Libertarian Party: Non-Confidential Portion of Campaign Contract

20160314_contracttransparencyhomepagegraphic2As reported previously on IPR, there had been a struggle within the LNC on an initial eternal secrecy clause with the contract with the Gary Johnson Campaign. Chair Sarwark was able to have that portion removed, and on September 30, 2016, posted this to the LNC Business List:


Sarwark informally asked LNC members to keep the non-confidential portion to themselves until after election day. Accordingly, here is the non-confidential portion of the contract. This IPR editor/LNC member will release the confidential portion after the expiration of one year as agreed:

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Notice what isn’t in the contract that was in the sample contract distributed before the Convention (though it is noted that this provision would have excluded candidates like Darryl W. Perry):


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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

24 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: Non-Confidential Portion of Campaign Contract

  1. Thomas Knapp

    Caryn Ann,

    I don’t see why that clause being removed from the contract would be a big deal. Its absence doesn’t change the bylaws provision which only requires the LNC to support the campaign if it is conducted in accordance with the platform, nor does its absence nullify the ability of the LNC to suspend the nominations if it isn’t.

  2. Stewart Flood

    So it took almost the entire campaign season to get this?

    What a waste of time! The candidates, or at least Weld, clearly violated the contract by promoting voting for a competing party’s candidate (aka Clinton).

    The convention in 2018 should DEMAND a change to require candidates seeking our nomination to sign a contract prior to being permitted to be nominated at the 2020 convention.

  3. Thomas Knapp

    “The convention in 2018 should DEMAND a change to require candidates seeking our nomination to sign a contract prior to being permitted to be nominated at the 2020 convention.”

    As long as the contract is a piece of boilerplate approved by the convention with no deviations permitted. I will never vote to allow the LNC to decide who can be the nominee and who can’t.

  4. Stewart Flood

    It would have to be boilerplate. Certainly can’t disagree with that. And it should be published at least a year in advance — perhaps even approved by the 2018 convention two years out.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom my point was just to show an important way what was signed differs from the “sample contract.”

  6. George Phillies

    If you let the LNC write the contract, it will be use to discriminate against candidates the LNC does not like.

    Put out boilerplate, so candidates know what topics need to be covered. Have the candidate propose her contract in advance of the convention.

  7. Andy

    Good suggestion, George. Each candidate could post a copy of their contract on their campaign website prior to the convention, so all of the delegates would have the opportunity to read it prior to the convention.

  8. langa

    Good suggestions here.

    Of course, the fact that the Johnson/Weld campaign even had the nerve to ask for “secrecy clauses” in the first place is just another example of why they were totally unsuitable candidates.

  9. Stewart Flood

    Dan Karlan just reminded me that the ByLaws committee has put forward proposals several times in the recent past to address this problem. The delegates rejected it. Now we pay for it.

    This needs to be fixed!

  10. ATBAFT

    Nice to hear a contract was finally reached. But apparently not in time to have Johnson use the LP mailing list to raise funds? As a Life Member, I was prepared to give contributions in the four figures to Johnson and other state candidates who asked. I did not get one request for a contribution so the money stays in my pocket! Yeah, I know I can go looking for websites and make contributions but I’m old-fashioned in thinking the candidates need to ask me directly (phone, e-mail or snail mail). Otherwise, I assume the candidate doesn’t need my help or is too lazy to ask or is running a half-assed campaign.

  11. Matt

    That’s odd. Assuming you’ve been a member since before 2012, they would have already had you on their list from then. Maybe it was going in your spam filter? Personally I got all kinds of emails from them, but no calls or snail mail as far as I can remember. I was a very minor donor in 2012 and donated to the CPD lawsuit – again, not any huge amounts – before I soured on the whole Nielson scam, Johnson 2.0 and Weld.

  12. Steven Wilson

    You are all so naïve or in denial.

    Why should the LNC be any different than the RNC or DNC? There are humans running all three.

    The RNC ordained Jeb Bush this cycle, but it didn’t seem to matter to the voters. The DNC ordained Hillary Clinton and admitted to sabotaging the campaign of her only serious rival: Bernie Sanders. Again, it didn’t seem to matter to the voters.

