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v. Marrou Committee for a
Marjority LNC/Staff Conflicts of
The Ethics Debate Arizona LP Censure of Tamara Clark
EMERLING (CLOUD)'S ATTACKS ON ANDRE MARROU
(Note: Michael Emerling changed his name to Michael Cloud in the mid-1990s.)
Joe Dehn (LNC Member)
Msg #471, 13-Apr-92 02:34am
Subject: statement by Givot and Gingell re Marrou/Lord Campaign
The following is the text of a joint statement by Steven Givot of the
Campaign (MLC), and Mary Gingell, Chair of the Libertarian Party (LP):
Last week, Michael Emerling, a disgruntled former employee of the Marrou/Lord Campaign, issued an unsolicited report to members of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC). Emerling's statement purported to present facts which discredited the LP's presidential candidate, Andre Marrou. The report requested that the LNC remove Marrou as the LP's presidential candidate.
At a scheduled meeting of the LNC in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 11-12, the LNC was informed that Marrou and vice-presidential candidate Nancy Lord had appointed an Operating Committee (OC) for MLC. The OC consists of Steve Dasbach, Steve Givot, and Steve Alexander. Alexander will focus on campaign funding. Givot will focus on candidate scheduling, media relations, and advertising. Dasbach will focus on other aspects of the campaign.
Prior to the LNC meeting, the OC had reviewed various aspects of the campaign and had, with the consent of both candidates, begun implementation of a plan to move the campaign headquarters to Washington, DC, from Las Vegas, NV. The OC determined that the best interests of the campaign would not be served by continuing to retain the services of three outside contractors -- Perry Willis, Jim Lewis, and Marti Stoner. These individuals are no longer associated with the campaign. Me-Me King continues to act as candidate scheduler.
Emerling and Marrou have expressed different views as to what, if any, role Emerling has had in the campaign since Emerling was replaced as Chief of Staff last fall. To end any confusion in this matter, the OC has mailed Emerling written notice that he no longer holds any position in the campaign.
In response to a request from the OC, LNC Chair Mary Gingell agreed to provide a room at LP National Headquarters for use by MLC and authorized LP National Director Nick Dunbar to travel to Las Vegas, at MLC expense, to supervise the relocation.
At the Ann Arbor meeting, the LNC spent approximately seven (7) hours interviewing candidate Marrou to seek his response to each of the various allegations made by Emerling. Each member of the LNC was permitted to ask any question he or she desired.
After the interview a motion was made to reaffirm support for Andre Marrou and Nancy Lord as the LP's candidates. The motion was passed unanimously.
To: All Msg #1451, 19-Apr-92 06:34am Subject: Marrou controversy
TO Eric S. Klien and All
FROM Mary Gingell, LP National Chair
In reference to a joint statement issued by myself and Steve
of the Marrou/Lord campaign right after the recent National
meeting, Mr. Eric S. Klien writes:
A. "for TWO months, others have been going through the proper channels informing the LP of Marrou's serious ethical problems."
I have to presume that any "proper channels" of handling such problems would include presenting them in full to the National Chair. That did not happen.
Approximately four weeks before the National Committee meeting I participated in a conference call with Marrou/Lord Chief of Staff Perry Willis and LP Vice Chair Steve Dasbach. Perry had requested this conference in order to brief us on some problems brewing in the campaign.
During this conversation, Perry told us about several campaign tactics on which he and Andre disagreed, and expressed his frus-tration at trying to convince Andre to do things Perry's way. Perry also told us that he had discovered several personal debts of Marrou's that might prove embarrassing if they were to come out in the media.
I advised Perry to try and work with Andre to resolve their differences regarding campaign tactics, and if that was not pos-sible, to resign as Chief of Staff. All three of us discussed the best possible way to make the financial information public so we could get beyond any embarassment and get on with the campaign. Perry indicated that he planned to sit down with Marrou during the upcoming week and discuss these items with him. We agreed to keep in close touch about these topics.
Over the next few weeks Perry and Andre several times seemed to have resolved their differences, only to get into additional dis-agreements a few days later. I began talking with both Perry and Andre fairly often to urge them to work things out, or to make the staffing changes required so that the campaign's efforts would not stagnate.
Since the Marrou/Lord campaign is a joint effort of two candidates, I also talked extensively with Nancy Lord, getting her input on the matter. Frankly, although various financial allegations were mentioned from time to time during these weeks, my main concern during this time was to encourage the candidates to get their staff (either existing or new) lined up to move the campaign forward.
I was very relieved when Nancy's and Andre's travel paths crossed in Illinois April 5, where they were able to sit down with National Committee member Steve Givot and talk through their con-cerns about staffing and about campaign strategy and tactics. At this meeting Andre and Nancy agreed to form a three-person Operating Committee to serve as a management buffer between the candidates and the staff. Andre returned to Las Vegas later that day, and the report I received was that both Andre and the campaign staff were comfortable with this new arrangement.
Four days later I received Mr. Emerling's missive. This was the first time I had been presented with specific, written allega-tions on certain items that had been mentioned to me by Perry, and the first time I had heard or read anything at all about many of the allegations.
B. Mr. Klien says: "To call Perry an "outside contractor" when he was Andre's chief of staff is misleading to say the least. I am under the strong impression that Michael wasn't the original source of these allegations . . ."
Regardless of his title, it is my understanding that Perry Willis's relationship to the Marrou/Lord campaign was that of an independent contractor, NOT an employee. Same for the other two staffers who were working in Las Vegas. Same for Me-Me King, who is working in Tuscon. I do not know who was the original source of the allegations, but our joint statement did not claim that Michael was the original source, only that he issued the report to the National Committee.
C. Mr. Klein says: "The LP's solution? To move the campaign headquarters to D.C., the center of corruption in the U.S.!"
This was not the LP's solution. Andre, Nancy, and the Marrou/Lord Operating Committee asked me, as National Chair, to sup-port them to whatever extent possible in their relocation plans. I had to think long and hard about this move, which I felt would strain our already overworked staff in DC. I ultimately decided to allow this move to take place, and to allow National Director Nick Dunbar to assist with the move, after long thought and dis-cussion and only after making several stipulations, one being that two additional full-time staffers would be added in DC, at campaign expense, to cover the increased workload. I would have preferred to keep the campaign and the National Office entirely separate, but, as David Bergland says, "Utopia is not an option."
D. Mr. Klien quoted my statement: "After the interview a motion was made to reaffirm support for Andre Marrou and Nancy Lord as the LP's candidates. The motion was passed unanimously."
Then he commented: "Another half truth! The truth is that they waited for the Nevada representive (sic) to leave to catch a plane flight before they took the vote. They REFUSED to vote until she left."
Mr. Klien, YOU are not just stating a half-truth. Your comment in this regard is completely untrue.
National Committee meetings normally run all day Saturday and until about 3 or 4 pm on Sunday. Members sometimes have to start leaving at about 2 pm to catch planes, depending on where the meeting is being held in relation to where the members live. At this particular meeting, all but one person was still in attendance around 2 pm when we took the vote. At least five National Committee members of whom I am aware had planned ahead to stay in the area overnight so they would not have to leave before the end of the meeting.
Tamara Clark, who is an At-Large Representative (elected by the National Convention delegates last September) and who lives in Nevada, was the only person who left before the vote. But she didn't leave at, say, 1:45 pm, right before we voted. She left around 10:30 am!
I had no idea at the time she left what motion, if any, was going to be proposed at the close of our discussion, which, by the way, went on for another three hours! I also, at 10:30 am, had no idea how Tamara or any other committee members, including myself, were going to vote on whatever motions would be presented.
Tamara has since sent a note to National Committee members stat-ing that she would have voted not to reaffirm. However, it strikes me that someone who was unable (for whatever reason) to stay for the entire discussion, motion, and debate on an item can't possibly know all the facts or know conclusively how he or she would have voted. In any event, there was no attempt to exclude Tamara from the vote. We just were not finished con-sidering the item at 10:30 am on Sunday.
D. Mr. Klien states: "Finally, I would like to make public one of the many allegations against Andre. I'll list them all if something doesn't happen soon."
Rest assured, Mr. Klien, we are not trying to cover up these allegations. A factual story outlining the allegations and Andre's responses, which will also appear for all LP members to read in the May issue of LP News, has already been posted to Libernet, the LIBERTY echo, and the LPUS echo.
I am sure other National Committe members who read Libernet will be able to provide additional details to help resolve some of the confusion over last week's meeting.
Two and a half weeks ago I promised you a Part 2 of my Chair's report
April, updating you on the Marrou/Emerling controversy and bringing you
up to date on what else is happening in the LP at the national level.
Well, it's been a HECTIC two and a half weeks. Nick Dunbar got back to LPHQ from Las Vegas on Tuesday after the National Committee meeting. 34 boxes of campaign papers and paraphernalia arrived in Washington several days later. For two weeks Nick and I spent lots of time helping the Marrou/Lord Operating Committee begin to get organized in their new office. Luckily, we will be able to minimize our involvement with the administrative management of the Campaign after this coming Wednesday when MLC contractor Bruce Baechler arrives in DC to take over management of campaign operations. Bruce, who is a past LP of Texas Chair, has lots of grassroots organizing experience and should be a great asset to the Campaign. (NOTE: Bruce died in Sept 2000. See his Memorial Page.)
Both the LNC and the MLC Operating Committee have continued to investigate the charges made by Mr. Emerling, as well as new charges recently made on the computer networks. So far, all of the documentation we have been able to track down supports Marrou's explanations, which were summarized in my last report to you.
Republican Liberty Caucus National Director Alan Lindsay has told us he plans to send the Emerling document (much of which has now been proven false or at least severely misleading) to the media just before each scheduled Marrou appearance. He gave the information to the Manchester Union Leader, whose reporter interviewed me at length right after the National Committee meeting. Givot and Dasbach were interviewed by the Las Vegas Sun, and Marrou was asked about the allegations on the Tom Snyder radio show two weeks ago........
