Steve G.

George Phillies on accusations about his leadership of LPMass

In Libertarian on June 20, 2008 at 1:52 pm

The following is posted with the permission of its author, George Phillies.

To correct certain misleading statements about Massachusetts and region formation, I offer the following, taken in fair part from my report to my State Committee about what happened (hence, referring to me in third person):

Under LNC By-Laws, states may freely and voluntarily group themselves into regions. If your region has 10% or more of the national membership, it is entitled to one regional representative for every 10% of the membership it has. In mid April, Phillies contacted the other state chairs in the New England, New York, New Jersey and region, proposing arrangements. After a month, there had been no responses. Noting that OR, WA, and ID had severed from the CA region, and that local State Chairs were not interested in talking about region formation, the State Committee advised Phillies that we were interested in a region including New England if it also included the western states. We now advance to the National Convention.

New England, NJ, NY and WV tentatively formed a region. We were invited to join, but we had a small delegation on-scene, it appeared the deal had already been made, and the new region had sufficient people that we had no leverage: They had 10% of the membership. Several plausible Regional Representatives were felt by State Comm members on-scene familiar with the background to be inauspicious choices. (Phillies: Actually, one delegate threatened to strangle me if we joined a region that had either of two specified people as regional representative. On reflection, I realized that I would choose to help.) State Committee members on-scene agreed to decline the invitation. Among other things, there are real drawbacks to belonging to a region whose state chairs are not interested in it. Phillies was instructed by State Committee members on-scene that we could join a region, but the region (i) could not be simply the old NE, NJ, NY states, and (ii) could not include Texas.

Negotiations with OR and WA were somewhat complex. At one point OR was incorrectly led to believe, or so we were told, that we had joined the New England Region, so we drifted out of contact. The southeast states had a double region with two elected Regional Reps, Flood and Barr, but prior to the deadline Florida withdrew, leaving the previously double region with one allowed regional representative. Flood had received more votes than Barr, and Barr withdrew. Florida joined with OR, WA, ID, and HI to form a new region 7. We would have been happy to join this region, and apparently had an invitation to do so, but we learned about the region too late.

We were then told (i) WV joined a different region so NE, NY, NJ needed us in order to form a region, and then separately (ii) New England and points south had formed a double region, so we were not needed, but were invited to join. The Region caucus was simultaneous with Presidential candidates turning in their chits to get into the debate. After learning about (ii), McMahon and Phillies stepped out to find the other state committee members on scene to seek a decision. As soon as we left, the region people were incorrectly told that we had rejected the proposal; they promptly elected a regional representative. At this point Phillies, with the emphatic support of everyone on the MA delegation who knew the out-of-state personalities involved, emphatically declined further invitations to join that region.

For the next two years, we are not a part of any region. Phillies was then asked if he wanted to be elected Regional Alternate for the new Region 7, in which he does not live; he said he was available but that takers in that region should be preferred, and one was chosen.

We are therefore a free independent state, not subservient to any region. While we do not have our own regional representative on the LNC, our legitimate interests are still represented by the At-Large members and the Officers, probably better than in the past.

  1. I knew there was more to the regional rep story. Thanks, George, for sharing.

    NOW, LNC, can we get regions to actually be geographic regions instead of disjoint gerrymandered areas?

  2. Michael,

    Why should non-at-large representation on the LNC necessarily be geographically based?

    To put it a different way, is there any particular reason why a voluntary assembly of Libertarians in different parts of the country who agree that they share goal and/or interest X is less worthy of representation than similarly-sized voluntary assembly of Libertarians who happen to be geographically co-located but who may have very different goals and interests?

    I’d rather see it go the other way:

    – A maximum of ten “caucus reps” to the LNC;

    – In order to send a representative, the caucus must demonstrate proof of enrollment by at least 10% of the party’s membership;

    – Each party member may enroll, for LNC representation purposes, with only one caucus for any two-year representation period.

    Those caucuses could be geographically based (“The New England Libertarian Alliance”), ideologically based (for example the LP Radical Caucus or the Libertarian Reform Caucus), issues-specific based (the LGBT Libertarian Caucus or the LP Labor Caucus), or whatever.

    I don’t see that 10% of LP members who happen to live in a particular corner of the country necessarily have common interests commanding representation that are more compelling than 10% of LP members who may live all over the map but who have some particular interest or agenda they want to pursue.

