Steve G.

So, what happened at the LP of Massachusetts meeting?

In Libertarian on May 31, 2008 at 10:00 am

The following notice from George Phillies appears at http://www.lpmass.org/

What Do You Think? – Message From the Chair

Fellow Libertarians!

The Libertarian Party National Convention has nominated Bob Barr to be our Presidential candidate.

As state chair of LP of Massachusetts, I am now in a rather difficult position. Not ten years ago, Bob Barr tried to persuade the army to ban Wicca services from fields near Fort Hood. He also, I am told by Art Torrey, referred to Art’s religion as ‘bogus’.

I am in the same position as a State Chair who has a majority-African-American State Committee, and whose Presidential candidate was, ten years ago, a Grand Dragon of the KKK who spent his time trying to persuade storeowners not to rent out their storefronts to African-American churches.

Such a history is not something that you can talk your way out from.

What is your advice?

I have already been presented with a request for a Special State Convention as found in our State Party ByLaws to consult with the Party Membership.

The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire is already I gather having a special state convention to deal with the issue.

I of course welcome your advice on the matter. Please note that the State Party at the moment has planned to spend $11,250 to put a Presidential and US Senate candidate on the ballot.

Your state committee will be meeting this Thursday at 7:30 PM at my home, 48 Hancock Hill Drive, Worcester MA 01609. Members whose dues are current of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts are welcome to attend. Please call in advance 508 754 1859 to tell me how much soda and iced tea to have on hand. Almost without exception, if you are such a person you received the last issue of the newsletter.

George Phillies
508 754 1859

Although I am not a Member whose dues are current of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, I am in the process of circulating a petition to put the LPMA presidential ticket, electors, and Senatorial candidate on the ballot.

It so happens that I was at this very meeting. In addition to the LPMA ballot access petition, prior to going to the LP National Convention in Denver, I was also petitioning to put the End the Income Tax and Marijuana Decrim ballot questions before the voters.

When I got back from Denver, I caught a ride from Carol McMahon, LPMA Political Facilitator, who was nice enough to let me crash a couple of nights on her couch (thanks, Carol!). Carol and I went up to Worcester, Mass, to get paid for our work on the two ballot questions, which had gathered sufficient signatures to no longer require our services while we were away in Denver.

Right after that came the aforementioned gathering at Dr. Phillies’ place of residence. Since Ms. McMahon was giving me a ride, and no one voiced any objections, I went ahead and participated in the LPMA State Committee meeting, other than for the purpose of voting, for which I was not eligible.

I took no notes, so the following is from memory; please forgive and correct any errors that may result.

All (or at the very least, almost all) who were gathered expressed great disappointment with the presidential ticket choice of the delegates at the national convention. There was a lengthy and contentious discussion as to what, if anything, the LPMA could or should do about it.

Contrary to this report at IPR, the vote against having a special state convention was far from unanimous, and came after a long and complicated discussion.

The report at IPR (which I have still not received a log-in for, BTW) was brough to my attention by the following comment:

George Phillies Says:

May 31, 2008 at 4:44 am edit

I shall first congratulate my good friend Jake Porter on his election to the Libertarian National Committee.

I shall now hijack the thread to note that Austin Cassidy’s new blog, whose web interface is so fractious I cannot log into it, has posted a report on a Massachusetts Libertarian meeting last night. The report is from someone who was not at the meeting. The report bears absolutely no semblance to reality, down to not getting right the name of the group that met.

The report’s author appears to be the same person who keeps circulating reports that I was attacked at the National Convention by an armed gunman.

If I had been contacted as State Chair, I would have been happy to offer corrections–make that ’suggest a total replacement for the report’. I wasn’t.

This moved up the schedule of my plan to issue this write-up of the LPMA State Committee meeting in Worcester.

Anyway, returning to our high Shakesperean drama:

Several of those assembled were also among the electors lsited on the petition. They all agreed to remain listed on the petition, although Mr. Torrey for one made it clear that in the highly unlikely event that he is actually a member of the College of Electors (that is, if Barr carries a plurality of Massachusetts votes for president), he would not feel bound to vote for Bob Barr. Carol was charged with finding out if the willingness to remain listed also held true of those electors not present.

