Steve G.

ACLU agrees to represent LPMass

In Libertarian on June 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm

From Ballot Access News:

On June 19, the Massachusetts ACLU agreed to represent the Libertarian Party in court, over the failure of the Massachusetts Secretary of State to let the Libertarian Party substitute its actual presidential candidate, Bob Barr, for the party’s stand-in presidential candidate, George Phillies.

Click here to read the entire post.

  1. Just one of the cracks in the LP’s new conservative armor. As I’ve said before, the party is split, and there ain’t nuthin’ Barr or W.A.R. can do to fix it, other than bow out.

  2. or…the SOS in Mass comes around and Barr gets on the ballot, which is very likely after speaking with a Lawyer friend of mine from Mass. But keep complaining about Barr/Root if it makes you feel better.

  3. Just one of the cracks in the LP’s new conservative armor. As I’ve said before, the party is split, and there ain’t nuthin’ Barr or W.A.R. can do to fix it, other than bow out.

    I’m a little perplexed by comments like this. A simple reading of the situation would tell you that this is an issue regarding the SOS reading of the law, not any “schism” in the party. The “sore loser” factor is really coming into play here.

  4. Now, to the point:

    Mass. election law allows substitution. There is precedent in the state for substitution. What will be interesting to watch is how strongly the Libertarian Party of Mass. believe that the Libertarian Party nominee should be on the ballot.

    Their leadership didn’t care too much about disenfranchising their membership by orphaning their state, so we’ll see.

  5. What I’ve said has nothing to do with who won, who lost, or anything of the sort. It is about the infiltration of conservatives into the Libertarian Party and the split between libertarian and non-libertarian (mostly conservative) members of the LP. If it makes you folks feel better about Barr winning and that there is a “sore loser” factor, be my guest.

  6. So you’re just mindlessly posting thoughts on threads that have nothing to do with your point?

    The point here is that the LP and the Mass. SOS are arguing over election law. Barr’s problems on the ballot in Mass. do not have anything to do with “the infiltration of conservatives in to the Libertarian Party”. It has to do with differing interpretations of the law.

  7. Jeff, what you said about LPMass leadership (assumably George Phillies) is every bit as bizarre as blaming this problem on Barr/Root. Dr. Phillies himself contacted the ACLU, to file a lawsuit to force Barr on the ballot in that state. He didn’t have to do that. He did it because it is the right thing to do.

  8. Mr. Wartman,

    The legal branch of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office does not agree that the law permits substitution for political designations, as opposed to political parties, when the cause for substitution occurs early in the petitioning period. Their rationale is that there is a more than adequate time to petition for the new candidate. They have the serious complication, apparently not understood on this blog, that they have no unambiguous legal path to determining who should be substituted if someone at our end requests substitution, and someone else disagrees.

    This situation has nothing to do with any internal divisions in the party. If those divisions prevailed, there would be no replacement. However, I and my fellow electors had committed in advance to put the national nominee on the ballot, so that is what we are planning to do if possible.

    Our immediate reaction here to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s new decision–the opposite of his old decision–was to contact the National Party and the ACLU about rational persuasion or litigation, which by second-hand report is going to come to pass. LPMass suggested to National three obvious alternatives, all of which we would back with our available ballot-access funds, namely: 1) Continue petitioning with the current names on ballot and leave them there, 2) Continue petitioning with the current names on ballot and litigate for replacement, or 3) Restart petitioning with the Barr-Root ticket, which would have lost about 4000 signatures (of 18,000 raw needed) but would have been more-or-less sure to work. National made the call, namely choice (2).

    The hazard is that the appeals process may be extended, so that we get the desired result after it is too late to modify the ballot, say, next year. The benefit is that someone saves about $6,000-8000 is petitioning expenses. In the worst legal case, we lose, in which case the Massachusetts Libertarian ticket will be Phillies-Bennett.

    Your comments about ‘disenfranchising’ my state mostly show that, as usual, you do not know what you are talking about. I think I shall send Elfninosmom a more accurate record here.

    Phillies

  9. This situation has nothing to do with any internal divisions in the party.

    Which is my point. Mass. ballot access isn’t a clash from within the party, it’s in differing interpretations of the law. It’s not one faction against another. It’s the LP vs. the SOS. Within the LP, we’re all (almost) on the same page: the nominee of the party needs to be on the ballot.

    However, I and my fellow electors had committed in advance to put the national nominee on the ballot, so that is what we are planning to do if possible.