To: Libernet-D (Bruce Baechler) Msg #851, 23-Dec-92 05:43am
Subject: Re: "mission" and "goals"
BB: I was also disappointed to see this. ... the Natcom has no
> BB: setting goals like eliminating the certification requirement
> BB: or making wholesale changes in the platform. Those are matters
> BB: for the convention.
They certainly are. The "railroading", as someone else called it, of these "goals" through the LNC appears to have two purposes. One, they want to use this action by the LNC for propaganda purposes, to make it appear that the ideas have a lot of support. We can probably expect some "celebrity endorsements" soon as well. Second, they may try to use it as the basis for attempts to manipulate the convention through further LNC action, arguing that since the LNC has endorsed these goals it is appropriate to take steps to support them. Note that (over in LPUS) Steve Givot is already talking about this vote having "set the stage" for the appointment of convention committees that will present these ideas to the floor. (Remember that the LNC appoints half of the Platform Committee, and the _entire_ Bylaws and Rules Committee.)
The following is the Mission Statement adopted by the Libertarian
Committee at its 12-13 December 1992 meeting:
The mission of the Libertarian Party is to move public policy in a libertarian direction by electing candidates of the Libertarian Party to public office.
The LNC also endorsed the following goals:
Image: Goal #1
* Change the image of the LP to make it attractive to people anywhere in the libertarian quadrant.
* Change platform criteria to be:
* Maximum of 10 topical planks
* 2-4 year perspective
* Transitional proposals consistent with libertarian
philosophy and the Statement of Principles
* Presented in a positive, solution-oriented manner so that
it helps rather than hurts LP candidates
* Start from scratch at each convention
* Majority delegate approval
* Employ outside professionals to conduct a market analysis to
determine how best to improve our image, attract members and
increase vote totals.
* Develop a strategy for TV and radio ads to attract people in the
libertarian quadrant to join the LP.
Image: Goal #2
* All libertarians should feel equally welcome in the LP. No person within the libertarian quadrant should be considered inferior to any other. The LNC should take a leadership role in promoting this attitude and achieving this goal.
Image: Goal #3
* Create a sustained and proactive program to improve the LP's public image:
* Establish a "Shadow Cabinet" to comment regularly on current issues
* Publish and release comments on current topics weekly; topics can include items from Shadow Cabinet, what elected Libertarians have done, etc.
* Develop and vigorously market a speaker's bureau of screened representatives of the LP who can convey the positive image of the LP as a place where all in the libertarian quadrant are welcome
Organization: Goal #1
* Improve internal operations of the LP by:
* Operating an efficient and effective national office by 4/1/93
* Having a presentable national office by 4/1/94
* Striving for a dual-management approach to the operation of the national office
* Producing an operating handbook for state parties describing their interface with the national party, services available, etc.
* Defining and implementing an ongoing strategic planning process to establish goals as input prior to the beginning of each budget cycle
Organization: Goal #2
* Increase LP membership and contributor base by identifying them as different and distinct. Specifically:
* Eliminate the "oath"
* Assure that all statistics and all communications use the broadest definition of "member"
* Establish reciprocity between national and state LP membership, where possible
* Include all registered Libertarians as non-contributing members
* Develop new outreach materials building on image changes
* Attract mainstream, articulate, successful, functional members
* Increase proportion of minorities, women, and other groups not currently well represented in the LP membership
* Improve outreach to special interest groups
* Improve fundraising yield from membership by:
* Doubling percentage of prospects who contribute
* Increasing the number of contributing members by 400%
* Reducing by 50% the proportion of contributing members who fail to maintain that status
Organization: Goal #3
* Improve the effectiveness of LP News as a means to attract members and contributors by:
* Including a monthly column on the activities of elected Libertarians
* Including to the extent possible a state-by-state list of activities monthly
* Adopting an ongoing review of the LP News editorial policy to ensure consistency with desired public image and mission
Organization: Goal #4
* Improve affiliate party support:
* Develop a suggested blue-print for state parties including
organizational structure and objectives from the state level
to the precinct level
* Create and distribute a "Libertarian Data Book" (vote
totals, ballot access facts, list of elected Libertarians,
a world-class campus organizing program, with:
* Contacts on 500 campuses and between 100 and 200 organized
and functioning campus clubs going into the '96 elections
* Such a visible presence on campus that any student
attending an American college or university will have
heard of the LP and have some idea of what a libertarian is
* State and local 1994 goals are to:
* Elect 5 state legislators (outside NH)
* Raise $1,000,000 to support state house candidates
* Recruit 1,500 candidates (all levels) nationwide
* Identify and provide campaign materials and promote professional campaign training
* Federal 1994 goals are:
* Have 200 federal candidates file with the FEC
* Obtain NES coverage of returns
* Obtain 30-state ballot access by 12/94
* Provide support for federal candidates including:
* bookkeeping, caging and FEC reporting
* generic TV and radio ads
* other services, if possible
* Recruit qualified 1996 presidential candidates
* 1996 Campaign goals include:
* 51-state ballot access
* Enabling presidential candidate to qualify for federal matching funds
* Participation in presidential debates
* Recruiting 50 former or current non-Libertarian office holders to run as Libertarians
* Doubling our average 1992 US House vote percentages by 1994
Several votes were involved in the endorsement of these goals.
The bulk of the text was passed as a package on a voice vote. Dehn and Gingell asked that their "no" votes on this motion be noted, giving as their reason that there had not been sufficient time for any discussion of most of the individual points.
"Organization: Goal #2" was voted on separately, after a discussion which dealt almost exclusively with the question of eliminating the membership "oath" (certification that the individual opposes the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals). Voting in favor were: Crickenberger, Dasbach, Givot, Hall, Karlan, Kohls, Neale, Prazak, and Redpath; voting against were Alexander, Clark, Dehn, Ernsberger, Gingell, Johnson, and McLean, with Gingell noting that she voted "no" primarily because there had not been time to discuss the other points.
The second part of "Image: Goal #1", concerning changing the nature and scope of the Platform, was also voted on separately. Voting in favor were: Clark, Crickenberger, Dasbach, Ernsberger, Givot, Hall, Karlan, Neale, Prazak, Redpath, and Schumacher; voting against were: Alexander, Dehn, Gingell, Johnson, Kohls, and McLean.
Several other small portions were approved separately by voice vote, with no members asking that their votes or comments be recorded.
Steve Givot wrote:
> I am saddened that Steve Alexander felt it necessary to resigned from
> the LNC. Frankly, however, I think the basis of Steve's resignation,
> as expressed in his letter, is incorrect.
For those who have not
it, the letter to which Mr. Givot is referring
is the following:
| Steven J. Alexander
| 824 Bing Drive Santa Clara, CA 95051
| December 14, 1992
| Ms. Mary Gingell, Chair
| Libertarian National Committee
| 2340 Princeton
| Palo Alto, CA 94306
| Dear Mary,
| With deep regret I hereby resign from the Libertarian National Committee. I will not be part of a political organization that repudiates the non-initation of force pledge and the Libertarian Party platform.
|| Steven J. Alexander
> My dictionary defines "repudiate" as ...
I have my own opinion of Mr. Givot's dictionary-quoting sophistries, but in this case for me to argue about the meaning of Mr. Alexander's words would be superfluous. Mr. Alexander is a subscriber to LPUS, and I'm sure he can clear up whatever confusion Mr. Givot's may have about the meaning of this letter.
of "rude" is inconsistent with his own behavior.
> It was no more "rude" to bring this to the LNC the week of the LNC
> meeting than it was for Mr. Dehn to deliver the minutes of the previous
> LNC meeting AT THE MEETING,
Mr. Givot's ad hominem argumentation is one of the things to be
now that, as I noted in my message to Libernet-D, the Atlanta group has
chosen to politicize the LNC. I will not be surprised to see all
manner of misleading arguments, convoluted parliamentary maneuvers, and
personal attacks, as they seek to gain advantage for their position.
of us who had an opportunity to observe the tactics that Mr. Givot used
against outsiders such as CNN during the Marrou/Lord campaign know that
he basically follows an "all's fair..." philosophy; as the attack dog
the Atlanta group, he will now be turning those tactics against his
Libertarians who happen to disagree with him on internal policy.
Late distribution of the minutes is one of my many failings. It is, however, irrelevant to the question of the appropriateness of the Atlanta group's political tactics. Even _if_ my complaint had been that the list of proposed goals was delivered to the LNC only a few days before the meeting, the tardiness of others in delivering their reports would be no excuse ("two wrongs don't make a right").
However, as those who saw my posting to Libernet-D already know, that is not what I said was "rude" about the action of the Atlanta group. My objection is that, by forcing a vote on this question, LNC members who disagree with the outcome have had words put in their mouths, when, in my opinion, no collective statement was called for. The advocates of this position will miss no opportunity to remind people that the LNC has endorsed their goals. The rest of us have no choice but to note our objections, making this a continuing sore point that is in the process of driving the LNC into full-fledged factionalization.
> Nor was it
for a MAJORITY of the LNC members to place
> consideration of these items on the agenda. If Mr. Dehn would like to
> see CONCENSUS decision making, then he should propose the necessary
> changes to depart from Robert's Rules of Order, which clearly calls
> for a majority vote on such items.
Mr. Givot is confusing
_can_ be done with what _should_ be done. I do not question the
legitimacy of the actions of the Atlanta group. But not every
relating to the smooth and cooperative functioning of an organization
found in Robert's Rules. One of the unwritten rules that I believe
is that members refrain from making decisions on matters on which
have differing and strongly held opinions. Sometimes this is
because the organization, in order to conduct its business, _must_
one path or another. But in those cases where there is no
and it is not necessary to make a collective decision, it is better
to take no position.
Consensus decision-making does not require a change in our rules. All that is needed is an attitude of self-restraint in which members refrain from using their parliamentary "rights" when they can see that to do so will cause discord.