Dr. Phillies made it clear that even if the State Committee voted to hold a Special State Convention, LP National would still draw up new nomination papers, with a new slate of electors loyal to Mr. Barr, and would quickly gather sufficient signatures to place Mr. Barr on the ballot here through the services of a local petition company. Furthermore, this new nomination paper might not include US Senate candidate Robert Underwood, and the LPMA would not have enough time and/or money to place any other presidential slate on the ballot. The possible threat of a lawsuit by the LNC Inc. against the individual members of the unincorporated LPMA State Committee was also broached.

Another option was discussed at length, to have a state convention for the purpose of such things as discussing a resolution of censure against the national ticket, but with the stipulation that the LPMA would not do anything to jeopardize the status of the petition which has already been circulating and has somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 or 6,000 signatures.

At the end, after said lengthy and contentious discussion and several rounds of voting on various motions, it was agreed that at this time the LPMA would not plan a formal special convention, but would instead plan an informal party at George’s house, possibly for the purpose of an extended two-minute hate against the dastardly Mr. Barr, or, perhaps alternatively, for soda, crumpets, and awed admiration of Professor Phillies’ impressive collection of board games.

In other news, one person who had made plans to circulate the petition before Mr. Barr’s nomination (the aforementioned Mr. Torrey) thought better of it, while the remaining three individual contractors all decided to go ahead and keep circulating, even though we all were also delegates who voted against Mr. Barr’s nomination. Not that it really matters, since the vast bulk of the signatures is being gathered by the previously referred to petition company in any case. Additionally, one or more donors to the petition drive cancelled their pledges, leaving the state party far shy of its previous commitment to the cost of the drive.

  1. He also, I am told by Art Torrey, referred to Art’s religion as ‘bogus’.

    Well sure, but how does that distinguish it from any other religion?

    I keed! I keed!

  2. I heard at IPR that the NHLP and AZLP might disaffiliate and nominate someone else. If they do, who would they nominate? Mary Ruwart? L. Neil Smith?

  3. Bob Barf was recently a member of the KKK?

    Interesting.

  4. I heard at IPR that the NHLP and AZLP might disaffiliate and nominate someone else. If they do, who would they nominate? Mary Ruwart? L. Neil Smith?

    L. Neil Smith sounds much more plausible than Mary Ruwart, since Ms. Ruwart was just elected to the LNC.

    There was some discussion at the meeting of what other states may have issues with putting Mr. Barr on the ballot.

    NH has already circulated, and I believe completed (I could be wrong on the second part, however) a petition to put George Phillies on the ballot. LP National is discussing, or perhaps already pursuing, both the legal avenue (suing the state to allow substitution) and a separate petition for Barr-Root.

    I’m unaware of any plans AZ has, but I know several people on their committee, and I’ll see what’s up with that.

    At least one prominent member of the NM LP has publicly argued that their state party should not put any presidential candidate on the ballot at all.

    I have heard (I no longer remember where) that Gerhardt Langguth plans to put Daniel Imperato on the Arkansas ballot, since he is the state chair – and, possibly, only active member – of the Arkansas LP, and has control of the petitions Bob and I gathered last year.

    I also received this email from Oregon for Steve Kubby, *before* the Denver convention. I do not know what it means.

    “Dear Presidential Candidate:

    I want to again, invite you to come to the Oregon nominating convention to be held June 1st in Salem Oregon.

    One of our members has offered to pay for the lodging of the Presidential nominee. We will give top speaking time to the presidential and vice-presidential nominees.

    Please let us know if you plan to attend.

    Thank you,
    Fred Jabin
    Secretary
    Libertarian Party of Oregon. “

  5. Bob Barf was recently a member of the KKK?

    Interesting.

    Not to my knowledge. However, he did address the White Citizens Council, and recently made a rather bizarre defense of the persecution of Genarlow Wilson.

    Wilson v. State was a Georgia court case brought about to appeal the aggravated child molestation conviction of Genarlow Wilson (born April 8, 1986).

