Libertarian Party of Oregon: Richard Burke is at it again

Beating dead horse

The following letters were written by Richard Burke, and the response was written by Kyle Markley. Richard Burke is the secretary of a PAC called Libertarian Party of Oregon, which is not the actual Libertarian Party of Oregon political party. Both the Libertarian National Committee and the Secretary of State of Oregon do not recognize Burke’s PAC as the actual political party called Libertarian Party of Oregon. Kyle Markley is a member of the recognized political party with ballot access which is headed by chairperson Lars Hedbor. .

Much of the years-long feud has been covered here on IPR. Please used searchbox for a history of the Libertarian Party of Oregon. There are more than 50 articles.


Re: The Status of Kyle Markley as a Libertarian Candidate for HD 30


Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:13:23 -0700


Kyle Markley


Richard Burke , Deanna Palm


Ms. Palm, et al,

The controversy described by Mr. Burke is the subject of a lawsuit currently pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals. For the last several years, two factions have operated independently, both claiming to be the Libertarian Party of Oregon. However, the Secretary of State’s office has consistently refused to recognize nominations from Mr. Burke’s faction, and the faction of which I am a part has operated with ballot access.

There is no reason to believe that the Court of Appeals will rule before the election, or that if it ruled adversely to my faction it would be anything more than sending the lawsuit back to the circuit court for a trial on the merits, which again could not be reasonably expected to complete before the election.

There is every reason to believe that my nomination this year is secure, as it was in 2014 and in 2012. Please be aware that in 2014, Mr. Burke’s faction attempted to nominate a few candidates, and those submissions were rejected by the Secretary of State’s office.

On 07/13/16 13:04, Richard Burke wrote:

Dear Ms. Palm,

I hope you are well, and enjoyed talking with you on the phone last night. As the city of Hillsboro works with the Tualatin Valley Water District to secure water for our respective constituencies, I hope we will have the chance to work together in civic life. But that is for another day.

This is the email you asked me for describing the situation. I am cc’ing Kyle Markley as I promised.

To recap our discussion from last night, Kyle Markley is a candidate seeking the Libertarian Nomination for House District 30. His status as the 2016 Libertarian nominee for this position is not certain.

Mr. Markley won a privately funded and monitored vote-by-mail ballot, the legitimacy of which is being disputed. The ballot was conducted in accordance with governing documents purportedly adopted in March, 2011 at a monthly Libertarian Party of Oregon state committee meeting, not at a properly noticed business convention as required by our organizational documents on file at the time.

The legitimate governing documents of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, approved and amended by members in properly noticed conventions since 1972, require candidates to be nominated by means of candidate nominating convention, not through vote-by-mail elections. One candidate nominating convention was held on May 15th and the final one will be held on August 7th. Both were advertised in newspapers of general circulation as required by ORS 248.009(3).

ORS 248.009(1) require minor political parties to file organizational documents with the state, which must include their processes for nominating candidates. It also requires minor parties to nominate candidates in accordance with the processes described in those organizational documents.

The Oregon Secretary of State will therefore be required in the weeks ahead to determine which set of organizational documents is legitimate. This will likely, in turn, determine which nominating processes are legitimate, which may then determine which slate of Libertarian candidates will appear on the November, 2016 ballot. This means if someone other than Mr. Markley is selected at the August 7th convention, he or she may appear on the November ballot as the Libertarian Party’s nominee for House District 30.

That said, as a registered Libertarian elector, Mr. Markley is free to seek the nomination at the August 7th candidate nominating convention and may well win our party’s nomination legitimately if he does. Until that time, the matter of his nomination shall be in dispute. The same is true of all other “winners” of the vote-by-mail ballot, and we will be contacting them to offer them the chance to be legitimately nominated for office.

During the past two election cycles, the Secretary of State, which is barred from interfering from internal political party politics, has followed an unwritten policy of taking direction from the last “Chair of Record” prior to the current dispute. This person is one of the creators of the vote-by-mail ballot process. The matter has been taken to court which chose not to rule on the merits of the dispute but said we must resolve our matter internally.

Events are now transpiring which we expect will compel the Secretary of State to recognize those organizational documents and processes that were approved and amended by eligible LPO members in properly noticed conventions. In recognition of the unresolved nature of our dispute, the Secretary of State has allowed both groups of leaders to operate separate PACs named “Libertarian Party of Oregon” (PACs #622 and #16869).

I want to make clear that I am not demanding or even requesting that you withdraw your invitation to Mr. Markley to participate in your Thursday event. I am thrilled whenever the sponsors of political events include Libertarian participants. However, if Mr. Markley participates, potential embarrassment to all concerned may be avoided if he is introduced as a candidate seeking the Libertarian nomination, and that while he won a questionable vote-by-mail ballot, his nomination shall be in dispute until such time as he is nominated at the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s 2016 candidate nominating convention to be held on Sunday, August 7th.


