Open Thread for September 2021 — We’ve Moved!

Good morning and welcome to the new server!

IPR is now housed on a new and upgraded web hosting plan that should lead to snappier performance and MUCH less downtime. In fact, I expect no more downtime!

Apologies to anyone who has written or posted any comments in the past couple of days, those appear to have gotten lost in the shuffle. But the full historical archive of everything from earlier this month all the way back to 2008 appears to have survived the move intact.

This is the open thread for September 2021.

25 thoughts on “Open Thread for September 2021 — We’ve Moved!

  1. Jared

    Executive summary of the LPNH Investigation Report:

    “Past LPNH Chair Jilletta Jarvis acted to address concerns with the LPNH Communications Committee, and only after all such reasonable efforts had failed, began preparations to resign. After informing others of her intent, a suggestion was offered by another party to try a different approach, one that was seen as preventing damage not only to the LPNH (in the form of feared disaffiliation) but also to other Libertarian state parties, to candidates nationwide, some of whom had contacted her directly, and to the LP itself.

    We conclude that LNC Chair Joe Bishop-Henchman was involved in, guided, and likely initiated, this strategy. We conclude that his actions were inappropriate. We further conclude that at least one other actor was involved. We were unable to identify that individual(s). We further find that Joe Bishop-Henchman deleted LP.ORG email evidence prior to his resignation.”

  2. Jared

    FM: “I hit 600 Subs, feel free to ask a Q for part of the celebration if u want”

    Can the Q be Anon?

    Just kidding.

  3. George Phillies

    The LNC debated at length the motion to suspend Caryn Ann Harlos as National Party Secretary. at the end, the vote was 11-2-1 in favor of her suspension. The needed 11 yes votes having been obtained, she ceased to be National Secretary. An appeal to the judicial committee is possible.

    She did not get to vote on the motion. Joshua Smith was ill, and did not attend the meeting, but his absence had no effect on this vote. The two votes against were Nanna and Bowen. The recorded abstention was Moellman.

  4. Jared

    Predictably, Harlos is losing her mind… vowing to get even (“bitches!”), denouncing the 11 or 12 members who wouldn’t stand by her as corrupt actors and scumbags, railing about too many “soy boys” in the party, and cackling about her Mises Caucus friends replacing all her LNC enemies in Reno.

    I disagree with CAH on a number of issues that I don’t think would ever warrant her removal. She is consistent to a fault and works tirelelessly. That said, she is a constant source of drama, almost maniacally vulgar, and reputedly very difficult to work with. Her behavior suggests she’s mentally unstable.

  5. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    LP youtube video of LNC meeting suspending Ms.Harlos: https://youtu.be/HApE36cvexk

    The suspension of Ms. Harlos starts at around 2 hours 46 minutes and after several minutes of making it clear they have a right to suspend her the motion to suspend begins, with discussion, and then Ms. Harlos histrionic defense

  6. NewFederalist

    Now that this site has a new hosting let’s see if the traffic returns. BAN has all the crazies now and I cannot imagine that Richard Winger is too happy with the “discourse”!

  7. Jared

    The Judicial Committee heard arguments presented by Ms. Harlos and the LNC yesterday regarding the appeal of her suspension as Secretary. They have 30 to overrule or sustain her appeal and are now open to considering amicus briefs. Apart from Vermin Supreme showing up in a Santa Claus costume, which strikes me as making light of a serious JC hearing, the whole thing was handled professionally and with decorum. Great questions were asked of both parties, including by Supreme, and Mary Ruwart conducted the meeting like a rockstar.

    The three main areas of focus seemed to be (1) due process, adhering to rules for suspending an officer according to the national party’s somewhat thin bylaws and the appropriateness of invoking more rigorous RONR procedure, which resulted in a clash between in-house parliamentarian Mr. Brown and Ms. Harlos’s own private parliamentarian, (2) the interpretation of suspension “with cause” (especially with reference to termination in employment law), where Chuck Moulton believes Ms. Harlos’s definition is too narrow and the LNC’s is too broad, and (3) whether the same policy manual rules for personal conduct apply equally to LNC officers and members as to staffers and social media volunteers, within a wider discussion of whether verbal abuse, harassment, and defamatory disinformation constitute LP Pledge/NAP violations.

    The LNC argued that monetized public attacks on the character and motives of LNC colleagues, even from a personal YouTube account, is using her elected position as an insider with privileged information to soil the image of the party for personal gain, as it has been in her financial interest to promote drama and infighting. Ms. Harlos replied that YouTube support is her source of income since quitting her job as a paralegal, that she was elected by the delegates to be a thorn in the side of the LNC and anyone who knows her knows that she loves the Libertarian Party and serves the interests of its membership.

