Signal Intelligence About The LP

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

LPSF Chair: Unelected "Republicans" Control LPCA

The Libertarian Party's rules are a voluntary contract, and voluntary contracts are sacred to Libertarians.  Thus it is fair game for LP San Francisco Chair Rob Power to point out that the LPCA Bylaws are unsuspendable where they say:
All voting for Party officers or for endorsements of candidates for public office, when more than one candidate has been nominated, shall be by secret ballot. In all voting for Party officers or for endorsements of candidates for public office, the voting shall include the option of “None of the Above.”
However, the Bylaws clearly allow for voting other than by secret ballot when only one candidate has been nominated.  (Convention rules call for electing officers by "ballot", but convention rules are suspendable and indeed this rule was suspended by my motion to re-elect our unopposed Chair by acclamation.)  The acclamation votes we held called for ayes and nays, and indeed a smattering of nays were heard for two of the four officers elected by "acclamation". Thus arguably the only mistake here is that it wasn't made clear to the delegates that a vote against acclamation was a vote for NOTA.  Since NOTA-voters do not have their secrecy guaranteed by the Bylaws, there's no room to claim that NOTA might have won in the absence of procedural irregularity.

At any rate, Robert's is very clear that a point of order must be timely, and so cannot be raised a week later as an appeal to the Judicial Committee.  There is no claim here that it's an ongoing Bylaws violation for any of the current officers to hold office.  The only thing close to a timely objection was the complaint, for the second Vice-Chair election, that we cannot suspend the requirement that only southern delegates may vote for the Southern Vice-Chair.  However, that requirement is a convention rule, not a Bylaw, and so may be suspended by 2/3 vote.  And it was.

Below is the recent traffic from LPSF-discuss between Rob Power and At-Large ExCom rep T.J. Campbell.  Note which side slings mud, and which side marshals facts.

From Rob Power
Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:45 pm

There's a name for those "other libertarians outside SF" who say "SF
libertarians have a reputation for being a dogmatic, difficult-to-deal with

They're called Republicans. Unfortunately, they've gained control of the LP
California state party leadership and several county parties.

If you think that insulting SF Libertarians is going to do anything other than
strengthen our resolve to act as a bulwark against the further Republicanization
of the LP, then you're very mistaken.

I've spoken with the chairs of other large cities' LP organizations, who face
similar criticisms, and we all agree that we really know we're doing something
right when not-so-recently-former Republicans criticize us as "dogmatic" and
"difficult-to-deal with" in our defense of ALL Liberty, both economic and
personal (while Republicans are only interested in economic liberty, which is
why they sound good at anti-tax "Tea Parties" but become more clearly
un-Libertarian as soon as any other topic comes up).

Fortunately, from Ed Clark to David Nolan to Less Antman, we "dogmatic"
Libertarians have the backing of those who were running the Party when we had
our greatest electoral successes two decades ago. Since the Republicans who
have risen to power in the LP have now gotten absolutely everything they asked
for (a gutted platform, a Republican Congressman as our Presidential nominee,
the removal or impending removal of anyone who isn't a social conservative from
from our National and State party committees), and yet still have not improved
electoral or fundraising success, their "strategy" is a clear failure. It's
just a matter of time before either:

1) the membership of the LP realizes this strategy is a failure, and votes in
new leadership at the state and national level, or

2) the LP simply vanishes as totally irrelevant -- the Reform Party had a
bigger budget than the LP ever had and went from front page news to oblivion in
less than a decade, because they were ideologically hollow.

I'm hoping and working for #1, but I have to admit, after attending the LP
California convention in Visalia this past weekend, that I'm thinking the smart
money is on #2.

