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Libertarian Groups Dispute Virginia Party Dissolution

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.”

LPVA tweet announcing the second organization. Photo courtesy of @LPofVA on Twitter.

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.

About Post Author

Jordan Willow Evans

Jordan is the managing editor for Independent Political Report. She has appeared on ABC News, NBC Boston, Sky News, BNT 1, and numerous local outlets. She is a proponent of civic inclusion and awareness and was featured in Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World and the Worcester Historical Museum exhibit PRETTY POWERFUL: 100 Years of Voting & Style.

13 Comments

  1. Jared Jared September 17, 2022

    “Authorize entering into legal proceedings to protect the Party’s trademark assets?” And here I thought the Mises Caucus was opposed on principle to intellectual property monopolies.

  2. steve m steve m September 17, 2022

    As I understand it the desolving the state party allowed returning dues back to the members. If these members wish to contribute them to a new LNC backed party they are free to do so, But they won’t be automatically transfered.

  3. George Phillies George Phillies September 15, 2022

    No, Angela, you do not have a trademark on “Libertarian”. You have a service mark and a word mark, the first on the torch eagle and the second on “Libertarian Party”.

    https://theintercept.com/2022/09/14/dnc-overrule-convention-bylaws

    During its summer meeting over the weekend, the Democratic National Committee quietly amended its bylaws, giving the narrower body power to override decisions made by its members at its quadrennial convention.

    US Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
    https://tmsearch.uspto.gov

    The color(s) black, gold and white is/are claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of the word “LIBERTARIAN” in black with a depiction of a black torch with the head and wing of an eagle as the flame with the wing and outline of the head in gold and the remainder of the head in white.
    Type of Mark SERVICE MARK

    Word Mark LIBERTARIAN PARTY
    Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: NEWSPAPERS, BROCHURES, PAMPHLETS AND BOOKLETS CONCERNING POLITICAL ISSUES. FIRST USE: 19720100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19720100 IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: POLITICAL PARTY SERVICES, NAMELY, PROMOTING THE INTERESTS OF A POLITICAL PARTY. FIRST USE: 19720100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19720100
    Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
    Serial Number 75937476
    Filing Date March 7, 2000
    Current Basis 1A
    Original Filing Basis 1A
    Published for Opposition October 10, 2000
    Registration Number 2423459
    Registration Date January 23, 2001
    Owner (REGISTRANT) Libertarian National Committee, Inc. NON-PROFIT CORPORATION D.C. 1444 Duke Street Alexandria VIRGINIA 223143403
    Attorney of Record R. Scott Keller
    Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “PARTY” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
    Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20200805.
    Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20200805
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

  4. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp September 15, 2022

    RTAT,

    You write: “I can understand different factions fighting over control of a state party, but to dissolve a state party seems unduly self-destructive.”

    There’s a fairly simple explanation for that: The LPVA’s constitution requires it to be an affiliate of the LNC. So LPVA couldn’t just disaffiliate from its end. Dissolution was the only way to guarantee that LPVA wouldn’t become a gangrenous Vichy appendage of the rogue Mises-PAC-occupied LNC.

    Which is not to say that that’s what they should have done, or to comment on whether the action was taken in a bylaws-conforming, or legal, manner.

  5. George Phillies George Phillies September 15, 2022

    News of the dissolution will continue to appear as posts on IndependentPoliticalReport.com. Factual reporting of events, e.g., who is suing whom, is welcome in comments here. Opinions on the dissolution, because discussion is expected to be heated, should be taken to ThirdPartyWatch.com.

  6. George Whitfield George Whitfield September 14, 2022

    Rather than trying to destroy their party the officers should just have resigned. That would have been a much more proper and honorable action to take.

  7. Jim Jim September 14, 2022

    If the organization’s purpose is to serve X, Y, Z goals, and is about to start actively advocating against those things and harming those goals, then dissolving it seems not just a reasonable option but the affirmative obligation of the board. They have no obligation to turn over the keys to a bunch of bigoted fascists who are antithetical to the entity’s stated purposes.

    A better analogy would not be a kid who turns over the game board because he’s losing. It would be a kid who throws the game board in the trash because the other kid took a big steaming dump on it, and now said defecator wants to complain that the other kids wouldn’t keep playing in his puddle of diarrhea.

  8. Root's Teeth Are Awesome Root's Teeth Are Awesome September 14, 2022

    I can understand different factions fighting over control of a state party, but to dissolve a state party seems unduly self-destructive. It’s the height of childish hysteria.

    When I was in grade school, I was playing a board game with a kid. When it became apparent that he would lose, he knocked the board off the table, then exclaimed, “Hah, game over, no winner!”

    The LPV’s actions remind me of that kid. Except the analogy would work better if the kid had burned the game board.

  9. George Phillies George Phillies September 13, 2022

    I believe that almost but not quite every delegate slot was nominally filled — a delegate appointed — in both of them, but among attendees the more recent convention appeared to be appreciably smaller.

  10. Michael F Gilson Michael F Gilson September 13, 2022

    Hi George..

    Do you have any read on the normal LP National Convention attendee numbers vs. the numbers that showed up at the last one?

    Thanks.

  11. George Phillies George Phillies September 13, 2022

    Jim, Great find! Thank you for forwarding! George, owner/editor

  12. Jim Jim September 13, 2022

    It’s my understanding that the Treasurer is the only officer who was in the minority against the resolution to disband, and is Mises Caucus affiliated. So not surprising they’d go rogue and ignore what the board decided.

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