    My feeling is that the JC is strongly leaning toward siding with the LNC on the crucial matter of due process, and will probably affirm the suspension, but it has concerns about the way libertarian principles were applied to justify the motion, and urges the parties to reach some kind of reconciliation before a JC decison (either way) causes a traumatic rift in the party between pro and anti-LPMC factions. There is some question about whether Ms. Harlos has or hasn’t been open to mediation. She has expressed a willingness to accept censure, which Dustina Nanna proposed as an alternative to suspension, but given remarks indicating that she believes she is completely in the right, persecuted for her moral courage and principled radicalism by a gang of corrupt cowards, and also that censure is a toothless disciplinary action (in statements made both within and outside the context of the NH debacle), it’s hard not to see this gesture as disingenuous and just an alternative path for her to claim vindication and victory over an LNC she despises.

  8. George Phillies

    As minor addenda: Harlos introduced the claim that ‘for cause’ should be interpreted under employment law. Ken Moellman, very late in the session, correctly noted that the phrase also appears in law and precedent governing non-profit boards, where it has a very different meaning, one that sustains the LNC position.

    There was a discussion of the non-Aggression Principle found in the bylaws. That is an agreement that we are not trying to overthrow the government by force — David Nolan told me so, and he wrote it — so it is not related to the issue here.

    Alicia Mattson, who is one of the sharp minds on the Judicial Committee with respect to the Bylaws and Roberts, appeared inclined toward the LNC position.

  9. Starchild

    In the days leading up to the Libertarian Party Judicial Committee hearing on the appeal by Caryn Ann Harlos of the Libertarian National Committee’s vote to suspend her as national LP secretary, I saw no announcement or discussion on the LNC’s public email list about where and how to watch the hearing. There was and is no information on the party website (LP.org) either, including the page listing the Judicial Committee (https://www.lp.org/lp-committees/), nor on the party’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/LibertarianParty/search?query=judicial%20committee).

    Consequently, I missed seeing the hearing as it actually took place, and was only able to do so yesterday because I found a YouTube recording made by Justin O’Donnell, of the New Hampshire LP and the Mises Caucus. Apparently word was sent out to members of the caucus, whose members generally appear to support Harlos, and a number of folks participated on the chat of the livestream provided by O’Donnell, where the comments were overwhelmingly supportive of the suspended secretary and dismissive of the LNC majority.

    Although there had been some talk of the LNC conducting a “town hall” type meeting or “listening session” prior to the JC hearing, this apparently never materialized. The Judicial Committee procedure itself did not include the opportunity for public comment, and I believe it was mentioned early on that the hearing was not even officially livestreamed.

    Mary Ruwart as chair of the Judicial Committee did invite people to submit amicus briefs to the committee by emailing jc@lp.org no later than this Friday, October 22, at 4:00 pm Central Time, after which point the seven committee members will meet privately to deliberate and reach a decision. She said that emails sent to the aforementioned address will go to all members of the committee.

    This sad lack of transparency and non-interest in hearing from ordinary party members is one strong reason why I believe Caryn Ann Harlos should remain Libertarian Party secretary. She has by and large been a strong, perhaps the strongest, advocate on the LNC for transparency since my second term as an at-large representative ended in 2018.

    While Caryn Ann can be combative and difficult to work with at times, I would far rather have representatives of that sort in the leadership, than folks who just “go along to get along” and don’t rock the boat or stick their necks out when something is going wrong. As she did when the legitimate if controversial leadership in the New Hampshire state LP was wrongfully usurped by the state chair attempting to start a new organization and deny them access to party assets, with what an official investigation later found to be the improper involvement of the LP national chair, who resigned over the issue. Caryn Ann initially doing her own investigation and publicity was instrumental in bringing this to light.

    Although much of the LNC majority’s complaints against the suspended secretary focused on her alleged abusive language and comportment on social media and on the LNC list, as well as for allegedly monetizing her unpaid position with the party via a YouTube channel, I think the push to remove her has had at least as much if not more to do with the New Hampshire affair and other policy disagreements.

    There is much more that can be said about all this of course, but in short I oppose Caryn Ann’s removal. Everyone acknowledges her to be a diligent secretary and tireless worker, and I believe she has done much more good than harm to the LP. I do not think the “for cause” threshold for dismissal of an officer in the party bylaws has been met, and like a good, fully informed libertarian jury, I do not think the Judicial Committee should limit itself to the narrow question of whether rules were violated in the suspension, but should rule on the larger issue of whether or not the action is justified in the best interests of the party and the larger libertarian movement and cause of freedom for which it stands.