    Which is the right thing to do, and I commend the attitude that the national nominee should be on the ballot.

    Your comments about ‘disenfranchising’ my state mostly show that, as usual, you do not know what you are talking about. I think I shall send Elfninosmom a more accurate record here.

    I hope you do. But there is one fact that cannot be disputed: Members of the Massachusetts LP do not have regional representation on the Libertarian National Committee. You’re one of the best political organizers out there, George. I know you can get it done.

  10. Screw the ACLU. I would rather see socialist Phillies on the ballot over fascist barf.

  11. Seems to me that George is quite on top of things.

    However, any state that is not represented in the LNC by at least a regional rep is a different problem that need to be addressed as well.

  12. Michael,

    The people in Massachusetts who have any interest in the identity of our Regional representative are rather few in number, but within that very limited group there was unanimous agreement that (i) if we had joined the New England Region the identity of that representative was a foregone conclusion and (ii) the representative in question was of negative value to representing Massachusetts, in that (a) he had threatened last year to seek to have our state chair (me) expelled from our national party and (b) he had participated in gross breach of his fiduciary duties in transferring National Party resources to the Presidential campaign of a right-wing Republican.

  13. One of the reasons why the LP doesn’t succeed is because of the efforts by various factions to attack Professor Phillies over this situation, when he’s trying to do the right thing vis-a-vis the LP.

    Hardworking unpaid activists like George do the heavy lifting, only to have prairie dogs poke their heads up out of the peanut gallery to shout “schism! Conservative takeover! Disenfranchisement!” and various other meaningless cliches.

    What eventually happens is simple — the hardworking unpaid activists who get constantly attacked wear out and stop doing their important work, and the blog commentators who spend all their time attacking them certainly don’t step up to the plate to do the important work. Rather, they just bellyache about how someone else should really do this work.

  14. Wartman, the fact that this thread is even an issue of any importance to readers at all is precisely because there is a conservative takeover of the LP under way.

    Thus, I will dismiss your slander of me “mindlessly posting”. You simply want to discredit me, but I will not stoop to your (even lower than) before level.

    BTW, Mr. Wartman, you’re welcome, in Denver as I returned your LP bag (full with “stuff” I might add) to the Maryland delegation on Monday morning, as you left it in the bar Sunday evening. Even though I think your posts here and previously at TPW are terribly bad, slanderous and filled with innuendos, I felt that you should rightfully have your property back.

  15. This substitution issue has NOTHING to do with dissatisfaction about Barr / Root… When I signed up to be an elector, Barr was still hiding under his rock, and Root was showing little support as the pro-war candidate… I signed up with the understanding that we would support substituting if the candidate chosen at the convention turned out to be other than George.

    We started early because petitioning in Mass. is TOUGH, we need a lot of sigs, AND WE WERE TOLD BY THE SOS THAT SUBSTITUTION WOULD BE ALLOWED! It was not until AFTER the Natcon, when we inquired about the exact forms and procedures needed to do the substitution that they changed their minds and told us substitution wouldn’t be possible…

    Personally, I’m tickled pink by the current situation, as I can’t support Barr in any way, while I could support Phillies. I think the ideal outcome would be for the courts to rule that substitution should be allowed, sometime AFTER the election… That way I would be able to cast a Libertarian vote, which I couldn’t do if Barr’s name was on the ballot…

    However in my official capacity as an LPMA State Committee member, and as a potential Presidential Elector, I WILL hold my nose and reluctantly sign whatever paperwork is needed to substitute Barr if asked.

    Note that in theory at least (or until the MA SOS office changes their mind again) I, or any of the other electors (including George) could torpedo the entire drive to date by simply sending a letter to the Secretary of State’s office stating a wish to withdraw as an elector… I don’t do this largely because our US Senate candidate is on the same petition, and I don’t want to mess up THAT effort…..

    ART
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    Potential LPMA Presidential Elector (Not voting for Barr)
    Elected Libertarian
    Speaking for myself.

  16. Lest anyone have any doubts about the SOS changing their line on substitution, George is publishing the entire exchange of e-mails with their office in this month’s issue of the LPMA newsletter – I’ve seen the PDF draft.

    We publish the newsletters for free on the LPMA forums a month delayed, and I’m willing to bet that George would be willing to post the message thread elsewhere as well if asked.

    ART
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    Potential LPMA Presidential Elector, (Not voting for Barr)

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