    Wilson had been convicted of aggravated child molestation because, at the age of seventeen, he had engaged in oral sex with a consenting fifteen-year-old at a New Year’s Eve party. Wilson was African American and the fifteen-year-old was white.

    At the time of his conviction, provisions for similarity in age that allowed underage consent to be taken into account were only applicable to vaginal sex. Because the case involved oral sex the consent of the girl was not at that time legally relevant.

    On October 26, 2007, the Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that Wilson’s sentence was cruel and unusual (“grossly disproportionate”). He was released later that day, after serving over 2 years of his 10 year prison sentence in the Al Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia.

    http://halfricanrevolution.blogspot.com/2007/07/republican-bob-barr-distributing-child.html

    Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr has penned an editorial lamenting the outspoken support for Genarlow Wilson, and defending Georgia DA David McDade’s decision to release a videotape of underage teens having sex, without even bothering to obscure the identities of individuals not involved in the case.

  6. Mike,

    Any interest in cross-posting your stuff to LFV yet, other than just comments? We’re getting about 2,000 hits a day now.

  7. Everyone who already has a login: I just pulled my latest comment out of akismet spam, and found many other non-spam comments there.

    Please look through akismet spam whenever you can to pull out legitimate comments.

  8. Not to my knowledge.

    It’s in your post.

  9. It’s in your post.

    Read more carefully.

    I am in the same position as a State Chair who has a majority-African-American State Committee, and whose Presidential candidate was, ten years ago, a Grand Dragon of the KKK who spent his time trying to persuade storeowners not to rent out their storefronts to African-American churches.

    George was drawing an analogy, not making claims about facts not, to my knowledge, in evidence regarding Congressman Barr.

  10. Who is he referring to then?

  11. Who is he referring to then?

    LOL. Since I know you are not in fact stupid, and know full well what an analogy is, I’ll put it back in your court.

    Which state LP committee has a voting majority of African Americans?

  12. paulie – Do you have an account at IPR? You have to create your account yourself.

  13. My source says Sean Haugh reports the electors met and unanimously agreed to put Barr/Root on the ballot.

  14. […] Paulie Cannoli has an in-depth report at Last Free […]

  15. paulie – Do you have an account at IPR? You have to create your account yourself.

    Tried to. Didn’t work.

    My source says Sean Haugh reports the electors met and unanimously agreed to put Barr/Root on the ballot.

    Not exactly. The state committee met, and many of them were electors as well. All agreed to remain on the petition. None, as far as I could tell, were happy with the choice of Mr. Barr as our nominee, and one went so far as to say he would not be bound to vote for Mr. Barr in the highly unlikely event that he actually goes to the College of Electors, and would also cancel his previous plans to circulate the petition.

    The decision whether or not to have a special state convention was much more involved, and at times seemed close. As I mentioned, a good chunk of the pledges to fund the state’s end of the cost of paying us was also withdrawn.

    Carol did tell Sean that she anticipated no objection to remaining on the petition from the remaining electors who were not at the state committee meeting.

  16. G.E.,

    Be so kind as to phone me 508 754 1859. I would be happy to talk.

    The report from your source, who may or may not have spoken to Sean Haugh before writing it, is total and complete nonsense. We have not had a meeting of the Electors. There is no plan to have a meeting of the MA electors at this time. The MA electors have not yet all agreed to anything. We are still tracking down the last elector to determine if he or she withdrew.

    We did not have a meeting of our “Executive Committee”, either. Our State Committee does not thank heavens have an Executive Committee.

    Mind you, there was the point in our meeting Thursday in which one of my members indicated that if I had allowed a certain condition to come to pass, she or he would strangle me, and I agreed that if that happened that I would help.

    George

  17. While you’re at it, give me a call too. My number is in the contact info on my facebook.

  18. Which state LP committee has a voting majority of African Americans?

    If it is an LP chair his talking about, then the only Prez candidate for the LP is Barf.

  19. If he is talking about the LP prez candidate 10 years ago, that was Ron Paul wasn’t it? I don’t believe he was a member of the KKK…

  20. Once again, Mike Nelson displays double standards.

    Ron Paul’s racist rants for profit are documented — yet it couldn’t be Dr. Ronnie who is the bad boy, because Mikey likes him. He really likes him!

