The State Central Committee for the Libertarian Party of Virginia voted to dissolve the organization over the weekend, prompting strong criticism from national Libertarian Party members and regional affiliates.
“Be it resolved, pursuant to provisions of the Code of Virginia section 13.1-903 et. seq., that the Libertarian Party of Virginia is hereby immediately and fully dissolved, and shall cease all official functions, including all expenditures and receipt of contributions as provided in Article 13 and such other actions as may be required to effectuate the same” the resolution initially stated.
Shortly after news of the Party’s dissolution spread to social media, a second organization claiming to be the Libertarian Party of Virginia quickly materialized and denounced the resolution.
“Tonight a few bad actors on the [State Central Committee] improperly held a vote to disaffiliate, trampling on member rights and violating our constitution/bylaws,” the new account identifying as the Libertarian Party of Virginia stated. Communicating using the handle of “LPofVA,” the organization claimed that members “bypassed the agenda, brought an out-of-order motion to the floor, and then voted on it with the wrong required number.”
Libertarians quickly weighed in on the matter, with some members of the Libertarian National Committee voicing their perspectives. The regional affiliates of the Libertarian Party of Virginia also took to social media to rebuke the situation.
In a Twitter response to Matt Welch, LNC Chair Angela McArdle attests that the dissolution vote was “premature” and “not done properly.” LNC Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos also signaled her support “as an officer” of the Libertarian National Committee for those members impacted. Harlos promised to support the LPofVA membership regain control of the affiliate from who she called “morally deficient oligarchs.”
The Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia referred to the dissolution as a “childish coup” that violated “multiple procedures.” In a press release issued after the vote, the regional affiliate pledged to continue working with other Virginia affiliates. The Libertarian Party of Central Virginia used stronger language, tweeting that it condemns the “illegal actions to dissolve the LPVA as illegitimate and fraudulent.
Support for the new Libertarian Party of Virginia organization also comes from outside of the state. The Libertarian Parties of Delaware, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have all openly spoken in favor of efforts to rebuild the organization or against the officers responsible for the vote.
Actions over the weekend have also prompted attention from local media. A journalist with the Virginia Mercury publicly stated that they contacted the Virginia Department of Elections yesterday afternoon for clarity and was informed that the Libertarian Party of Virginia still has an open Statement of Organization. The Department of Elections additionally said that no notification of disbandment was received and that an email was sent out from the Libertarian Party of Virginia Treasurer claiming that the party is not disbanding.
As of publication, the group presenting as the Libertarian Party of Virginia has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter but no official state website.