>From T.J. Campbell
Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:56 am

Please tell me who the Republicans are that are in the LP state party. I'll list them here so you can more easily tell me who they are. And also let me know which counties are Republicans too so I can find Libertarians to take them back!
Is it:
Chair Kevin Takenaga? Bill Bray award winner, not sure how long in LP but is not a Republican, at least not in his politics that I know of
N. Vice Chair Rich Newell? He has been a Libertarian candidate, supporter and activist since the 1980s or even 1970s, I saw his old brochure that Ted Brown dug up
Is it S. Vice Chair Zander Collier? I don't know much about him, maybe he is .... but he is doing a great job prospecting for libertarians on facebook and turning them onto the LP and not the GOP and helping Norm Westwell and others run for city council positions or take other stepping stone position on local boards and such
Secretary Gale Morgan... he has been a LP member for years, is it THAT that makes him Republican or the fact that he helped get the Sacramento LP to endorse Kevin Johnson DEMOCRAT for mayor of Sacramento....
Is it Treasurer Brian Darby? He is chair of my county, Santa Clara's LP, he helped organize a group to oppose the 49er stadium in Santa Clara .... does that make him Republican?
Okay, it's the at large and alternates isnt it?
Terry Floyd.. don't know much about him, except his great convention he helped put together for the LP in 2007 and his staunch support of ending floor fees and his work walking in the Gay Pride Parade in SF
Jill Stone and Alan Pyaett (sp) both ran as LP candidates last year, but I don't know much about them, what do you know?
Mark Selzer? Has been in the LP for some time I hear
Mike Seebeck? He is doing great work in legislation annalysis, and he did work for the LP in Colorado before coming here.... is CO LP a bunch of Republicans too?
Or how bout....
Matthew "Boomer" Shannon
Eric Bresson
Matt Barnes....
all 3 are from San Bernardino and bring many new people to convention and bring many new members into the lp monthly, are they the GOPers in disguise?
maybe it's Jesse Thomas, your former fellow Excommer who voted WITH YOU against endorsing DPI back in March at the ExComm meeting
Is it the alternates Tricia Marcos, my fiance', strange... she registered to vote in 2008 for the first time, and is registered Libertarian and voted for all Libertarians in 2008...
or Savva Vassiliev? He is running for dist 27 state assembly seat in 2010 as a Libertarian ... but he is young, pro-life and a supporter of Ron Paul... jury is out... I just met him
no wait... IT'S ME!!!!
You got me.... I was raised by a libertarian leaning GOPer father (and a democrat mother) who didnt know he was a libertarian... until my brother told us about Harry Browne and the LP in 1996 after seeing Harry speak at this college in Cleveland ... I had a "Dole/Kemp" sticker on my car that year but voted for Harry Browne and have voted for the LP choice for president and every other office running an LP (except one office in Michigan and Lt. Governor in 2006 in Cali). Certainly I am not the only LPer who doesnt vote straight LP in the election
In 1999 I helped form 2 LP county affiliates and was vice chair of one until 2001... now here is where you got me....
I was a Republican Precinct delegate from 2002-2004 in Michigan.... I supported an anti-patriot act GOP guy for state senate but we lost to a neo-con who currently serves (Wayne Kuipers), I went to their state GOP convention in 2002 and was so sickened by it and their religiosity politics I didnt do a thing for the GOP the rest of my term.... I knew I was a Libertarian... and re-joined the party in 2006 upon my moving to California, (along with registering as a Libertarian....where I have vice-chaired my county since 2006, helped John Inks get elected to my 74,000 person town's city council, same size town as Bellflower who "back when we had our best electoral success ever" elected Libertarian and 2006 LP Governor candidate Art Olivier and now am in my 2nd year serving the state Libertarian Party on the Executive Committee.
I am pro right to bear arms and anti tax, but do support the "fair tax" which I see as a way to help convince everyone of smaller government when they see how much money the Feds actually take, which is hidden now by having the withholding tax and refund system... not because I am in favor of taxation, but that probably makes me a Republican doesn't it?
I am so GOP that I was told by district 22's GOP candidate for state assembly in 2008 that he will not support me if I run as an LP for that seat, only if I changed to GOP, I told him I won't be running as GOP... so NOT getting GOP support against the Democrat sure makes me a staunch Republican if I must say so myself
I am pro choice and in favor of gay marriage, was a supporter of the no on 8 campaign, and only support DPI as a way to punish the married straights who are too selfish in not letting gays have marriage by voting for Prop 8
I am pro legalizing all drugs, prostitution, gambling, ending smoking bans, but against affirmative action and government subsidies for farmers and businesses... all of this makes me a Republican doesn't it?
So please Rob, in all your supreme knowledge, please tell me who at the LPC is a Republican, I need to know, it is my fiduciary duty to keep only Libertarians on the LPC board, and I loved how you and Francoise left the convention early which had the end result of halving your county representation in the process (which had been a whopping FOUR convention goers).... if SF is so eager to "take the party back" why is your representation so low at the events we elect the leadership at? Where was Less Antman for 20 years until 2008, where is Ed Clark, Gail Lightfoot, David Bergland and the other long time Cali Lpers? I would sure like to have them show up as we are having lots of new faces, it would be great to have 100 old schoolers show up in addition to the 70 to 100 people we had show up, it would nearly double our numbers at convention and strengthen our ranks in the fight for freedom, I sure wish Richard Rider, Bergland, Lightfoot and others would make an effort to work with me, they never met me (except Richard via email). I certainly have not made an effort to keep them from joining the ranks of the "nubies" to the LP of California.
I think people like you need to take a long look in the mirror when they make claims of divisiveness and claims that we are worse than you at growing the party.... just how well are you growing the party with 4 reps to convention and a handfull at your meetings every month.... you have tried to keep me off your list... that does a lot for outreach to your neighboring counties... perhaps we wouldnt be so "Republican" if you guys in SF came down from your ivory tower once in awhile and helped us at our events the way many of us help you with yours, and more if you asked for it (thanks to Starchild for his help in past JSA's in Santa Clara).
Peace bro,
-TJ Campbell
Vice Chair Santa Clara LIBERTARIAN Party
At Large rep to the LIBERTARIAN Party of California