    I encourage readers to write to the JC members at JC@LP.ORG and urge them to overturn the suspension of Caryn Ann Harlos.

  10. Starchild

    By the way, Vermin Supreme was not wearing a “Santa Claus costume” during the hearing as Jared reported. He simply had on a white wig, as traditionally worn by judges in some jurisdictions. Any proceeding that can’t handle such a small amount of lightheartedness has arguably gone seriously wrong. Vermin too has a reputation to maintain, after all. He would not be the effective advocate for freedom that he is, with the following that he has, if he didn’t have a bit of fun with stuff like that.

  11. Jared

    For what it’s worth, while I don’t believe CAH’s right to due process was infringed and that the JC should uphold her suspension as valid, I also thought the motion was a bad idea. I agree with the LNC members who noted that the board of a typical corporation or nonprofit would never tolerate her incorrigible behavior, but her status as an elected party officer who campaigned openly as an irritant should be taken into consideration, even if it doesn’t make her position untouchable short of a proven egregious ethical breach or legal violation, as CAH seems to believe it should.

    Either this suspension is retaliation by ex-Prags and “RINOs” (Radicals in Name Only, among whom she numbers Susan Hogarth and Richard Longstreth) for “whistleblowing” (defined liberally enough to allow her to paint herself as a Christlike sacrificial lamb) on the former Chair during the NH disaffiliation crisis, or it’s a dark conspiracy hatched the moment she assumed the office of Secretary by bigoted insiders who dislike her irrationally for the color of her hair, because she’s a woman, because she has Aspergers, or because she’s just too darned principled. CAH can’t have it both ways. She has her simps and her cheerleaders in the Mises Caucus, but I suspect its leadership will fall out of love and quietly ignore her once she no longer is in a privileged position to scold their enemies on the LNC, or when they grow weary of her perpetual victimhood mentality which is out of sync with their caucus culture, or if/when their takeover succeeds and they find out firsthand how “combative and difficult to work with” she can be, even with people she considers friends and allies. CAH admits she’s a drama queen, and people can tolerate histrionic personalities only for so long before reaching the point of exhaustion and cutting them off.

    LNC processes do, I agree, need to be more transparent, and CAH is the greatest champion for transparency the party has. Unfortunately, due to her needlessly abusive rhetoric and rare talent for pissing off sympathetic colleagues, her relative effectiveness at opening up the LNC has come at a high price. I see some irony in her greatest love being archiving party history while many of her most ardent supporters are at best uninterested, at worst contemptuous of, the Libertarian Party prior to the advent of the LPMC takeover project. They consider the historical LP a pathetic failure.

    As a minor aside, @Starchild is right that Vermin wasn’t sporting a full Santa Claus costume during the hearing. I went back to check, and his lordship appears to have lifted just the wig of a Santa ensemble. Unconventional court dress, but I see now what he was going for.

  12. Just Some Random Guy

    What’s going on with Caryn Ann Harlos? I haven’t been paying too much attention to the LP for a while so I’m wondering what’s going on. Is there a quick synopsis available someplace? (preferably from either a neutral source or a source that presents it in a neutral fashion?)

  13. Jared

    JSRG,

    I’ve looked around but haven’t run across any impartial coverage or nuanced posts on the Secretary’s suspension saga. Caryn Ann Harlos is a deeply polarizing fish in a small pond. Even her adoptive Mises Caucus family seems to have moved on from this drama, transposed from the LNC to the JC, since the crusade is all about her now. It’s no longer convincingly about looking out for their caucus interests, despite Ms. Harlos’s grandiose claim that the future of the party and its core principles hang in the balance. I just wonder when she’s going to wake up and realize everyone else in leadership isn’t the problem.

    As for a recent update, apparently, somebody in the know leaked to Ms. Harlos that she lost her appeal. (My guess would be that D. Frank Robinson couldn’t help himself and spilled.) Now she’s waiting for an official announcement to find out which JC members she’s going to to call out, curse out, unfriend, personally and publicly attack as corrupt authoritarian hacks. According to Harlos, if you don’t accept her argument that the LNC stomped on due process by going through with her suspension, then you aren’t a “real” libertarian and should never be allowed to remain in a position of authority.

  14. Joe Buchman

    Jared,

    I think the lack of coverage of this by IPR is a highly accurate indicator of the lack of remaining interest.

    If someone would like it though, I’ll start a one-sentence article for commenting and links to things like whatever audio D. Frank Robinson posts, if any.

  15. D. Frank Robinson

    Ms. Harlos has said I did not leak the decision. I am saying I did not leak the decision. I suspect one of those who voted for her ouster leaked, but it doesn’t really matter except for decorum’s sake.

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