> Mr. Dehn's
of a "deep division" may, in fact, be true. But until
> the vote was taken, no one knew the outcome. In fact, taking a vote
> was the only way to determine how people would actually vote.
This is silly. Everybody knew these were controversial points, on which a number of LNC members had deeply-held positions not likely to be reversed during the brief discussion time available at the LNC meeting. If this fact wasn't clear in the minds of the Atlanta group as they set up their secret meeting, it certainly should have been obvious from the comments during the LNC meeting. If the proponents of this action had cared about the kinds of problems they would be creating, they could have asked for a straw vote and withdrawn their motion upon seeing the result. No, the behavior of the Atlanta group was not the result of any ignorance of the feelings of the other LNC members -- it was a deliberate political tactic which they considered worth using to advance their goals, regardless of the cost in distraction from and disruption of work toward our common goals.
> The LNC is
to implement the foreign
> policy of the US. Yet it regularly passes resolutions on foreign
> The same can be said of many topics which are not within the purview of
> the LNC. Yet Joe has expressed no problem with any of these resolutions
> as coming from a body which should not "decide them." ...
> BECAUSE JOE
THE OUTCOME, JOE SEEMS TO BE
> CRITICIZING THE PROCESS. Having two standards to apply to judge
> comparable actions is NOT, in my opinion, a reflection of anything
> other than inconsistency.
Mr. Givot is pointing
an inconsistency between my position in this instance and what he
my position to be in the case of stands on public policy. This is
simply a result of his ignorance of my views on the
It has been customary for the LNC to pass resolutions relating to public policy. For the most part, this has not been a matter of "deciding" the LP's position, but simply a move to publicize what is already expressed or implied in our Platform. Of course, applying the ideas of the Platform to a specific situation, and expressing them in specific language, involves a certain amount of interpretation and judgement. But the ability of the LNC to pass such a resolution by a substantial majority is usually a good sign that a reasonable job of this has been done.
If the LNC finds itself split on such a resolution, there is a good chance that somebody is trying to get the LNC to decide an issue that _isn't_ stated or strongly implied by the Platform. That is likely to mean that the issue has either never been considered in convention, or that it was considered and found to be sufficiently divisive that a 2/3 majority could not be formed. In either case I would consider it inappropriate for the LNC to make a statement on the subject. If declaring something to be the official LP position requires a two-thirds vote of the delegates to a convention, no way should a simple majority of the LNC, a smaller and less representative body, be considered sufficient to declare it so. (Again, as in the present case, I am not proposing that the LNC formally adopt any new voting rule for resolutions regarding public issues, but simply advocating that LNC members refrain from pushing the limits of the existing rules to get their way in cases where they can see that it would be divisive.)
> The LNC is elected to LEAD the LP.
The LNC is elected to _serve_ the LP. Part of that service is to lead in certain areas where it is uniquely qualified. But in those matters which our rules specify are to be decided in convention, the LNC's job is to implement, not create, policy. Anyone who wants to advocate and campaign for a specific position on such matters is free to set up some other committee for that purpose. The LNC has enough matters to attend to without taking on additional roles that can be adequately played by others, and the playing of which is almost guaranteed to interfere with its own important work.
There is a clear difference between the NatCom taking quick action to implement, reiterate or publicize a policy set by the convention and the NatCom taking action to call for the reversal of a policy taken by the convention. Joe has already pointed out this difference in language clear enough for a man of Steve Givot's intelligence to understand. Therefore Steve's continued attempts to blur this distinction must be interpreted as deliberate.
>I find it strange that you
>would suggest as a libertarian to another libertarian that he SHOULD not
>exercise his rights, and that the MAJORITY of the LNC SHOULD not exercise
>their rights. Instead we should subordinate our rights and our best
>judgment to appease a discordant MINORITY. Whoa.... Maybe Joe wants to
>[analogy with abortion controversy omitted]
Did Steve learn this tactic from the Bolsheviks? A narrow majority of attendees at a NatCom meeting now becomes "the Majority" even if their views contradict the views of a majority of the delegates to previous conventions. (Not to mention the views of the majority of the rank and file).
>So where are we? Politicization and factionalization will occur only if
>the opponents wish to promote them. The proponents want an open a lively
>debate leading to delegate consideration of the proposals and a vote. If
>the passes---or if the fails---the proponents have said they will stay
>in the LP. Will the opponents make the same pledge and, thereby, preempt
>a split? I hope so.
Now this is beautiful. A group of people who join a party despite its requirement of agreement with the nonaggression principle want to remove it. Then they magnanimously offer to stay in the party whether the requirement is kept or not, and invite those who joined the party BECAUSE of the requirement to make the same pledge. Forgive the obvious exaggeration in the following parable, but chew on it: A group of cardinals propose that belief in Jesus no longer be an article of faith of the Catholic Church. They agree that they will not leave the Church regardless of the outcome and invite the other 700 million Catholics to make the same pledge. Get real.
proposal to "eliminate the oath" as a condition for national membership
grew out of a general concern that we are putting up unnecessary
to membership; barriers that prevent some libertarians from joining the
LP or from staying. The stated problems with the oath, as best as I can
describe them, were the following:
1. IT READS LIKE AN "OATH", WHICH MANY PEOPLE HAVE TROUBLE WITH ON GENERAL PRINCIPLES. Bob Waldrop described the current wording as "quirky" and not like something you would sign to join a political party. Bob proceeded to list a "Statement of Political Independence" which included the NCP and sounded like something you might sign to join a political party. Dana suggested a statement of what the LP believes in, followed by a place for the person to request to join. Either suggestion would address the "oath" problem.
2. IF FULLY UNDERSTOOD, IT CANNOT BE SIGNED (IN GOOD CONSCIENCE) BY A MENARCHIST. (Sic)
A menarchist accepts that some level of government is NECESSARY to preserve individual rights. If one also believes that some level of taxation (however small) would be needed to fund that government, then one is sanctioning some level of initiation of force. Anyone who falls in the Libertarian region of the Diamond Chart (as a general principle) should be able to join the LP in good conscience and any "reform" must address this concern.
3. REQUIRING A CERTIFICATION "IN WRITING" PREVENTS SIGNUPS BY E-MAIL, TELEPHONE, AND OTHER MODERN COMMUNICATION METHODS. Any reform should address this problem as well.
CLM'S PROPOSED BYLAW
Almost eight months ago, a set of goals was adopted by the LNC, largely based on a document drafted a week earlier by a group of Libertarian activists who met in Atlanta. Parts of two of those goals required action by the national convention to be achieved and have been the source of considerable discussion throughout the LP since December. Because they required action by the convention, and because they did not represent a consensus among the LNC, those portions of the goals were rescinded by the LNC in April. It now falls upon the delegates to the national convention to address those concerns.
In the months following the December LNC meeting, two groups have been formed. PLEDGE opposes the proposals to eliminate the membership statement and change the platform criteria. CLM supports broadening the base of the LP to appeal to all libertarians, presenting our message in a positive manner without compromising our principles, and focusing our efforts on electing libertarians to public office. As part of that support, CLM has supported eliminating the membership statement and changing the platform criteria.
As the debate has progressed, CLM has listened to the concerns raised by those who want to keep the membership statement and platform the way they are, those who favor change, and those who are undecided. We have commented on proposed compromises, and solicited input from CLM's supporters. We have looked for ways to address the concerns which led to the original proposals, while also addressing concerns raised by opponents of change. We have searched for common ground which can serve as a basis for unity at the convention and beyond.
Based on eight months of debate, CLM has drafted proposed bylaw changes that we believe address most of the concerns that led to the original proposals while also addressing the major objections that have been raised. We are proposing changes in the following areas:
2. The Platform
3. Convention Committees
4. Delegate Allocation
5. Seconding Motions
Details of the proposed bylaw changes follow in subsequent messages.
Subject: CLM'S PROPOSED
CHANGES: MEMBERSHIP (2 OF 6)
Currently, state and national membership in the LP are completely separate. National members must sign a membership statement which meets the requirements set out in the Bylaws, while each state affiliate sets their own membership requirements. The number of national members in each state largely determines the number of convention delegates each state is entitled to, but it is the members of that state affiliate, not national members, that actually choose the delegates. Those delegates must be members of either the state or national LP.
CLM is proposing that we eliminate national membership, while continuing to allow each state affiliate to set their own membership requirements. States that believe that a membership statement is unnecessary will no longer have one imposed by the national party. Those that feel that a membership statement is necessary to protect the LP can require one without imposing on their neighbors. Those that wish to modify the statement can freely do so. Decentralizing membership accommodates the diverse opinions which exist between state affiliates on the issue of membership.
Delegates are currently "required to be members of either the Party or an affiliate party." CLM proposes that this be changed to "required to be members of the affiliate party."
National membership is currently used to determine affiliate party delegate entitlement ("one delegate for each 20 members, or fraction thereof, of the National Party"). CLM proposes that this be changed to "one delegate for each 20 contributors, or fraction thereof, to the National Party" and that we define contributor in a manner equivalent to that presently used to determine if a member's dues are current.
National membership is also used to determine which states are entitled to name members of the platform and credentials committees, and to define regions for the purpose of selecting LNC representatives. In the absence of national membership, CLM proposes that these determinations be made on the basis of delegate allocation instead. For example, the statement "...each such 'region' with an aggregate national party membership of 10% or more shall be entitled to one National Committee representative for each 10% of national party membership" would be replaced with "...each such 'region' with an aggregate delegate allocation of 10% or more (excluding ex-officio delegates) shall be entitled to one National Committee representative for each 10% of the total allocated delegates (excluding ex-officio delegates).
Finally, LNC members and our nominees for President and Vice- President are presently required to be national party members. CLM proposes instead that all candidates for these positions be required to submit a written declaration of candidacy prior to nomination, which includes a signed statement of support for the Statement of Principles.