Richard P. Burke, Secretary

Libertarian Party of Oregon


This is a private communication protected by the laws of the United States of America, including but not limited to, the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. Neither it nor its derived metadata may be collected, stored, retrieved, printed, copied, retransmitted, or disseminated by any element of the U.S. Government or its partners without the express authorization of the originator.

Kyle Markley
Libertarian Candidate for Oregon House District 30

22 thoughts on “Libertarian Party of Oregon: Richard Burke is at it again

  1. Kyle Markley

    For background, I am making a campaign appearance today (July 14) with the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Burke is tossing FUD at Chamber staff.

    During the 2014 campaign, Mr. Burke sent a letter to Libertarians in my district urging them to vote for my Republican opponent (who is also the Republican candidate in the current year). That was also covered here on IPR.

    This may be personal. Mr. Burke and my Republican opponent are friends; my opponent is or was Burke’s apartment manager, or something like that. I haven’t seen him go after any other Libertarian nominee like this, not even my wife when she ran in 2014.

    Mr. Burke’s phrase “[e]vents are now transpiring which we expect” is the only interesting thing he said. I have no idea what event(s) he is referring to, or why they would expect them to compel the Secretary of State to do anything, especially when she has the attractive option of letting the lawsuit run its course. Perhaps he will enlighten us.

  2. Be Rational

    It does appear that Burke has serious mental health issues. He would be better served if his outside financial sponsors would pay for his treatment. Instead they are allowing him to continue to live in a fantasy world by funding legal activities that make his delusions seem to him to be a reality.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    The man’s hubris is astonishing Anyone else would be thoroughly embarrassed by his complete shut-out at the convention, yet this guy somehow thinks they’re still on the winning side.

  4. Andy

    Jill, he reminds me of one of those Japanese guys that was living on an island who did not know that World War II was over long after it had ended.

  5. Steve Scheetz

    Dealing with Mr. Burke is playing chess with a pigeon. He knocks over all of the pieces, craps all over the board, and struts around like he won…

  6. Bondurant

    What does Burke gain by his continued shenanigans? Does he hate the libertarians in Oregon that much or is he a GOP operative trying to salt as much earth as possible?

    Does anyone know him on a personal level that has insight into his motivation?

  7. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Bondurant, it has occurred to me that someone is paying him to keep the LP of Oregon in disarray, and he’s simply trying to justify a paycheck. I truly don’t get it otherwise.

    Have his co-conspirators given up? Dunno.

  8. Wes Wagner

    Well if they are paying him they are wasting their money. We are going to have another record breaking year.

  9. Stewart Flood

    “Your cartoon is an insult to 12-year-olds everywhere.”

    And it clearly includes cruelty to animals! That horse appears to be dead — literally!

  10. Joseph Buchman

    Massive sunk costs will make many otherwise rational people do and say crazy things. (This includes every tenured professor you’ve ever met).



  11. José C

    I think it is time for the National Committee to strip Richard Burk (I am assuming he is a national party member) of his membership. What is the reason to strip him of his membership? I do not know. What I mean is I do not know under what condition(s) under the bylaws that his membership should be taken away from him. If any one has that answer share it with us.

    What else can be done to end this madness?

  12. LibertarianWarrior

    I don’t see why this is still a story. If the party and the PAC want to continue to duke it out like immature children, then so be it. Chairman Sarwark and the LNC made the right move as refusing to acknowledge either one or their dispute.

  13. Wes Wagner

    Where is Burke and his massive spam of misinformation he pastes to every Oregon thread?

  14. George Phillies

    ” Chairman Sarwark and the LNC made the right move as refusing to acknowledge either one or their dispute.”

    That’s not correct. The LNC recognizes the group that most often speaks to us via Wes Wagner.

  15. Wes Wagner

    And Lars Hedbor, our chair, is on the LNC run state chairs list. And we are sent the data dumps… and the new volunteer contacts and inquiries.

  16. B. Tiernan


    “Jill, he reminds me of one of those Japanese guys that was living on an island who did not know that World War II was over long after it had ended.”

    Nonsense. He’s like a Japanese soldier still on the island years later but with full knowledge that the war had ended.

    B. Tiernan

  17. B. Tiernan


    “The man’s hubris is astonishing”

    He’s apparently unable to quit even though his brain has. There’s one way to handle someone like this. In 1903 there was a circus elephant that wouldn’t stop being harmful to people. Thomas Edison stepped in to take care of him, and here’s a 1903 film clip showing how it was done:

    B. Tiernan

  18. B. Tiernan


    “What does Burke gain by his continued shenanigans? Does he hate the libertarians in Oregon that much or is he a GOP operative trying to salt as much earth as possible?”

    Good analogy there, with the image of the Romans salting the soil in Carthage after they finally dealt with Hannibal after years and years, and of the Muslims who salted the cultivated soil of the Sinai after the Israelis withdrew from it following the peace deal with Sadat.

    But there’s a better one: He’s like Hitler who “cared” for Germany so much that if its future did not include his presence then no Germans should exist at all, which is why he was leveling the place as the Allies move closer to Berlin. Screw ’em, he said.

    B. Tiernan

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