  21. Ron Paul’s racist rants for profit are documented

    Prove it.

  22. “I am in the same position as a State Chair who has a majority-African-American State Committee”

    That is a hypothetical analogy, deployed to make the point clearer to most readers. I could have said

    “I am in the same position as the hypothetical State Chair who has a majority-African-American State Committee”

    but the change would not have helped the seriously unclear people.

  23. I am the “infamous” Arthur Torrey (note proper spelling of name) I am currently remaining as an elector, with NO current intention of voting for Barr in the unlikely event that he carries Mass. so that I would be called on to serve in the electoral college. This could be changed if Barr chooses, but it would require more from him than just verbal B.S. and weasel worded statements.

    I am NOT the party chair, nor am I the only member of the LPMA State Committee – I can NOT single handedly refuse to place Barr on the ballot, call special state conventions, etc. I am still in favor of such actions to some degree, but if I am outvoted at the SC meeting, it doesn’t happen. Currently as mentioned in some of the earlier comments, we will be having a gathering at George’s home to further discuss the desire for a special convention (see the LPMA website for details) I will be at the party, and urge the attendees to call for a State Convention to express our unhappiness with Barr / Root, and possibly to investigate affiliating with groups other than the LNC.

    I am NOT withdrawing as an elector because doing so would (under Mass. Law) cancel all the petitioning we have done to date, which would have the effect of damaging the Bob Underwood for US Senate campaign. Essentially I have been convinced that there is no viable path to keeping Barr from appearing on the MA ballot, so I am no longer pushing in that direction, much as I would like it. (BTW I spoke with L. Neil Smith in Denver, and he says he would be honored to be placed on the ballot in place of Barr as long as it didn’t cost him money or require him to travel – I will probably write him and Vin S. in on my general election ballot in November, I won’t vote for Barr at any rate…(LNS would probably also be my (unlikely) electoral vote)

    As to specifics…

    Barr’s ACTIONS regarding Wicca, and attempting to prevent military Pagans from being able to practice on base I find unforgiveably offensive. That I am Pagan myself makes it more personal, but if he had *merely* said he felt my religion wasn’t valid I could forgive it – opinions are like anal openings; everybody has one, myself included! However he went PAST the acceptable point when he decided that the 1st Amendment should only apply to religions he approved of… Given that he has attempted to HARM the Pagan community, the reparation I would require is a public pledge to order the military as CIC to make reasonable accomodations for all faiths, including minority / unpopular religions.

    I have multiple relatives and friends that are gay – I couldn’t look them in the face and tell them I supported the AUTHOR of the “Defense of Marriage Act” – especially when Barr’s response is only to offer to try and repeal the Federal portion, leaving it as a “State’s Rights” issue, just like “separate but (un)equal” prior to Brown vs. Board of Education – Barr apparently has never heard of equality under the law, or full faith and credit… Given his HARM to the GBLT community, I would insist on reparations being a PUBLIC pledge to work for the ENTIRE repeal of DOMA, and to work towards changing “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” to “Don’t Ask, Don’t CARE” (with appropriate changes to the UCMJ)

    Given his funding of Republican Candidates with Libertarian opponents WHILE A SITTING LNC MEMBER, I would expect the corresponding reparation to be very generous donations to the campaigns of Libertarians, along with visible and consistent support of local candidates at any appearances he makes (at least if those local candidates are willing to be seen with him…)

    I could go on down the list of Barr’s problems but I’m running low on space, suffice to say there are plenty, in just about every area I care about he is negative.

    I have been an active LP member for over 26 years, Barr is the FIRST candidate I absolutely can’t support given his current record. I don’t consider this “faithless” – I pledged to support Libertarians, and IMHO Barr doesn’t deserve the title – if he starts BEING a Libertarian I might be persuaded to reconsider…

    Arthur Torrey
    LPMA State Committee
    Potential Presidential Elector (not for Barr)
    Elected Libertarian (Town Meeting, Billerica)

  24. Off topic, but so that I can have a historical understanding, what exactly were libertarians upset about Harry Browne in 2000 that led L. Neil Smith/Vin Suprynowicz to be on the Arizona ballot in the first place? I know that Bumper complained about Browne’s practices during the 1996 campaign, but were there any accusations of Browne not being libertarian enough?