Subject: CLM'S PROPOSED
CHANGES: THE PLATFORM (3 OF 6)
CLM supports presenting the Libertarian message in a positive, solution-oriented manner without compromising our principles. We believe that the present platform is relentlessly negative, while failing to clearly propose positive solutions. It uses extreme, "macho-flash" rhetoric that turns off potential supporters. It presents a long-term vision of a libertarian society, without specifying what can be done today to move society in that direction.
Eight months ago, the group in Atlanta proposed that the LP "Change platform criteria to be:
* Maximum of 10 topical planks
* 2-4 year perspective
* Transitional proposals consistent with libertarian philosophy and the Statement of Principles * Presented in a positive, solution-oriented manner so that it helps rather than hurts LP candidates
* Start from scratch each convention
* Majority delegate approval"
CLM initially supported this proposal. However, eight months of debate has persuaded us that substantial changes in the proposal are required.
The 10 plank limit was initially proposed to ensure that the platform focus on issues of importance to the voters and ensure sufficient time to debate each plank. However, many Libertarians expressed a legitimate fear that an arbitrary limit on the number of planks might force the exclusion of important issues from the platform. We have since concluded that there are other ways to address these concerns, and that an arbitrary limit is unnecessary.
CLM still believes that platform planks should concentrate on a 2-4 year perspective, should include transitional proposals consistent with the Statement of Principles, and should be presented in a positive, solution-oriented manner. However, we also believe that it is inappropriate to carve these criteria into stone by making them a part of the Bylaws. It is our responsibility to draft planks that meet these criteria and to try to persuade delegates to support them.
CLM has been persuaded by the debate that it is important to retain the two-thirds requirement for the approval of platform planks. We believe that the platform should represent areas of broad agreement among Libertarians, which a two-thirds vote helps ensure. In fact, it was this desire that the platform represent areas of consensus among Libertarians that led to the proposal that the platform "start from scratch each convention". While CLM does not believe that the entire platform should be re-written each convention, we do believe that every plank should be voted on and receive the approval of two-thirds of the delegates before it is included in the new platform.
Under our present rules, one-third of the delegates can block any change to a plank, even if a majority of the delegates are unhappy with either the style or substance of the existing plank. The only recourse the majority has is to delete the entire plank, assuming that they can get a motion to that effect onto the floor.
CLM believes that it important that the platform represent areas of broad agreement among Libertarians. To help achieve this, we propose that prior to the Platform Committee report, delegates vote on whether to approve each plank in the existing platform without further amendment. This voting can be tabulated in each delegation (similar to voting for at-large LNC members) or be conducted using computer bubble sheets. During the Platform deliberations, new planks and proposed amendments to planks which did not receive support from two-thirds of the delegates would be considered first. After the close of platform deliberations, delegates would vote whether to approve those planks which had not received two-thirds support on the first vote (as amended) as well as any new planks. This vote would be handled in the same manner as the first vote. Those planks which received two-thirds support on either vote would constitute the new platform.
CLM believes that this procedure will promote concensus. The first vote will identify those planks where concensus is currently lacking and focus debate on those planks. The need to obtain two-thirds support to include a plank will encourage those who approve of the existing language to try to address the concerns of those who desire change. We believe that the result will be a platform that enjoys broad support within the LP, a platform that we will be proud to provide to the media, a platform that helps our candidates.
Subject: CLM'S PROPOSED
CHANGES: CONVENTION COMMITTEES (4 OF 6)
CLM believes that reasoned debate and discussion is important to the growth of the LP. While debate can become heated at times, discussing our differences is often the first step in resolving them. Certainly, the debate on the membership statement and platform has altered CLM's position from what it was six month's ago.
CLM believes that it is important to present proposed changes to the Bylaws and Platform to all Libertarians well in advance of each convention, rather than unveiling them on the day they're to be voted on. Vigorous debate can help identify flaws in proposed changes, and suggest better alternatives.
CLM is proposing that the Bylaws and Platform committees be selected at the close of each convention, to serve until the next convention. Each committee would complete its report several months prior to the convention, to allow sufficient time for debate and discussion.
Currently, the National Committee selects all ten members of the Bylaws Committee, and ten of the twenty members of the Platform Committee. Each of the ten largest state affiliates also appoints a member to the Platform Committee. CLM is proposing instead that each region elect one representative to the Bylaws Committee and two to the Platform Committee for each LNC representative that the region is entitled to.
CLM'S PROPOSED BYLAW CHANGES: DELEGATE ALLOCATION (5 OF 6)
Delegates to each national convention are currently allocated based on national membership (one for every 20 or fraction thereof) and the most recent vote for president [one for each 1% (rounded) of the total vote cast for President in that state
. In addition, LNC members and alternates, former Party nominees for President and Vice-President, and each LP governor, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator are ex-officio delegates. Thus, we allocate delegates based on membership (contributors), votes, elected officials, and party officials.
Membership currently accounts for about 600 delegates, LNC members and alternates account for another 27, while former Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees account for another 10. Only 3 delegates were allocated based on votes, and none were allocated for elected officials.
CLM believes that while our present delegate allocation rewards the right things (members/contributors, votes, elected officials, and party officials), it is heavily biased toward membership. It provides little incentive to gain votes in large states, and targets elected offices that are presently beyond our reach.
CLM is proposing that each state receive one delegate for each 0.5% (rounded) of the national Libertarian vote for President that was cast in that state, replacing the present method of allocating delegates based on the presidential vote. About 200 delegates would be allocated this way, verses three using the present formula.
CLM is proposing that elected state legislators and state officials be adding to the list of ex-officio delegates. Currently, this would add the four New Hampshire representatives as delegates. We are also proposing that state chairs be designated ex-officio delegates.
CLM believes that this represents a more balanced method of delegate allocation, while still placing the primary emphasis on members (contributors).
CLM'S PROPOSED BYLAW CHANGES: SECONDING MOTIONS (6 OF 6)
CLM supports substantive debate on the issues that come before the convention. However, the limited time available to the delegates is often wasted on motions, including amendments, that have little support and no chance of passing.
Many organizations use a "standing second" to address this problem. After a motion is made, the maker is given one minute to speak to his/her motion. When the chair asks for a second, those who wish to debate the motion stand. If a sufficient number of delegates stand, the motion is considered seconded and debate commences. If not, the motion dies for lack of a second.
CLM proposes that the LP require a standing second equal to 10% of the registered delegates. We believe that this will help ensure that most of the delegates' time is spent debating substantive issues that have significant support among the delegates.
LibertyDC@aol.com [Note: Liberty Council PAC formed by Gene
John Famularo, and others]
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 06:47:49 -0500
The following article from the December issue of "Unconventional Wisdom" [Note: unidentified publication and author] is posted with permission:
As we grow as a party, it is essential that we develop policies and behavior that reflect the Libertarian Party as "ready for prime time." To that end, this article explores a potential controversy within the national party organization. It may be that nobody has done anything improper. However, we must remain diligent in making sure that our house is in order if weexpect the public to accept us as a legitimate alternative to the two big parties for governing the United States.
In 1993, the delegates to the Libertarian Party National Convention in Salt Lake City significantly changed the way the Libertarian Party operates. From that point forward, our presidential ticket will be selected in convention during the election year. Before this time, the party selected the top of our ticket a year or so before the elections. Advocates of this change, including national chair Steve Dasbach, said this reflects our growth and signals our becoming a major player in the political fortunes of America.
Because it is important that the national office of the party - an institution owned by all the members - remain neutral before the delegates make their selection, bylaws were established to help address this question. The pertinent sections include:
Article I, Section 2
D. Neither the national Director nor any other employee of the Party shall:
1. Endorse, support, contribute any money, or use his or her title or position to aid any candidates in any Party primary, or in any campaign for office, or nomination, within the Party or any State Party.
2. Serve as a delegate to any National or State Party Convention.
3. Permit LPHQ to be used by anyone at any time to aid any candidate in any Party primary, or in any campaign for office, or nomination, with the Party or any State Party.
More than a year ago, it came to our attention that this rule was probably being violated. Kiana DelaMare discussed the topic with LPVA Chair Richard Sincere.
Sincere noticed that an invitation to his membership to meet Harry Browne was mailed without a vital piece of information. Sincere asked Kiana (an early Browne operative and an unpaid management staff member of the national party at the time - described variously in official LP documents: as National Director Perry Willis's spouse in one fund raising letter to the membership then as "the woman Mr. Willis was living with" in the most recent LNC minutes) what had happened. She informed him that Perry was working late at the headquarters to get it out and it was a simple oversight.
Another example of a potential conflict arose when the national director lobbied aggressively to have his office provide accounting services for Browne and any other campaign that may want to use those services. Richard Cowan's exploratory campaign committee rejected this offer as bad political strategy. Having the national office - which had already demonstrated what appeared to be a serious bias for one candidate - count and track your revenue would not be altogether unlike having Bill Clinton's treasury department offer to count and track Bob Dole's revenue.
Yet more charges of bias in the national office surfaced with the challenges the Arizona LP is facing. The leaders of the legitimately recognized affiliate make a rather convincing case that national officers and staff interfered in their internal struggles to help the Browne campaign. Now they've been dragged into court and the IRS is looking into what has been happening as a result of complaints filed by other Libertarians.
We've also learned that one of the presidential candidates recently received a communication from headquarters management staff instructing him to change his campaign style. If he doesn't, his contact information would be purged from that sent out by the national office to people asking for information about
LP presidential candidates.
While these are a few of the more significant charges documented against the national office, others rise from time to time. A couple of state chairs reported last year that Kianna had called them from the headquarters to try to book "our presidential candidate, Harry Browne" at their state conventions. Still other questions have arisen that the national office is primarily directing reporters to the Browne campaign and positioning Browne as the "front runner." This although no delegates have been chosen yet and therefore there's no objective means to measure such a claim.
Could this be happening?
