doesn’t mean they don’t have ramifications for each other.

    The Libertarian Party of Oregon is a political party. It is organized under Oregon’s state election laws.

    The Libertarian Party of Oregon is also an affiliate of the Libertarian National Committee.

    While these are two separate things, it seems fairly obvious that if the LNC isn’t sure who the officers of the Libertarian Party of Oregon are, a good way of finding out is to consult the legal authority under which the Libertarian Party of Oregon is organized.

    That legal authority is Oregon’s Secretary of State.

    Who, as it happens, says that the chair of the Libertarian Party is Wes Wagner, a statement upheld in the courts when litigated.

    As it happens, the Libertarian National Committee’s only and final appellate authority said exactly the same thing, only in not as carefully worded form, when the issue came before them.

    Absent action to disaffiliate the Libertarian Party of Oregon and affiliate some other organization in its place, the existing Libertarian Party of Oregon, including its legally recognized officers, are the LNC’s affiliate in Oregon. Period.

  91. Joshua Katz

    Again, I wasn’t arguing as to who the chair was (or the members, or what the bylaws are, for that matter.) I was responding to the claim that the LNC has no role whatsoever due to autonomy. As it happens, though, I do not agree that the LNC must turn to the state to find out who its affiliate is, although that is one option, and the option the JC happened to take.

    The two do have ramifications for each other, but remain, as I see it, separate questions. As acknowledged, the LNC could vote to disaffiliate any state affiliate and instead affiliate with, say, the Green Party of that state (so long as they were willing.) So long as that is true, the state cannot be a reliable guide.

  92. Wes Wagner

    Except that political parties are often registered and have registered agents in most states. If you cut yourself on a piece of literature published by the Libertarian Party of Oregon and got sepsis and were ridiculously litigious, how would you determine who would you serve papers on ?

  93. georgephillies

    ” I do not agree that the LNC must turn to the state to find out who its affiliate is, although that is one option, and the option the JC happened to take. ”

    That is not the option the JC took. The statement is that the affiliate *is* the affiliate recognized by the SoS, not that the affiliate is the Wagner group *because* the Wagner group is the affiliate recognized by the SoS. I have ascertained from JC members that they felt that if the LNC wanted to recognize the Reeves group, the LNC had to proceed via a formal disaffiliation and reaffiliation vote. There is no conflict with the JC decision in the LNC recognizing the Reeves faction, but the LNC at this point must follow the bylaws: First disaffiliate Wagner and then affiliate Reeves.

  94. Thomas Knapp

    “As it happens, though, I do not agree that the LNC must turn to the state to find out who its affiliate is”

    Neither do I. Nor did I suggest any such thing for you to “not agree” with.

  95. Steve M

    Having read the transcripts where the judge pointedly asked if they were fighting over the same entity or if there were two different entities? if they were 2 different entities then the case was over. I believe, the Reeves faction stated that there was only one entity.

    Now then if the LNC disaffiliates from that one entity there is no second entity to affiliate in its place. Reeves et al, would have to admit that there were two entities and then might have issues having collected money for the original one while not being part of it.

    Why any of the members of the LNC want to continue to meddle in this is quagmire is beyond me.

  96. paulie Post author

    As the governing body, the LNC does have an interest in knowing how to contact its state affiliates, where to direct data dumps, and so on. The LNC should not be involved in the running of an affiliate, but must determine with whom it will deal. To say that the LNC should just ignore the question is not helpful

    I don’t believe any of the state chairs said the LNC should “just ignore” the issue. They said that the status quo, that is recognizing the Wagner faction, is good enough (as imperfect as that may be, and opinions on that vary) because the LNC has a lot of other more pressing issues which it is failing to address while it keeps spending a disproportionate amount of time revisiting the Oregon issue again and again.

  97. paulie Post author

    I’m not a state chair, or even a current state committee or LNC member (I am a former state committee member and LNC alternate) but I agree with the state chairs quoted above. I wrote Kevin Knedler:

    Kevin…you are so right! I feel the same exact way.

    Maybe the state chairs should just bypass the LNC and get some things done. You guys get all the data dumps between all the states so if you put them together it adds up to the national list that LNC/HQ has. Maybe some states can get together and get stuff done that LNC is failing to do, like exactly the things you mentioned. LNC process is way too bureaucratic with too many people pulling in different directions, so a lot gets discussed but little ever gets done. Even having observed LNC closely in 2007-2012 before joining, that preparation did me little good and I was able to get exactly nothing accomplished by being on LNC in 2012-2014.