  25. I wish I knew. That was around the time that I first joined. I wasn’t real active online either at that point.

    Hopefully Knapp or George could answer this.

  26. Sorry for the excessive questioning, but does anyone know what the chances are that the CALP might nominate someone else?

  27. Arthur Torrey – thank you.

  28. Off topic, but so that I can have a historical understanding, what exactly were libertarians upset about Harry Browne in 2000 that led L. Neil Smith/Vin Suprynowicz to be on the Arizona ballot in the first place? I know that Bumper complained about Browne’s practices during the 1996 campaign, but were there any accusations of Browne not being libertarian enough?

    That may have contributed, but it had more to do with an internal LP feud in Arizona that the LNC stupidly chose the wrong side in. One faction in Arizona was recognized by the LNC as its Arizona affiliate; the other side was recognized by the state and had ballot access. Since the side with ballot access wasn’t recognized by national, it understably felt no obligation to put national’s candidate on the ballot. They invited Harry Browne to come to AZ and make his case for why he should be their candidate, but he declined, so they went with their own candidates.

  29. And I presume that the LNC-backed faction in Arizona regained ballot access between 2000 and 2004, or did they simply choose to nominate Badnarik/Campagna on their own?

  30. I talked to an officer of the AZ LP. He said they have no plans to repeat 2000. They will be putting Barr-Root on the ballot. He also thought the 2000 decision to run a candidate other than the national one was a disaster for the AZLP and that he opposed anyone involved with that decision having any office in the state party.

    By the way, he wore anti-Barr buttons all weekend long in Denver, and distributed them, and his girlfriend came to Denver specifically to oppose Barr.

  31. Sorry for the excessive questioning, but does anyone know what the chances are that the CALP might nominate someone else?

    0%

  32. “Hugh Jass Asks: Off topic, but so that I can have a historical understanding, what exactly were libertarians upset about Harry Browne in 2000 that led L. Neil Smith/Vin Suprynowicz to be on the Arizona ballot in the first place?”

    The answer is in my book Funding Liberty available from http://3mpub.com/phillies . You are looking for Chapter 17.
    You may like some of my other books, too.

    However, I actually do not know why the Libertarian National Committee was so upset with the Libertarian Party of Arizona that they disaffiliated them, prior to our national convention, and refused to seat their delegates, preferring to seat instead a group that had no ballot access.

  33. For Mike Nelson…

    Ron Paul’s racist newsletters…

    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca

  34. This is very interesting reading.

    I am of two minds about not putting Barr on the ballot. One mind says that we need to have someone there, and the other (admittedly Pagan-biased) mind says that’s like putting Hitler on. The first mind then jumps in saying that I have at least two Pagan-Libertarian friends (one of whom is Southern VC for my county) who are Barr partisan. The second then answers that they are looking past Fort Hood, perhaps short-sightedly.

    I just hope my darn sanity remains partially intact.

    Personally, I’m going to stay as far out of the Presidential stuff as possible,

    On (hopefully) a different note, for those of you who are Pagan/Neo-Pagan, would you support the idea of a Neopagan Caucus?

  35. “Sorry for the excessive questioning, but does anyone know what the chances are that the CALP might nominate someone else?

    0%”

    that’s what I thought. However, I was holding out some hope that I might actually be able to vote for a libertarian.

    Also, thank you, Dr. Phillies.

  36. Interestingly enough, there is absolutely nothing in the California Bylaws about Electors at all.

    That means that such a decision falls under the purview of the state Executive Committee, but exactly what would be done appears to be an open question.

    However, Bylaw 22, Section 3 indicates who CA will have on the ballot, and unfortunately, it’s Barr:

    Bylaw 22: PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY

    Section 3:
    The candidates nominated for President and Vice President by the Libertarian Party’s national convention shall appear on the California general election ballot as the Libertarian Party’s nominees for those offices, regardless of the primary results.