According to a message from LNC Treasurer Hugh Butler to Darren Capriotti posted by Butler on LPUS on May 11, 1995, "You are right that it is wholly inappropriate and specifically prohibited for staff members to work for a particular candidate prior to his/her nomination. You are wrong in thinking this is happening. No staff member of the Party has or will give unequal assistance to candidates for our nomination."
On the other hand, the minutes of the LNC meeting of August 26-27, 1995, say "Mr. Dasbach said that there has been some paid work has been done [sic] by both Mr. Willis and Mr. Winter. He said that he requested that they do not do any further work until the matter could be presented to the LNC. In each case some of the work was done on the computers at the headquarters and Mr. Dasbach indicated that this was not acceptable."
While there appears to be a case building that the staff of the national office is operating as a subsidiary of the Browne campaign, attention should also be focused on the officers of the LNC who manage that staff. Perhaps they, too, should be included in the conflict of interest section of our bylaws.
Since the last national convention, the LNC has reorganized themselves, setting up a corporation (you may have noticed that the legal name of the party entity is now the Libertarian National Committee, Inc.). In doing that, the governing body of the LNC for all of the day-to-day affairs is the Executive Committee, comprised of LNC Chair Steve Dasbach, Vice Chair Karen Allard, Treasurer Hugh Butler, Secretary John Famularo, and at-large member Sharon Ayres.
Allard was among the first to endorse Browne on his WWW page on the Internet. Ayres (who is in charge of major donor programs for the party) is heading Browne's campaign. Butler has embraced the Browne camp and - based on his LPUS post - doesn't see what's happening in the national office. Dasbach has often cited Browne in his "progress reports" to the entire party membership with few mentions of the other candidates in the race. Only Famularo seems to remain uncommitted to a specific presidential campaign.
When a majority of the Executive Committee, charged with the oversight of the national office, shares what appears to be a common bias, it is almost impossible to avoid appearances of impropriety. Whether there is any actual malfeasance in office will be up to the delegates to decide next year. Meanwhile, LP leaders at the grassroots level should start to consider the standards to which we will hold our party leadership.
How can we complain about ballot access restrictions thrown at us by Democrats and Republicans if the individuals running our National Party use their power and influence to have a determining impact on the result of our nomination process?
I'm starting to get reports that supporters of a particular presidential candidate have been actively trying to convince state committees to put unusual restrictions on who they will allow to speak as presidential hopefuls at their state conventions. And the restrictions proposed seem designed to favor one candidate over any others, based on current campaign activity.
As I have been told, restrictions would be only on those who would be speaking in the capacity of a presidential candidate for the LP nomination. The restrictions I've heard about so far would go something like this:
Exclude from speaking if no exploratory committee formed, or
Exclude if no campaign committee filed with the FEC; or
Exclude if haven't raised $250,000+ in contributions;
There are other restrictions, but you get the idea. It's an exclusionary tactic, 15 months away from our nominating convention.
Keep in mind, these are being encouraged at the STATE convention level, the traditional place where folks get a chance to see how a Presidential hopeful performs on the stump, often their first chance at retail politics in that state.
I certainly encourage people to use the three items above, along with other criteria, in making their decision who to VOTE for when we NOMINATE at our national convention. But state party events are supposed to be where we are exposed to those seeking to recruit our support.
Back-room attempts to exclude candidates at the state party level are, IMHO, a heavy-handed, "dark cloud" tactic promoted by partisans of one candidate purposefully to exclude another. Shame!
Please be aware of this if it starts to happen in your state. Tell them to stop this....stop it NOW, and instead start talking about the issues and strategies they will use during the post-convention campaign to benefit the LP.
On a personal note, I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing a variety of candidates--I believe there is great VALUE in doing so!-- and making my decision accordingly. I hope you will too.
Yours for an open and clean LP presidential campaign,
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
From: Joe Dehn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: LP business - presidential <LPUS-PRES@dehnbase.org>
Subject: Re: Israel vs Other Prez Candidates on MA Ballot
Carol Moore wrote:
> While we're digging up dirt on Israel, I'd heard
> that he tried to get Kip Lee kicked off MA ballot
> as competitors for Browne. I recently did a
> Google search and found that Lee and several other
> candidates were in fact on the ballot.
> However, I've now heard Don Gorman was kicked
> off. So what's the scoop on that story??
think it is accurate to say that anybody was "kicked off" the
presidential primary ballot.
In Massachusetts, a presidential candidate can be put on the ballot by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, by the state chair of the party, or by petition. The Secretary of the Commonwealth put on everybody who was listed on the LP site. (Gorman missed getting on by this method because he announced too late.) My recollection is that Israel was not happy about some of these people being on the ballot, but that in the end he didn't do anything about it (possibly there was nothing he could do at that point). As state chair he could have asked for Gorman to be added, and did not, but I don't think "kicking off" is the right word for that. (I am also not clear on exactly when he would have been asked to make that decision, relative to when Gorman announced his candidacy.)
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002
From: Bill Woolsey <email@example.com>
To: LP business - presidential <LPUS-PRES@dehnbase.org>
Subject: Re: Israel vs Other Prez Candidates on MA Ballot
----- Original Message
"Carol Moore" <firstname.lastname@example.org> <Same as above,
To: "LP business - presidential" <LPUS-PRES@dehnbase.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 11:16 PM
Subject: Israel vs Other Prez Candidates on MA Ballot
To my best recollection, this occurred while Don was considering
but hadn't yet decided to run.
Someone loosely associated with the effort to get Don to run did try to have his name put on the Massachusetts ballot.
Israel decided that Gorman wasn't eligible to be put on the ballot because his dues to the National LP weren't current.
That Gorman's dues weren't current wasn't an accident, but some kind of protest. I never found out exactly what sort of protest it was, but rather focused on getting Don to just go ahead and pay now. I think all the future staffers insisted that he didn't want to run for President based upon whatever it was that made him upset with National. All said we needed to focus on the need for serious races for winnable office. Some said we needed to focus on the need for an incremental program that would have broad appeal. Within a few days, Don agreed. (With the first view, especially.)
It appeared to us that we met the deadline. Don paid his national dues through the NH party. We didn't pursue the matter because an activist from Massachusetts who appeared to sympathize with Gorman at the time told us that Gorman would be on the Massachusetts ballot.
Our view was that Israel's policy was absurd. Dues simply had to be paid before the nomination at the National convention. There is no requirement that one's dues are current four months before the nomination.
My view was (and is) that the bylaw is absurd. It treats the LP as a membership club. Israel's policy, however, wasn't aimed at Gorman. It was rather aimed at Kip Lee. Israel was overheard discussing the matter at some National LP meeting. Israel seemed to think Kip Lee was an embarrassment. Perhaps he feared that any press the primary generated would be of the "look at the loons" sort with valuable column inches going to the looniest--Lee.
I wasn't aware that the policy failed to hit its intended target.
I have no knowledge as to whether Israel was pleased that this policy aimed at Kip also kept Gorman off the ballot. I don't understand why Gorman was kept of the ballot. He did pay his dues well before the deadline we were given.
On a related subject, I believe that the LP national office was supportive of the Gorman campaign in the sense that they _wanted_ there to be competition for the LP nomination. It would be a publicity hook for media. Heck, maybe they thought it would boost convention registrations.
I've never really considered what the Browne, Berlgand, Willis, Emerling/Cloud, Howell, Israel clique thought of the matter. Perhaps they shared the staff's view. On the other hand, much of their strategy seemed based on creating the image that Browne was already our nominee and that they were campaigning for November already. Maybe the did want to keep Gorman off the ballot.
Note: Information on the Candidates who actually ran is at http://www.politics1.com/vote-ma.htm
SEE ALSO THE YEAR 2000 "SELLING OF THE PRESIDENT(IAL CAMPAIGN) THREAD" WITH STEVE GIVOT, GEORGE PHILLIES, RICHARD SCHWARTZ (LNC) AND OTHER PARTICIPANTS.
Subject: "Russell Kirk, Ayn Rand, and the National LP" by Jacob G. Hornberger
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 13:34:01 -0400
From: "Jacob G. Hornberger" <email@example.com>
Russell Kirk, Ayn Rand,
the National LP by Jacob G. Hornberger
....After I filed my request for an Ethics Amendment to the LNC Policy Manual that would subject the LNC to the same ethical constraints that the LNC has imposed on its subordinates, some LNC members, not surprisingly, reacted ferociously, even resorting to a few personal attacks against me. Then, after I requested LNC members to voluntarily disclose the monies they have received as a result of their very own policy, the reaction, again not surprisingly, was an even higher level of ferocity.... This is one reason why the Wall Street Journal exit poll last November is so important. The poll reflected that the American people placed ethical and moral principles at the top of their scale of political values. How likely is it that these people, who obviously are sick and tired of sleaze-buckets in the Democrat and Republican parties, will ever embrace a minor third party that is deliberately operating under a paradigm of unethical conduct? ... Let me give you a recent example of this phenomenon. One of the ardent supporters of Harry Browne who currently serves as an alternate member of the LNC is a woman named Barbara Goushaw. (I believe she was elected in 1998.) Goushaw was one of Browne's fiercest supporters for the 1996 presidential nomination, even providing a nominating speech that has become infamous within the LP.
Sometime after the 1998 national LP convention, Goushaw approached me at a state LP convention in Texas. She told me that she had not yet made up her mind about whom to support in 2000 and that she could be persuaded to support me (since I was considering seeking the LP presidential nomination at that time). Her statement surprised me since I knew how deeply committed she was to Browne, but in any event, I politely but firmly reminded her of my position that LNC members should remain neutral in pre-nomination LP races.
Then, in the latter part of 1998, I was invited to speak at a Michigan LP convention and Goushaw was responsible for arranging one of my speeches during my visit to Michigan. I again politely but firmly reminded her that since she was a LNC member, her help had to be limited only to arranging the talk in Michigan and nothing else after that.