  3. Thomas,

    It make little sense to have a regional representative represent Oregon and Florida at the same time. It can make getting around in person a prohibitive bitch, even with the advantages of email and other technology.

    Ideally, you have to divide it somehow, but every state should have representation of some sort on the LNC. Geography makes the most sense for the representatives’ sake. Ideology makes little sense for three reasons: 1) The LNC should be concerned with party operations, not party philosophy, and 2) Ideologies usually don’t respect map boundaries, meaning they are spread out nationally, particularly in the LP as thinly spread as we are, and 3) the all-inclusive argument: once you include one ideology, you have to include them all, and the divisions get worse and things get out of hand to the point where it is unproductive from all of the quibbling.

    If we ever get big enough, then each state should have its own rep, almost in a kind of Senate arrangement. But we’re not there yet, either.

  4. I should add a rough population division can make the representation more equitable, but it also causes other problems, which is why the national Bylaws Committee made the over/under proposition on that at Denver (which never got voted on AFAIK).

  5. Michael,

    You’re missing the point — ideology was only ONE possible representation point I mentioned. And they can mix.

    Suppose, for example, that the Oregon and California parties are very different in “business orientation” with respect to the national party — one thinks that ballot access should be a big priority for LPHQ, for example, while the other thinks that should be a state party job; while the Oregon and Florida parties are very simpatico on such subjects. Why should Oregon then be lumped in with California, rather than Florida, for representation purposes?

    Ideology often has practical impacts even if the LNC’s job isn’t ideological. An ideological caucus might advocate a particular approach to advertising, for example (issues vs. party label, radical versus moderate presentation, etc.).

    I’m not suggesting that representation on the LNC should be ideologically based. I’m saying it should be based on identifiable blocs that actually have some interest TO represent. It’s not necessarily true that geographical nearness reflects any such interest, or that it reflects the SAME interest across the state parties allegedly being represented.

    Just set a maximum number of “caucus” reps and a minimum membership criterion for representation that matches, i.e. no more than 10 reps, 10% minimum membership support to get one, and let people sort it out. If someone can get 10% of party members to sponsor a rep for the “Libertarians With Red Hair And Great Legs” caucus, so be it.

  6. Why not just have the LNC create the regions, with the requirement that each region must be about the same size — representing 10% of LP members in each region?

  7. One of the things said above is categorically false.

    Specifically, this statement is a lie: “At this point Phillies, with the emphatic support of everyone on the MA delegation who knew the out-of-state personalities involved, emphatically declined further invitations to join that region.”

    I strongly suspect additional large segments of this post are either lies or just intentionally misleading, but I can only personally refute (without corroborating my personal observations with others’) the statement listed.

    The northeast tried to form the same region as in 2006. Massachusetts repeatedly equivocated on whether they would join the region, citing plans to join with the northwest. The rest of New England approached the mid-atlantic to form a double region with a region formation agreement allowing the northeast and the mid-atlantic to be autonomous. For many hours the northeast waited for Massachusetts to make a decision so that they could decide whether to form a double region with the mid-atlantic or a single region with Massachusetts.

    I was very involved in the region formation process. For several terms I have personally formulated and distributed resources that help affiliates form regions. At this convention I spent approximately half my waking time running around talking to different state affiliates and principals in the region formation process with two goals in mind: 1) make sure every state got into a region, 2) try to preserve the southeast’s double region if possible (I believe Congressman Barr was an asset to the Committee). I spoke with all states involved and was probably the first person to know who all the regional representatives and alternates were.

    http://www.chuckmoulton.org/libertarian/2008/regions/

    In that capacity, I personally repeatedly contacted George Phillies and other Massachusetts officers asking whether they would be joining the northeast. I can personally attest that the rest of New England was strung along for many hours. When the deadline for region submission was looming and it appeared Massachusetts was just trying to get no region submitted so that the entire northeast would be orphaned, the rest of the northeast was ready to give up on Massachusetts and go with the double region. I pleaded with them to give Massachusetts one last chance.

    First I went to the Massachusetts delegation and spoke with Carol McMahon. She said the decision was entirely George’s and she didn’t know what George would decide. I tried George’s cellphone and he did not answer. So I personally ran from the convention floor to George’s presidential suite to track him down and determine whether he would join the region. George tried to equivocate again. I made clear that this was his last chance to join the region and paperwork would be filed in 5 minutes without him if he declined. George then finally explicitly declined to join the region.