>From Rob Power
Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:55 pm

Actually, TJ, those people you mentioned are not really the elected leadership
of the LPC.

The Chair violated the bylaws by calling for a vote by acclamation for the
officers. Bylaw 18:

In all voting for Party officers or for endorsements
of candidates for public office, the voting shall include the option of "None of
the Above."

The requirement for NOTA is in the bylaws, not in the convention rules, so the
motion to suspend the rules to allow for voting without NOTA was out of order,
even if 2/3 of the delegates were in favor. I objected twice, and twice was

Since it was clear that the Chair was not going to follow the Bylaws, and that
the delegates were going to let him get away with it, the remainder of the
convention was simply a farce (as I'm sure the next two years under these
unelected officers will be).

That's why Francoise and I got up and left after Takenaga was re-"elected" by a
procedure not allowed by the bylaws. The convention was no longer being held in
accordance with the bylaws, so our continued presence would have been futile.

I'm planning on making a formal complaint to the LNC about the fact that the
current LPC officers were not properly elected and will ask that the Judicial
Committee take action to remedy this situation.

>From Rob Power
Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:25 pm

You know, I take that back. I'm not going to take this to the LNC. After all,
why would they de-certify a state party leadership that shares their own
ideology? The LNC only kicks out those people whose ideologies are inconvenient
(Keaton, Wrights, and -- mark my words -- Ruwart and Hawkridge eventually).

BTW, I'm sorry to hear that Terry got onto the ExCom. He's too good a guy for
that. I wish I had known he was running, and I'd have given him the talk that
Mark Johnson gave me when I told him I was planning on running for ExCom --
"DON'T DO IT!" Of course, I ignored Mark's wise advice, and I regretted it
almost immediately. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that Terry will be the lone vote
by himself on the ExCom, as I was on so many ExCom votes last year.

>From Rob Power
Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:38 pm

Attending that convention was a total waste of
time and money.

As you may recall, Francoise is very protective of her Sundays, so she made a
big sacrifice to show up in Visalia (and she drove me there as well). When it
was clear that the officer elections were not going to be held according to the
bylaws, I saw no reason to make her hang around for the nonsense, and since she
was my ride home, we both left.

Anyway, there are other avenues for advancing Liberty in California that don't
involve the LPC, so I'm not going to beat my head against a wall trying to make
the LPC under its current un-elected leadership do the right things.

Nothing happened last weekend that can't be fixed by 2011, in plenty of time for
the next Presidential election-year convention.


Eric Dondero said...

My gosh, talk about a whiny rant.

Dude, here's some news for ya. The Libertarian Party HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!


8 out of 9 Libertarian Party Presidential candidates were/are former or current Republicans, including your beloved Ed Clark.

And this one is especially important, so listen closely...

All 11 elected Libertarian Party state legislators from NH, MI, VT and most especially Alaska in the last 3 decades, "Caucused" with the Republican Party once in office.

The Libertarian Party IS! the Republican Party, no different from the Conservative Party in New York State and their relationship with the NY GOP.

Always has been, and always will be.

Don't like it? Then stop calling yourself a Libertarian. We won't miss ya.

Unknown said...

I believe when there were 4 Libs elected in NH they caucused as Libertarians... but I could be wrong, I may have heard Don Gorman wrong when he was talking about it at the 2000 State convention in Michigan. Has there ever been a state representative elected as a Libertarian in Michigan, it must be recent, or before 1996, because from 1996-2006 I was in tune with which Libertarians were being elected in Michigan.