Thus, you can imagine my surprise over Goushaw's sending me a $600 check after I announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee in 1999. Of course, I returned the check to Goushaw. Let me restate and reemphasize that: I returned Goushaw's original check for $600 to her. That is, I didn't cash it or deposit it and then send her a reimbursement check. I returned her original check to her.
A few days ago, as part of her LNC Campaign-Finance Disclosure Statement, Goushaw sent the following email to each and every member of the LNC:
"I, Barbara B. Goushaw, a member of the LNC, hereby voluntarily openly and publicly declare and disclose that I HAVE ACCEPTED, either directly or indirectly, payments totaling $600.00 from the following LP candidates, their staff, organizations, or campaign-related third-party entities: Jacob Hornberger for President."
That was the sum total of Goushaw's letter to the LNC. No explanation. No details. Simply an unequivocal statement that she had "accepted payments totaling $600" from me.
The $600 "payments" to which Goushaw referred in her letter to the LNC refer to my return of her original check of $600 to her. That's correct -- the return of her $600 check is what she represents to the LNC to be a $600 "payment" to her.
(Interestingly, Goushaw didn't negate the possibility that she has received money from other LP candidates, either directly or indirectly, while serving an a LNC member, which is why her disclosure is being listed under "Incomplete" on the Disclosure Report on my website: www.jacobghornberger.com)
The problem is that when you have a governing board that is committed to an unethical paradigm or policy, it will inevitably attract to it people of the Goushaw caliber, that is those who see absolutely nothing wrong with what she has done. Remember what Russell Kirk and Ayn Rand said about value-free libertarians: they have no internal, independent code of right and wrong independent of the nonaggression principle. Since Goushaw's letter doesn't involve the initiation of force or fraud, in her mind there is absolutely nothing wrong with what she has done.
But she's not the only one of this ilk that has been attracted to the LNC. There's also Steven I. Givot, who as LNC Secretary is a member of the all-powerful LP ExecCom. Givot, you will recall, was one of the LNC members (along with Browne friend and supporter Ken Bisson) who initially began the stonewalling with respect to whether the LNC should look into the Browne-Willis-Optopia-Yanik scandal. (See "An Open Letter to Steve Givot, posted at www.jacobghornberger.com) Givot has also been the most vociferous opponent of the Ethics Amendment and of the Request for Financial Disclosure during the course of the LNC's discussions and debates on these issues, often resorting to very nasty personal attacks against me for having the audacity to try to bring a paradigm and policy of ethics to the LNC and the Libertarian Party.
Givot followed up the deceptive claim made by his cohort Goushaw in several separate emails to the LNC, which repeated and restated the following:
"As a presidential nomination contender, Mr. Hornberger hired LNC member Barbara Goushaw and paid her $600 to work for his campaign to win the LP presidential nomination. That also violates the ethical standards that Mr. Hornberger publicly embraces."
There are of course some people whose integrity is impeccable serving on the LNC. What are the chances that they would call for a censor of Goushaw and Givot for their deceitful and malicious misconduct against a member of the Libertarian Party? None, because the good and honest people on the LNC are terrified that Goushaw and Givot (and others like them on the LNC) will do this sort of thing to them!....
A Matter of Image: An
Letter to Libertarians Everywhere
from Jacob G. Hornberger
April 25, 2001
Dear Fellow Libertarians:
The purpose of this
is to provide you with an update on the results
of the LNC meeting held last Saturday, April 21.
My sources on the LNC
me that for some reason, LNC Secretary Steven
I. Givot intends to delay for several weeks the posting of the minutes of
this particular meeting on the LNC meeting archive website:
However, this is a
of what I think took place, based on what I have
learned from reliable sources.
1. The LNC chose not to
any vote on the Ethics Amendment, which means,
of course, that no one can determine where individual LNC members publicly
stand on the issue. However, a reliable source on the LNC advised me
that there were three LNC members who were fiercely leading the fight
against the Ethics Amendment behind the scenes before the meeting: Steve
Givot, Colorado, who is current LNC Secretary; Ken Bisson, Indiana, who
reputedly wants to be LNC Vice-Chairman in 2002; and Elias Israel,
Massachusetts, who reputedly wants to be LNC National Chairman in 2002....
See full texts at http://www.jacobghornberger.com
Minutes April 29-30, 1995 LNC meeting 29-30 April
1995 / Phoenix, Arizona
Regarding: Initiation of Arizona LP investigation.
Minutes [Anaheim] 14-15 August 1999 / Anaheim, California
Report from Richard Scharwz Region 5 Representative
Long and complete discussion of Arizona LP dispute and passing of below resolution.
"That the national party shall notify all dues-current national members
as of August 15, 1999
with AZ mailing addresses of the disaffiliation of the LP's Arizona affiliation, that the LNC is
soliciting applications for an Arizona affiliate, that the Chair and National Director will set a
deadline for receipt of such applications, that upon receipt of the applications all applicants will
be asked to submit a list of names and address of who should vote on affiliate preference, that
the national party will conduct that preference-type mail ballot of those members, and that the
results of that mail ballot will be presented to the LNC for consideration in selecting the new
See also LNC Minutes of November 1999
This is a timeline of
events, albeit through the eyes of an ALP
On Sat, 15 Jul 2000
EDT, RegistrLBT@aol.com wrote:
Dear Mike and Ernie:
The correct chronology was that they filed their Statement of
Organization FIRST, then they;
1) tried to embezzle our bank account, then
2) tried to proxy-pack our '95 Convention, in the name of reconciliation, then
3) sued us.
On Sat, 05 Aug 2000
-0700, Rick Tompkins/Kathy Harrer
<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: [relevant exceprts only]
.....As has been made clear many times, the record shows that Schmerl filed a new political party (with a slightly different name) with the AZ Sec. of state, received his own separate file number, sent a letter on his law office letterhead to our bank telling them to switch the account to his name, etc. etc. ad nauseam. (When we discovered the theft of the bank account, I personally went to the bank, read the riot act to the bank's branch manager, and they promptly fell all over themselves to correct their error, apparently fearing we might sue the bank.)
At the next state convention, their formation of a new party was recognized. The participants in the new party were barred from holding office in our party. This is evil? This is unusual? There was also a great deal of sentiment at that convention to bar some of them from our party as punishment for their fraudulent actions, but the actual action taken was no more than an acceptance of their defection....Rick Tompkins
* * * * *
1998 some of the LPofAZ's problems threatened to spill over into Utah.
So I made some inquiries. Following are the responses from two` in a
to know, John Buttrick and then national vice chair and fellow Utahn,
From: "John Buttrick"<email@example.com>
All: This is in response to Hugh's message set forth below. I have no
of the previous post referred to and I have no idea at all regarding
"bad situation" or being "taken to the statehouse (or the Big House) in
Let me state at the outset how I know what I know. I became highly active in the Arizona LP around early 1994 when I was coaxed into running for Governor. Before that time while I was nominally a state party member (as well as a national LP member) and attended some party functions, I really was pretty much out of the loop regarding the ins and outs of party infighting, triumphs and tragedies. Therefore, virtually everything I say about events before that time is hearsay.
Since early 1994, however, I have been very involved having attended every party convention, been the lawyer for the party (and its officers and certain other members) in all its lawsuits, have been a continuous member of the state executive committee, twice a delegate to the National LP Convention and twice a candidate (in 94 and presently). I know what I'm talking about from 94 to date.
Here's the overview of the situation: The ALP has been in continuous existence and recognized as an affiliate by the LP since the 70's I think. The ALP has a set of generally pedestrian by-laws and has recognized county organizations with minimal oversight.
The party does most of its business via an elected executive committee and state Chair. The Chair, other officers and the Executive committee are elected at annual state conventions. Qualifications for delegate status have varied somewhat over time, but generally involve having attended a previous convention, being a past contributor to the party, being a subscriber to the state newsletter, being a national party member and the like.
Sometime in the early 90's some sort of rift occurred between Rick Tompkins, who was state Chair until sometime in mid-1995, and a gentleman named Peter Schmerl. Schmerl is a resident of Tucson (which is in Pima County), a lawyer and was the Chair of the Pima County party. He also was on the state executive committee as recently as 1995. I have no knowledge of the nature of the problem between Schmerl and Tompkins, but I have the feeling it was one part personal and one part tactical (i.e. a difference of opinion regarding how the state party could best be developed). I don't believe the differences had much if anything to do with Libertarian ideology. In any event, by the time I appeared on the scene it was clear that these two didn't care for one another.
Here's where things turn surreal. One of the "tactical" disagreements between Schmerl and Tompkins involved the issue of how to organize the state party. As noted above, the party had long used a convention/election system for choosing state leaders (much like the national LP). The Arizona state statutes try to force political parties to organize via a precinct committeeman system whereby individuals run in elections for those posts and the committeemen subsequently meet to form County committees which in turn elect state representatives from among themselves and who then, in turn, meet at a state meeting to elect officers from among themselves.
It is an awkward system for small parties, very wasteful of taxpayer funds (since these senseless elections are publicly funded) and, most importantly to some, is arguably violative of the party's First Amendment rights of political association (See the National LP Platform at Article II, sec. 15). Schmerl, however, strongly supported conforming to the statutory system. Since the statute had (and has) never been enforced by the state the issue seemed to many to be little more than an interesting, but ultimately meaningless, theoretical dispute with no practical consequences. How wrong we were.
In April 1995, two Schmerl operatives showed up at the state convention with hundreds of invalid "proxies." The duo hoped to have the proxies recognized as valid and then take over the convention by casting those votes to oust the ALP leadership and then "recognize" another group as the "true" ALP. It seems that Scmerl had run a small slate of precinct committeemen candidates in Pima county in November 1994. He reasoned that only those individuals had been elected pursuant to the Arizona statutes and that, therefore only they were eligible to be state officers. In fact he went so far as to assert that an "organizing meeting " of the ALP had occurred in January 1995 in a restaurant booth where only those individuals could vote. Not surprisingly they had elected themselves. The folkos with the proxies at the state convention intended to turn over all the books, records and funds of the party to the rump group of "elected" committeemen. The convention delegates were upset to say the least.