    I then personally spoke with Hardy Macia and Dr. Jim Lark telling them that George had declined to join the region and they could go ahead with the double region.

    Anything said above that contradicts what I say here is a bald-faced lie. And George was briefed enough by me on the region formation as it was occurring that I believe it was not a lie by omission, but rather an intentional, knowing lie.

    In the past I have had great respect for Dr. Phillies and have defended him from others’ accusations, but the post above leads me to believe my trust in him was misplaced.

  8. There are good reasons to form non-geographic regions. Interests are not always geographic. In 2004 Pennsylvania strongly considered forming a region with the 6 other non-UMP states because our business interests radically diverged from the UMP states. We ended up going with geography in the end.

  9. Thomas and Chuck, the moment you bring “Interests” into the equation you lose. I mentioned that above.

    Regional representation is based on regions, not coalitions. And regions are based on geography, not ideas or interests. It’s that simple.

    California reps are based on being in that geogrpahic region called California. They are not California reps based on some set of interests or ideas that are “California” (whatever that may be, as diverse of a state this is!).

  10. Brian Miller asked,

    “Why not just have the LNC create the regions, with the requirement that each region must be about the same size — representing 10% of LP members in each region?”

    If you wanted to base in on membership distribution, sure. The reward (or drawback, depending on the point of view) is that the more active areas have more representation than the lesser ones. For example, CA would have multiple regions based on our memership alone, while another region might occupy most of the northern Rockies. Then you wind up with a problem similar to a disjoint region–too much real estate to cover for the rep.

    I’m not saying that’s a bad idea, just that it has its drawbacks like any other potential solution does. But I also think that practicality, not ideology, should drive the decision.

  11. I’ve never been a big fan of how regions are formed. I’d prefer to see something beyond membership or population distribution used to determine the formation of regions. I like the idea of geographical regions (Pacific Northwest, Inter-mountain West, Southeast, etc.).

    As for Mike’s concern about having too much land to cover, I suggest getting creative. Why not have a regional committee? A Pacific Northwest committee could have one person from Seattle, another in Boise and someone from Portland.

  12. Man I’ve been wrestling with this Bob Barr thing for weeks, trying to justify supporting him. Man, I’m getting tired of making up reasons.

    I’m not going to tell anyone who to support…but hell, Vote Phillies in New Hampshire. I’m done defending Barr. He’s against everything I’m for.

    Who knows, I’ll probably vote Libertarian and write in Charles Jay. The more I hear Charles, the more I like the guy.

  13. In the past I have had great respect for Dr. Phillies and have defended him from others’ accusations, but the post above leads me to believe my trust in him was misplaced.

    I know the feeling.

  14. Massachusetts had decided prior to National that we would not join a New England-New York-New Jersey region. Period. Full Stop.

    This was a state committee decision. Whenever I was asked about this, I always repeated that it was the state committee that decided, and that only the State Committee could change the question.

    Mr. Moulton lives in Pennsylvania. Telling Mr. Moulton what Massachusetts was planning to do about region formation, when the region does not involve Pennsylvania (which it did not for most of the convention), would have been a silly waste of my time, so I did not do so.

    I was approached by at least two state chairs from the old region, before or early at the National Convention, and told them that we were not interested in joining their proposed region. Apparently some part of ‘not’ did not propagate well beyond them, though I think they both heard me.

    We did, twice, answer with respect to a new proposal that we would give people the courtesy of asking our state committee if we would accept the new proposal, but that we had a current decision. If people think this is equivocation, that is their problem.

    We informed anyone who who asked of our position. We were pleased to hear that New England and WV had formed a region — while that lasted — because it meant that states that wanted to form a region would be able to do so. We were equally pleased to hear that the people who wanted to form a double region, as it turned out, formed their double region, because this meant that everyone got what they wanted.

    The first we heard about the double region proposal was just before the double region elected its reps. Until very briefly before then, so far as we knew the region was NE-MA NY NJ WV, which had enough members and which we did not want to join. Indeed, about 30 minutes before the double region elected its representatives, Carol M. came to me saying that WV had left the single region, and that without us NE would be without a region; would we reconsider not joining so that NE NY NJ would not be stranded? If there was a double region proposal out there, it had reached neither of us.