    The LNC wanted another Gary Johnson campaign. During the convention Gary begged people to elect Weld as his VP. Neither of these men are Libertarians. But at this point it is unlikely that anyone could gather a consensus on the definition of the terms; Democrat, Republican, or “Libertarian”.

    …a contract of secrecy for a party of principle and transparency…

    Yeah, it is hard to believe Gary didn’t win.

    …and your tongue won’t stick to the pole in winter just like your old man said it would…

    I triple dog dare you to keep your mouth shut and run a great libertarian campaign. Just sign it smartass.

  13. Stewart Flood

    Reading this contract I find nothing in the body that there would be any reason to hold confidential. They mention “Exhibit B”, which appears to be the secret part. Talking about exchanging confidential information is easy. Just say any documents, databases of members, prospective members or other contacts, or other materials related to eligible voters within the United States. That covers it. You don’t have to keep the identity of what you may exchange secret.

    This is really stupid!

  14. Stewart Flood

    I guessed that. This is completely insane. It stays confidential until AFTER the re-election of the LNC at the 2018 convention?

    This is now officially “campaign-gate” and we need a “special prosecutor” in the LP.

    But we have them! The JC! We need a petition to the JC to overturn the decision by the LNC to not release this contract. This was a decision, so it can be overturned.

    Someone start writing up the formal objection and get the petition started. I’ll sign and I bet many other delegates from 2016 would as well!

  15. George Phillies

    It appears to me that there is a typo here. The secret contract part was to stay secret for one year not two, so sometime in late 2017 would appear to be correct.

  16. George Phillies

    Caryn surely meant September 2017.

    While the Bylaws Committee did propose contracts, as did several other groups, they were terrible. At least one draft of one of them claimed that the candidate postelection no longer could use his own mailing list. Another let the LNC choose the candidate’s campaign manager.

    ATBAFT: Since your identity is a secret, it is kind of hard to ask you for money.

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Yes that was a typo. I meant 2017.

    And you’re welcome. If I didn’t throw an epic hissy fit and move to rescind it would never have been disclosable.

  18. ATBAFT

    GP – I’ve gotten LP News for thirty years and am a Life member, so my name and address is hardly a secret to the LNC. As I stated above, I didn’t get one mailed, phoned, or e-mail request from LNC or Johnson campaign.

  19. George Phillies

    However, I have a candidate who might have been happy to ask you for a maximum donation, if he had any idea who you are. He didn’t. Have you ever been a NatCon delegate?

  20. Matt

    “I didn’t get one mailed, phoned, or e-mail request from LNC or Johnson campaign.”

    They must have messed up your records somehow. I get emails and snail mail from the LNC asking for money all the time, and I have never been a major donor. I also got plenty of emails asking for money from the campaign, although I don’t recall getting snail mail from them. I think it’s been a few years since anyone from the Libertarians at any level or any Libertarian candidate running for any office has called me on the phone asking for money. It’s possible they don’t have my current phone number. Do you get other emails or snail mail from them? LP News, press releases, and so on?

  21. Chuck Moulton

    ATBAFT wrote:

    GP – I’ve gotten LP News for thirty years and am a Life member, so my name and address is hardly a secret to the LNC. As I stated above, I didn’t get one mailed, phoned, or e-mail request from LNC or Johnson campaign.

    Maybe you had the no mail or reduced mail (no fundraising letter) flag set in the database at some point.

  22. Chuck Moulton

    The big omission in this contract is what data we get and when we get it… which is the whole damn point of having a contract in the first place.

    So pretty much there is no accountability for the LNC, the chair, or the Johnson campaign until it’s long too late to do anything about it.

  23. Kevin Bjornson

    Requiring candidates to campaign in accord with the Statement of Principles and Platform is a noble idea, but unenforceable. Because many of the last several candidates, such as Bob Barr and Johnson/Weld, were not really libertarians but re-tread or rejected Republicans.

    If the LNC were empowered to screen or reject candidates for nomination, likely they would abuse that power by rejecting those who disagree with their own interpretation of those documents, or who disagree with one or two platform planks with sound libertarian reasoning.

    The map is not the territory. Simply calling yourself a libertarian, doesn’t mean you are one. The platform is a good approximation of the liberty principle (as expressed in the pledge). But it’s not the Torah.

    I do thank Harlos for bringing this to our attention.

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