    Forget the ideological nuances and forget Oregon…..we need to have a real LP, this country and the world needs it and the LNC is not helping create one.

    I copied Brett because he said basically the exact same thing you did and I know he shared the exact same frustration in trying to get things passed thru LNC.

    LSLA, LNCC and/or a new organization (PAC?) that is less encumbered with bureaucracy and overhead needs to start taking some of these vital functions over because LNC is yet again failing to get them done.

  98. Wes Wagner


    winner winner chicken dinner.

    Glad someone read the transcripts and realizes how absurd the arguments are.

  99. Wes Wagner


    I am willing to provide significant material support for anyone who is able to cobble together a good team for something like that.

    I will also stay out of their affairs and focus on oregon 😉


  100. Steve M


    Looks like I am moving up to Washington… but will be passing through Oregon…. let me know how to collect that Chicken dinner.

  101. Wes Wagner

    If I am in town at the time you pass through I will buy you one someplace nice. I live and work along the I-5 corridor and Claim Jumper is convenient… they serve chicken dinners.

  102. Steve Scheetz

    Regardless of the fact that he withdrew his co-sponsorship, I believe that Guy demonstrated poor judgment by cosponsoring this in the first place.

    Like I stated in my e-mail to the state chair’s list,

    The LNC telling a state what it needs to do, even if the state had not made a decision would only serve to make the state want to do something else.

    Since the State had ALREADY MADE A DECISION, and the LNC would be saying:

    “Your decision sucks, you need to change it and make a decision that we like better”

    The LNC would be making all of the members of the party look like a bunch of buffoons.

    Let Oregon handle Oregon, and stop distracting the rest of the nation’s Libertarian affiliates during this election cycle.


    Steve Scheetz

  103. Richard Winger

    I notice that there are only 9 states this year with no Libertarian on the ballot in November for a statewide office, and 4 of them are in New England (out of 6 New England states). There is only one state, Washington, with no statewide offices up this year. The non-New England states with no Libertarian for statewide office are Alabama (due to horrible ballot access), California (due to top-two), Mississippi (we are on the ballot but chose not to run anyone for the only statewide office, US Senate), New Mexico (due to horrible ballot access), and Pennsylvania (due to bad ballot access laws). The four New England states with no statewide Libertarian on the ballot are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

  104. Stewart Flood

    Topics are better. There should be several new ones coming up shortly…statistically we’re due.

  105. Joshua Katz

    The LPCT declined to provide support for statewide candidates, given that the statewide offices up for election this year are all offices for which we did not retain ballot access in the past. Since little has changed as far as our strength, it seemed a waste of resources if we are unlikely to retain again. We will run a Senate candidate in 2016, and will hit next year’s municipal elections hard. Higher offices become more reasonable when you have a support base of local elected officials to help with statewide campaigns.

  106. George Phillies

    Readers may find it interesting to note that the LCN has been unable to pay off all its convention expenses, even though the convention (on good authority) made its profit. The latest staff report notes that the LNC would have had severe difficulty paying its bills if not for a maximum donation solicited by an LNC member. Also buried in the report is the observation that the national office laid off one employee.

    Curiously, the national committee has seemingly failed to remark upon or discuss these issues.

  107. Stewart Flood

    If a convention makes money, it is impossible to not be able to pay the bills. That is, of course, if the convention gross receipts and expenses were kept separate from the general cash account.

    Are we 100.000% positive that it made money? I know, for a fact, that 2012 and 2010 did, but 2008 and 2006 did not.

    Having worked on the convention committees for 2010 and 2012 my observation in Columbus was that we were spending what appeared to be quite a bit of unnecessary money.

    But if it did make a “profit”, the LNC’s recent spate of ballot welfare may be the cause. Or possibly it was the expansion of staff positions over the past year while revenue was down.

    Either way, this does not sound good.

  108. paulie Post author

    I seem to have missed the discussion of layoffs. It happens.

    That was just now in the staff report. It’s an executive director decision which is in the ED’s job duties (hiring and firing staff) and he was just now informing the LNC. I’m sure they will discuss it and more at the upcoming meeting and/or on the email list between now and then.

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