The proxies (which were defective on their face) were dissallowed and the two provacateurs were expelled after they became repeatedly disruptive of the proceedings. The next thing that happened in 1995 was the first in a series of lawsuits initiated by Schmerl against the party and various officers, former officers, executive committee members, the secretary of state and the national LP. Although each suit and amendment has had its own inventive theory (including the notion that the party had failed to pay enough taxes to the IRS!), the one constant has been the repetition of the theory regarding precinct committeemen.
As you can imagine the lawsuits caused much consternation, particularly among the individual defendants, many of whom were impecunious and had never been involved in litigation before in their lives. I volunteered to defend the party.
The Tucson group has never attended any of the annual conventions since (in 1996, 1997 or 1998) despite the fact that if they showed up and voted they would no doubt have been able to nominate and elect members to the exectutive committee and perhaps even officers the old fashioned way. By the 1996 convention the delegates were so incensed by the lawsuits and the refusal of the Schmerlians to show up that they escalated matters by "banning" the lawsuit plaintiffs from the party. This, of course, only had the effect of further alienating the Tucsonians who then amended their lawsuit to add the "banning" as another so-called claim!
Without boring you with the procedural history, it is sufficient to say that the lawsuit against the national LP and many of the individuals was dismissed but it is still pending against the ALP and various former officers. The court denied a motion to declare the state statues unconstitutional and also refused to grant judgment for the plaintiffs who supposedly complied with the statute. We do not even have a trial date set and, of course, there will be endless appeals if we ever get past the trial.
All attempts at settlement have failed despite some very generous offers by the LNC and Steve Dasbach to facilitate a resolution. We have never even been able to get the parties into the same room to talk about their respective positions. There is virtually no communication between the Schmerl faction and the rest of the party and has been none for years. The result is that there is undoubtedly a whole group of new Libertarians in Tucson who know nothing of the state party and what it is trying to accomplish. In my view, the entire mess is a stupendous waste of time and effort. It may take years for the wounds to heal.
A few corrections to Hugh's post: Clark was never hired as Executive Director. She was state chair, an unpaid elected position. for less than a year between mid-1995 and 2/4/96. I doubt her ascendency had any effect on the lawsuit or the schism. She was virtually unknown in Tucson.
Also, I'm not sure what Hugh means about Harry Browne's candidacy. Tompkins ran against Browne, but that, of course, was his right. As one might expect, most delegates from Arizona supported Rick at the convention, but I doubt they made Harry's life "miserable." In any event, after the convention Browne was certainly not hurt by the ALP.
In fact, I filed a lawsuit on behalf of the ALP to get Browne on the ballot in Arizona (we won). Browne's percentage in Arizona was the highest he received in any state. I was personally proud to have helped out the Browne campaign in arranging media for him on his only campaign stop here in 1996.
I would be interested in knowing what new catastrophe is being talked about now. If someone could send me the original posting I would be glad to respond or to answer any additional questions anyone might have. Thanks for your interest in Arizona!!
Author: "Hugh A. Butler"
Pima County (Tuscon) Libertarians have a reputation for being ambitious
and capable - and for sharing the Arizona tendency for rivalry with the
Maricopa (Phoenix) party to the north. Peter Scmerl, Pima County
Chair (then and possibly now), has pressed the case to the
that the state party is illegitimate using a wide variety of tactics
filings, which he, as an attorney, seems to perform pro bono.
Tompkins, as state chair, hired Tamara Clark (ex of Nevada candidacy fame) as Executive Director. This further inflamed the already strained relationships. The national party under Steve Dasbach insisted that Tompkins and the Maricopa group were the legitimate, single recognized continuous inheritor of our affiliation. This, despite the irony of having that group doing their best to make the national party officers miserable on issues such as Harry Browne's candidacy, UMP, the pledge, and so forth.
One or two individuals from Arizona challenged me on national television to "reveal the true cash balance" of the Party during our 1996 convention. I approached them afterward to provide further information. They seemed more interested in raising a ruckus than unearthing my accountancy skills.
John Buttrick, a friend of many or most of the players, is running a bang-up race in Phoenix and is currently on the LNC as an at-large representative. John has found himself answering Schmerl's filings with the government and defending the national party and the state party through the years.
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
STATE OF ARIZONA
THE ARIZONA LIBERTARIAN
ELIZABETH A. BRANDENBURG-ANDREASEN;
ERNEST HANCOCK; THE ARIZONA DEMOCRATIC PARTY; and THE ARIZONA REPUBLICAN
GALLANT; and THE ARIZONA LIBERTARIAN PARTY, INC.,
1 CA-CV 00-0335
O P I N I O N
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County
Cause No. CV 1999-03904
The Honorable Robert D. Myers, Judge
AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED IN PART
BROWN & BAIN, P.A.
by John A. Buttrick
Attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellees,
Cross Appellants Arizona Libertarian Party
KIMERER & LAVELLE,
by Thomas V. Rawles
Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee,
Cross Appellant Hancock
GOODWIN RAUP, P.C.
by Marty Harper
Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee,
Cross Appellant Arizona Democratic Party
MARTINEZ & CURTIS
by Joseph F. Abate
by Hugh L. Hallman
Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee,
Cross Appellant Arizona Republican Party
David T. Hardy Tucson
Attorney for Defendants-Appellants,
B E R C H, Judge
1 In this opinion, we address a challenge by the Arizona Libertarian Party and two of its leaders, the Arizona Democratic Party, and the Arizona Republican Party to the constitutionality of statutes governing the selection of some internal party leaders.
See Ariz. Rev. Stat.
§§ 16-824 to -828 (1996). We affirm the trial court’s ruling
that these statutes are
constitutional, but reverse that portion of the judgment holding that the Libertarian Party did not need to comply with the statutory process.
<<<ACTUAL OPINION DELETD>>>
In light of the foregoing, we conclude that A.R.S. §§ 16- 824 to -828 do not impermissibly burden the First Amendment rights of political parties in Arizona. We therefore affirm the judgment upholding the constitutionality of A.R.S. §§ 16-824 to -828. We reverse that portion of the judgment suggesting that any party could, with impunity, ignore existing and presumptively constitutional Arizona law.
REBECCA WHITE BERCH,
JEFFERSON L. LANKFORD, Judge
E. G. NOYES, JR., Judge
Tue, 13 Feb 1996 07:29:44 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: A FEW FACTS
We seem to operate in two different worlds, when it comes to our ideas of what practical Libertarianism means. Where I come from, we're proud of folks who are willing to assume the personal risks involved in defying the absurd licensing and regulatory tyranny of government at any level, in order to demonstrate that peaceful, honorable commerce requires no government seal of approval. But you seem to view fraternizing with such real-life Libertarians as "patronizing the despicable black market."
Around the country in many states I've visited - from Massachusetts to Nevada, and Minnesota to Virginia - dedicated party chairs, though they may not be overjoyed about it, often work hard to draw 35 or 40 activists to a state convention. We work with what we've got, and I'm very proud of what many, many of those chairs *have* accomplished. Yet you say any state that turns out as few as 50 members for its convention "deserves to be taken over" by single-issue, anti-abortion zealots.
I have always figured anyone elected to chair even one state party - I have been elected state chairman in both Nevada and Arizona within the past five years - has demonstrated considerable character, integrity and talent to the people who know him or her best. That doesn't mean they're infallible, but I do figure I owe it to such a person to contact them and hear them out, before I publicly blast that person as a thief, a coward, and a felon, without any evidence except hearsay. Apparently your sources of information are so infallible, that you feel no need to proceed with any such caution.
I'm taking the time to respond to your personal attack on me because you seem to be an intelligent person. Since I don't believe we've ever met, I can only believe you've heard third-hand reports from people hostile to me, or my politics. They - and you - have every right to criticize and oppose my ideas about party strategy, of course. Yet you choose to copy those whose only goal seems to be to hurt me and my family personally, and to tar with the same broad brush my friends and those who have trusted me with their overwhelming vote to chair the Arizona party.
Here are a few facts.
By the winter of 1994, mine was a household name in much of Nevada. Let me just name a few of the projects that made the front pages of the daily newspapers there, not just once, but over and over:
I participated in - eventually becoming vice chairman of the campaign - the first referendum ever in the country that put the question of abortion choice to a vote of the people. Not only did I help organize the successful statewide Nevada petition drive (1989-1991), but we also faced highly active opposition from "Operation Rescue," with clinic blockades almost every weekend for a year. So, we launched the lawsuit that also became the first ever in the country to stop Operation Rescue and others from blocking the clinics by making the blockers pay restitution to the clinics each and every time they walked onto their property.
Finally, the voters of Nevada had to cast ballots on our referendum in two successive elections, since we were amending the state constitution. This was no "theoretical" classoom exercise. It was down-and-dirty politics, with the other side slinging all the dirt. Yet we won with 84 percent of the vote. No one can be obliged to have an abortion in Nevada today because of our efforts. I consider this a 100 percent victory for the freedom of choice ... for liberty.
Then there was the business Employee Head Tax (a tax levied against business owners, penalizing them for each new hire, though with a "cap" which benefitted the state's largest employers, the hotel-casinos - thus falling heaviest on small businesses.) From the first months the Democratic governor proposed this to the Democratic Legislature, I was the chair of Nevadans for Lower Taxes, an organization of small business owners. We did a petition drive to submit the tax to a vote and attempt to repeal it, which was front page news. So, the state Department of Motor Vehicles decided to say we couldn't petition at their buildings. We sued, and that became front page news, again.
Then, the patronage-clogged county Elections department "had some trouble" processing our signatures. When people wanted to sign our petitions but it turned out they weren't registered voters, we registered them and *then* had them sign. But the Elections departments "forgot" to enter most of the new voter registrations into the computer until after the deadline for validating our signatures. These are the kind of tactics they used to keep the people from voting on that very damaging tax, which was later revamped but is still in effect. More front page news, very favorable to our efforts, exposing more typical government corruption and/or incompetence.