    If people were waiting for many hours for us to tell them what we thought of the double region proposal, they might have tried asking again, at which point my answer would have been “What double region? It’s news to me.” followed by ‘Thank you but no thank you, my State Committee has voted.”

    Moulton claims: “First I went to the Massachusetts delegation and spoke with Carol McMahon. She said the decision was entirely George’s and she didn’t know what George would decide. I tried George’s cellphone and he did not answer. So I personally ran from the convention floor to George’s presidential suite to track him down and determine whether he would join the region. George tried to equivocate again. I made clear that this was his last chance to join the region and paperwork would be filed in 5 minutes without him if he declined. George then finally explicitly declined to join the region.”

    I very seriously doubt that Carol told Moulton what he claims, because whenever the question came up Carol’s remark to me was that we needed to get on our cell phones and call the rest of our state committee, because *this was a state committee decision*. We both understood this very clearly. Carol is usually very precise in what she says. It is possible that she said something that was misunderstood.

    Apparently my courteous declinations were not being heard very well.

    The only region negotiations I was involved in, in the hours before the deadline, involved the Florida-Northwest region.

  15. Michael Seebeck wrote:

    Geography makes the most sense for the representatives’ sake. Ideology makes little sense for three reasons: 1) The LNC should be concerned with party operations, not party philosophy, and 2) Ideologies usually don’t respect map boundaries, meaning they are spread out nationally, particularly in the LP as thinly spread as we are, and 3) the all-inclusive argument: once you include one ideology, you have to include them all, and the divisions get worse and things get out of hand to the point where it is unproductive from all of the quibbling.

    All three reasons cited apply to ideology, not to state interests in general. They provide no support whatsoever for rejecting regions formed based on interests rather than geographical continuity. See below for examples of interests.

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    Thomas and Chuck, the moment you bring “Interests” into the equation you lose. I mentioned that above. Regional representation is based on regions, not coalitions.

    And regions are based on geography, not ideas or interests. It’s that simple.

    Nothing in the bylaws requires geographically contiguous regions. There are very good reasons to have regions based on shared interests of states rather than geography: big states vs. small states, UMP states vs. non-UMP states (back when we had UMP), ED states vs. non-ED states, tough ballot access states vs. easy ballot access states, etc. I see no foundation whatsoever for rejecting the concept of non-geographical regions out of hand.

    If you think regions should be geographically contiguous, change the bylaws.

  16. George Phillies wrote:

    Mr. Moulton lives in Pennsylvania. Telling Mr. Moulton what Massachusetts was planning to do about region formation, when the region does not involve Pennsylvania (which it did not for most of the convention), would have been a silly waste of my time, so I did not do so.

    I sought you out to ask about region formation several times because you were intentionally avoiding talking to all the other states in the northeast. For example, Hardy repeatedly tried to call you and you did not answer your phone.

    You did not tell me that you would not talk to me about region formation because I do not live in your proposed region. Rather, you told me over and over again that Massachusetts had not yet decided whether they would join the northeast region. According to everything you said above, that was a lie.

    Alright, George. If it is now your position that you lied to my face and told the truth to everyone else, I can’t refute that. I’ll keep your untrustworthiness in mind for future interactions, and I suggest that everyone else reading this do likewise.

    Carol can come on this thread and respond for herself, but I was very clear on what she said to me. And what I said was no slight against Carol; I have every reason to believe she was being entirely honest with me.

  17. Mr Moulton,

    Your claims are baloney.

    First, I opened communications to other state chairs in the region by email a month before the convention. My message to other state chairs in the region was ignored. I did not intentionally avoid them; they decided not to answer my message. They did answer my second email message.

    Second, as any reader can confirm by an obvious experiment, I have voice mail on my telephone. If Hardy had tried to call me, he would have hit the voice mail system and left me a message, if I had not been here. No such messages were left here. Nor do I fail to pick up when the phone rings, assuming I can physically reach it in time. Perhaps he had the wrong number? There is a land line that only links to one of my house security systems.

    With respect to emails, the last message that I sent to other state chairs was

    Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 16:12:29 -0400
    From: phillies@4liberty.net
    To: brendanfklpnh@verizon.net; atiofny@aol.com; marc_guttman@yahoo.com; dbebo@cox.net; chair@lpwa.org; chair@lporegon.org; eric_sundwall@hotmail.com; chair@vtlp.org; alzasagroup@peoplepc.com
    Subject: Is there any interest in region formation?