    This raises an interesting situation: Barr is going to be on the CA ballot, but there is no requirement for LPCA electors to vote for him.

    Looks like I need to have some conversations on this one…

  37. Yeah especially since we’re on the short list of people who K. et al. call when in a jam….

    Gah.

    And I was SO hoping not to have to do any work on the subject.

  38. As perhaps the only potential elector who has clearly and distinctly stated that he could not cast an electoral vote for Barr in the admittedly unlikely event that I was called on to serve, I’m finding that a certain amount of heat has been falling upon me, while others are responding positively to my comments about Barr’s unsuitability for the LP Presidential nomination.

    This has caused me to get dragged into blog-land in an effort both to see what is being said, and in some cases in self defense.

    One of the things that I find frustrating is that while many people are expressing upset over Barr’s nomination, I’m not seeing any clear signs of coordinated efforts to oppose Barr, or do anything else about the situation. Rumours abound, but I haven’t seen or heard much about any definite plans to DO anything… I have to say that I’m less than thrilled by the somewhat muted response of my own Mass. State Committee, but it seems we are doing more than most. Right now it looks like Mass. will put Barr / Root on the ballot, only because doing so is the only way we can get our US Senate candidate on, but will do little beyond that to aid the Presidential campaign. Instead we will urge our members to support Bob Underwoods Senate campaign, the Income Tax Repeal and Marijuana Decrim ballot initiatives, and so forth.

    It seems that nearly half the delegates in Denver aren’t happy with the results, but how many are actively attempting to DO something other than just piss and moan about it? How many are working to get their State Party to do something, whether it is putting some other name (or Nobody) on the Presidential ballot? How many are urging a boycott of the Barr campaign? How many are protesting in some other way (if so what are you doing)?

    It seems to me that this is an issue that is larger than just Barr / Root – The LP as it currently stands has the potential for multi-state ballot access, something of great potential value to political failures from other parties that have delusions of greatness – arguably we had two efforts in Denver to hijack the party, one from the D’s and one from the R’s – unfortuneately the R’s got away with it. IMHO if we are going to get the LP we want back, it needs to be made painfully clear to those attempting to hijack the party will end up with nothing useful if they succeed – minimal ballot access, no support, etc.

    If you are like Mass. where we must put Barr on for other reasons than supporting him, what about passing state wide resolutions of non-support? AFAIK the LPUS bylaws may require a state to put the Pres. candidate on the ballot, but don’t have any provisions about a state refusing to endorse a candidate or even condemming him.

    If you are organizing or participating such an act of revolt in your state, or have definite knowledge of others working on such actions, I’d like to hear from you – My email is arthur(underscore)torrey(at)comcast(dot)net (make the substitutions in parens – I don’t want to feed the spambots…)

    I don’t want to hear complaints, I want to hear about ACTIONS – they speak louder than words!

    Arthur Torrey
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    Potential LIBERTARIAN Presidential Elector
    Elected Libertarian Officeholder
    (speaking for myself only – for now…)

  39. [quote]Lidia Seebeck Says:
    June 2, 2008 at 4:25 am

    On (hopefully) a different note, for those of you who are Pagan/Neo-Pagan, would you support the idea of a Neopagan Caucus?[/quote]

    I would be interested, see my other comment for contact info, or you can reach me through the LPMA website.

    It is perhaps worth noting that the Grove I belong to counts among it’s members officers in both LPMA and LPNH to the point where we sometimes have trouble keeping the LP discussion to a lower level than the religious content… Our HPS isn’t currently active in the LP because of her job constraints, but first got involved with the LP as a state organizer for the Hospers campaign. I haven’t talked to her myself since getting back from Denver, but have been told her reaction to Barr was “So much for the LP.”

    ART

  40. I am actually talking about creating a Wiccan/Pagan Caucus. It’s purpose is also to be a religious freedom caucus who’s motivation is to keep religion out of the state. And to recruit Wiccan’s to the Libertarian cause. I think if more Wiccan’s knew about the Libertarian party we would have a lot more voters.

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