Then there was my state Senate race in 1992, in which I became the first Libertarian ever to win the endorsement of the state's largest newspaper (the Las Vegas Review-Journal, circ. 160,000), not to mention the first Libertarian ever endorsed for such a race by the Chamber of Commerce. I also interviewed for and received endorsements from 18 other organizations. It made big news that a Libertarian was doing so well. Then, starting the very day after the election, there was the front page in the Las Vegas Sun (the Democratic daily) about what a great candidate I had been and about how there might have been some "problems" in the election.
"Problems"? The fraud had many aspects. Start with the stories about all the candidates who were going to challange the results - several Republicans as well as me. (Although midday exit polling on election day - admittedly based on small samples - reported me ahead, and although the first live network affiliate TV report of the just-opened absentee ballots announced me leading 56-44 in a two-way race, the computers "had to be shut down" for more than an hour just after counting started. When they came up again, I was losing 56-44, a mirror-image reversal which turned out to be the final official tally.)
Then there were all the stories about how I and some of the other candidates were in the election department every day finding all kinds of problems with how they processed the absentee ballots. Then there were the stories about the grand juries that the state Legislature requested to look into the election problems. The county Registrar of Voters was demoted, then fired. I was appointed to a committee to search for a new registrar - and I was clearly identified as a Libertarian in all these stories. Then there were all the followup stories about how the election laws needed to be changed, and about how I lobbied to reduce the requirement for LP ballot access to only 1 percent of the vote total in any statewide race - probably a vain attempt to "buy me off" and get me to shut up, but a long-term benefit to the party for which they never extracted any such promise from me.
This type of heavy news coverage went on until about June of 1993 - all educating people about the problems facing Libertarian candidates who try to break in, not a word of it critical of the LP or its message.
Then, in September of 1993 I became front page news again, for reasons I hope none of you ever have to go through. I lost my pre-school aged son in an auto accident that happened in my front yard. The media was in my front yard even before some of the rescue crews arrived. They followed us to the hospital, where they filmed my devastated family saying goodbye to my young son because they thought it was big news. Because of my son's death I was in the news for about six months, with new issues arising because my husband and I wanted to donate our son's organs but the hospital didn't bother to ask until it was too late. I helped form a group that changed how the county hospital handled families after the death of a child. It was a volunteer group that got a lot of press. I still do such work here in Arizona on a volunteer basis. I'm glad I've been able to help others in similar straits, because - believe me - no one who hasn't been through it can have any idea how devastating this is.
Unfortunately, we are not a wealthy family. We are working class. Because of the bills arising from my son's death (Did you know they bill you thousands of dollars for the surgical staff, even if they never leave their homes? I didn't know that. But they do.) we were forced to file a medical bankruptcy. You see, our homeowners' insurance would not cover the bills because it happened on our own property, and my husband's work coverage wouldn't cover it for the same reason. We'd been in the process of refinancing the home we owned at this time, but of course we ran out of time to do that and settle our other debts, so we lost the house and pretty much everything else.
So that brings us up to about the time that you say I committed fraud - the year leading up to the 1994 election. Just by the amount of media that has been involved, don't you think that if I had really stolen any money - if anyone and even *accused* me of stealing any money - it would have been news? Has anyone ever shown you such a news clipping? Of course not. No charges of theft or fraud were ever reported, because there NEVER WERE ANY - have never been any, except those invented by a few sleazy Internet back-biters, usually operating under psudonyms, who had apparently long harbored some kind of jealousy because of all the media I attracted in Southern Nevada without "paying my dues" for as long as they had, or because I don't have the kind of academic credentials that they felt would make me welcome in the kind of late-night graduate economics beerhall discussions to which they apparently felt party activism should be limited. Yes, they apparently saw my circumstances in 1994 as a chance to finally "bring me down to size." And they continue to do so at every opportunity, even now. This is the crowd you are helping.
My run for a 1994 office in Nevada was aborted. I started campaigns for two different offices in turn, but the Republicans and Democrats had become much more savvy about blocking me from another two-way race, shifting candidates into races against me at the last minute before candidate registration closed, to create three and ever four-way races which I considered unwinnable - a waste of contributors' money. This, combined with our financial straits, meant that by September of 1994 I was already in Arizona, where that affiliate party offered me a much-needed temporary salary to manage a number of very strong campaigns.
What I did was refuse to provide detailed information on my 1994 Nevada vendors to the National Committee. That's what I was censured for. So far as I know, I'm the only candidate in the history of the party who's ever been asked for such information. I might speculate as to why I was the only one, but I'm sure you would brand anything I could say "paranoia."
I did not steal any money. Any of us who have been active in this party for a number of years know there are candidates who help support their lifestyles by virtually "perpetual" fund-raising and campaigning. The kind of money that they might have trouble accounting for - if anyone ever asked, which no one ever does - could easily be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. To accuse me of embezzling or "stealing" $4,500, with no evidence - when even those who voted to censure me have volunteered that there was never any such charge - is real manly of you, Mr. Woolsey, sitting a safe 3,000 miles away, not even having bothered to check the basic facts, or asked to see any written evidence.
In hindsight, should I have not even considered campaigning on my own in 1994, so soon after my son's death and during the trauma of losing our home, etc.? Probably. Was I scattered and poorly organized, finally moving in borrowed vehicles to another state where I and my remaining small children,and my husband had to sleep on matresses on the floor of borrowed quarters for the first few days until my husband could find work and a new house? Yes, I'm sure I was.
Now that I see others going through that first year after such a tragedy, practically sleepwalking, I'm a lot more knowledgable about what they're going through, and I advise them not to launch any new ventures for at least a year. Judging from what I see now in my volunteer work, we count ourselves lucky we're still married, and functional as a family for our remaining two young children. But you don't care about any of this, do you? As long as you see a chance to take a cheap shot at someone who stands in the way of Harry Browne walking down the aisle to a unanimous, unopposed coronation, because she dares to ask some questions about his principles, tactics, devotion to keeping promises, and chameleonlike ability to "adapt" his strategies and tax proposals on demand?
You have a choice, Mr. Woolsey. You can continue to call me all kinds of horrible things. Or you can find out what I am about. It might just be that I am a great activist. That I don't take shit from outside the party or inside, that if I see things going on inside the party that I believe are wrong I will stand up and point them out.
All of this started because a couple of guys in Nevada who liked to call themselves libertarians, don't like me. I used to beat their faction when it came to electing officers, choosing candidates ... the standard stuff. So, although they scoot like rabbits whenever I'm around, and decline to confront me in person, they've found the Internet a wonderful place from which to take pot-shots, to spread rumors that I stole money, and that I lie.
Then, although I sit quietly for months at a time and take this stuff, watching it hurt my family and my friends as well, vainly hoping, like any rape or stalking victim might hope, that it'll fade away and be over with if I'm just strong enough to shut up and take it, when I *do* finally dare to try to set the record straight, any attempt to explain the motives of those who spread these lies is dismissed as "paranoia."
How would you like it if the tables were turned, Mr. Woolsey? How would you like it if you were accused of a crime based on no evidence whatsoever, and when you tried to point out why someone might be lying about that, they said "Hmm, how sad, he's obviously delusional and mentally ill as well. ..." Sound like something out of a totalitarian script to you? How could you "win," at that point?
Is it "paranoid" to believe those who promote Mr. Browne might have turned my vendors in to government agencies for doing business without a license, if they had acquired that list? Steve Dasbach says Mr. Browne's campaign manger is Michael Emerling Cloud of Nevada, although they won't admit even that. Why, I wonder? Possibly because Michael Emerling Cloud turned in his own candidate, Andre Marrou, to the Federal Elections Commission in 1992? Mr. Browne's own fall campaign mailers put Mr. Emerling Cloud in Tuscon last August, "helping" the Schmerl-Kerschen forces, at precisely the time they were drafting their lawsuit in which they attempted to turn in every officer of this Arizona affiliate party to the IRS for not filing some obscure tax form. In a sworn deposition, now public, co-plaintiff Mr. Kerschen has since admitted he didn't know what that tax form was, either, but that the main benefit he saw in joining this suit was the chance it gave him to broadcast these "charges" all over the nets, specifically to "hurt Rick and Tamara," specifically to make it harder for us to raise money for Rick Tompkins' current presidential nomination campaign against Harry Browne, whom Mr. Kerschen vocally supports.
All this has been documented. But when we document it, this is taken as evidence that we're "paranoid." Turn in fellow Libertarians to a government agency? Absurd!
Am I "paranoid" to believe every staffer at the LP national headquarters is on the Harry Browne payroll? You can find the expenditures listed in Mr. Browne's own FEC reports. Am I "paranoid" about the fact that I first requested the 1993 Salt Lake City delegate list from that headquarters seven months ago - in label form for a Tompkins fund-raising mailing - and that it finally arrived this week, seven months later, after repeated requests, on a disc and not in label form, with a note that we're "not allowed" to use it for fund-raising?
No, there can't be any conflict of interest at that headquarters. Only us paranoid nuts could imagine such a thing! God forbid - after Harry Browne's 18-month head start, during which he tried to drain every penny he could from this party's usual donors, with promises that he was going to establish a residence in New Hampshire and launch a huge media campaign there with their money prior to the Feb. 20 primary - that we should use party lists for fund-raising, to perhaps raise $40,000 to Harry Browne's $400,000, to give this party an honest campaign and open debate on its presidential nomination.
Well, Mr. Woolsey, if you are dumb enough to believe this kind of crap about an activist who up until a year ago was really well respected in this party, and who has continued to be well respected by those who work with me on a regular basis, it may well be your loss. First, because this is *your* party whose nomination they want to make a fait accompli, without anyone allowed to debate or raise any serious questions. But second, because I am good at what I do, and someday it may be you and your party who might need my help.