    Some time back, I sent to the state chairs in our about-to-vanish
    Libertarian Party Region a proposal for a region, based on:

    1) In choosing the regional rep and alternate for the LNC, each state
    votes in exact proportion to its national party membership.
    2) Candidates will announce and be vetted in advance, so that the state
    parties can vote before National, rather than guessing who will show up
    in Denver.
    3) The regional rep holds his position with a vote of confidence of the
    state chairs in the region.
    4) We should reach out to other states with strong social liberal
    traditions that are apparently not attached to a region yet, namely WA
    and OR.

    I have not had any answers, other than a commitment to put someone in
    touch with me. Corresponding, my State Committee has not authorized me to sign a region formation form.

    Please let me know if you have any interest in region formation.
    George Phillies
    508 754 1859

    In response to this second message, I did receive a nice message from four state chairs who were not interested in our proposal.

    With respect to Mr. Moulton, I said that I did not chase him down to tell him what was going on. There was a very long period of time in which we were waiting for other state chairs to respond to our proposal, in which if anyone had asked me I would indeed have said that we had not decided what we were going to do, because that was true at the time.

    My position, Mr. Moulton, is that your account if not a fabrication is based on a complete misrepresentation of what happened. I am therefore delighted to note that you have been removed from our National Committee, a removal that I hope will remain permanent.

  18. Well I for one plan to vote for Chuck should I be fortunate enough to attend the 2010 Convention.

    MOULTON 2010!!!!

  19. I have already checked with several others involved. They confirmed my account. They also said responding to you was not worth their time, and I shall respect their decisions.

    Our respective reputations for honesty are clear. I’ll let the readers draw their own conclusions.

  20. I distrust Phillies’ motivations. Moulton ain’t perfect but I think he usually means well–often does well too. Phillies bad–Moulton good.

  21. “New England, NJ, NY and WV tentatively formed a region.”

    As of the National Convention, the WV delegates informed me that their state convention had voted to go with the Mid-Atlantic region, and were therefore not available to join with the Northeast. I’m not sure anyone from WV *ever* agreed to go with the Northeast, or whether Northeasterners just looked at the numbers (a helpful map with membership details was distributed at the State Chairs conference in February) and thought it would be a good way to salvage the region.

    “The rest of New England approached the mid-atlantic to form a double region with a region formation agreement allowing the northeast and the mid-atlantic to be autonomous.”

    I was the only one from the Northeast to actually attend the Mid-Atlantic region formation caucus. I was the one who asked them to approve the possibility of joining into a double region if we couldn’t get MA to come along, and I got their unanimous consent. Later, at the Northeast region formation caucus, I found that nobody had the region formation forms on hand. By the time I came back from looking for a copy, the Northeast rep and alternate were selected…fine. But I also found out that nobody had bothered to tell George about the double region that the Northeast would form if MA chose to not join us. As the “broker” of that deal, I had fully intended it to be used as leverage to persuade MA to join us–not for us to just to go ahead with the double region without giving MA another chance–because regional contiguity is in the best interest of the LP members living here. I got extremely annoyed at the person running that Northeast meeting (who doesn’t even live in the eastern half of the country) who tried to shut me up and tell me it was already over at that point. I was the one who had actually done the legwork to make the double-region deal possible!

    We got George to come over and I informed him that we could be a double region without MA, but that I’d rather us be a contiguous and inclusive Northeastern region–i.e., we gave him one last chance. The choice was up to MA, but when they (primarily George and Carol) found out who the Northeast had elected as their reps, they decided to not participate in the region and we had to go with the double region that I had arranged for us. (MA was not there for the voting on the reps, but I don’t believe it would have changed the outcome using our customary “one delegate-one vote” voting.)

    Wes — your comment isn’t helpful. Contiguity is good. George’s main motivation here seemed to be that he didn’t like Dan Karlan as rep.

  22. I hate to say this but the regional representation is beginning to look an awful lot like the “linguini” districts that comprise Californian’s representation districts.

    Please, I hope you all are better than California legislators.

  23. I served as co-chair of the LPNY delegation and chaired the NE region formation meeting.

    To the best of my knowledge, everything Chuck Moulton has written is true and correct.

    I can also corroborate that, immediately after the NE region formation meeting had adjourned and people were starting to scatter, Bonnie arrived insisting that we give MA another chance to consider joining the region. I looked around and didn’t see any indications of anyone other than Bonnie wishing to reconvene (people continued to scatter as she tried to rally them) so I made no effort to call people back. I did not in any way try to “shut up” Bonnie. I only declined to join her in tilting at windmills.

    There were at least one or two MA delegates present during the NE region formation meeting, but to the best of my knowledge they were only observing and did not make any attempt to vote or otherwise participate.

    I think the lesson here is that our bylaws need to be amended such that regional elections take place only after the deadline for region formation.

    Before we see any more recriminations, I’d like to remind everyone that eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. There is a chinese proverb that the most faded ink is clearer than the sharpest memory.

    M Carling

  24. I apologize for any background details I got incorrect. I was not nearly involved in the process as Bonnie was and I believe everything she said was correct. Where anything I said deviates from her characterization, I repeated wrong information gleaned from whisper down the lane.

    But what George said directly to me was crystal clear.

  25. No-one should be calling anyone a liar here. George had a proposal to the Northeast where MA might join the region WITH CONDITIONS. I can also confirm that George said that this decision was made by the MA state committee, not just him.

    George could say that he “emphatically declined further invitations to join that region” if the offers did not include his conditions, while still holding out hope that the region would accept his conditions. The rest of the Northeast had no plans to accept his conditions that I know of, but continued to hope that MA would join without conditions. If “the rest of New England was strung along for many hours” it was because people like me kept holding out hope and doing everything we could to achieve unity for the region, which would have been in our best interest. At no time was MA trying to “orphan” the Northeast, they just couldn’t go along with the reps we were likely to choose.

    What M calls “tilting at windmills,” I call a good-faith effort to do the best thing for the Northeast. People were dispersing because they hadn’t been told there was a possibility of another option. When I mentioned it to them, they had no problem with giving George another chance to join us (without his conditions), which George unfortunately declined.

  26. I’m sorry this thread has got so out of hand. I should have spoken with George about my different recollection privately rather than airing dirty laundry by publicly accusing him of lying. I’ll try to exercise better discretion in the future.

    George is a great activist and his participation in the presidential field in Denver made me proud to be a Libertarian.

  27. I never understood the basis of the MA desire to be linked to Oregon and Washington. The perception being that they were more progressively oriented or something.

    Chuck Moulton asked me to head this organizational process back in February at the LSLA in Vegas. At some point I did send out notice to the State Chairs involved and asked that they consider it. I do recall George sending back an email with regard to how the Reps should be selected, to which I responded, ‘that’s all politics’ as far as my duty to inform them of the necessity to form a region.

    I assumed the chair position of the LPNY in late April, sometime after George’s ostensible first proposal to the other chairs. I may have been copied on that also, but would have assumed that the chairs had the matter in hand and no input from me was required. I know that Jeff Russell was rather involved in our own convention proceedings and probably didn’t view the Region formation as anything more than some paperwork at convention time.

    I do recall being the first to respond to George’s mid-May missive. At that time I was Chair and in a position to respond appropriately. Our own StateCom on May 4th simply agreed to reform the current (past now) Region 7. After several other Chairs indicated that retaining NE/New England character of the region was desirable for numerous reasons, George indicated that his committee was not agreeable to this and indicated the convention would be an appropriate venue to continue any discussion in this regard.

    Not having attended the national convention I cannot say who said what or why, or even when. It does seem like Massachusetts wanted to fight or have their way from the get go. Fine, but make your case. To my estimation that case was never adequately made and any action that those previously in the region had to take in order to assure representation on the LNC was responsible and according to bylaws.

    If the greatest offense was that chairs didn’t respond right away to George in mid-April then so be it. The bottom line was that there was adequate time before the convention to consider this and MA made an anemic case for a separate region. I’m sure the were underlying motivations and intrigues, but really, this should have been a no brainer.

  28. Speaking as a NH delegate:

    The entire ‘double region’ was proposed to us in NH as our “only choice.”
    I raised an objection to this, looked at the numbers, and found that it didn’t really matter what we did, we’d end up on the short end of the stick (IMHO) It was quite clear that there wasn’t enough support for alternative choices, so NH joined the double, and voted in the hastily done voting for Rep. The mix of people present there (NOT the whole delegation) clearly favored Dan Karlan. Hardy Macia (formerly of VT, formerly LNC rep of NE, now a neighbor of mine in NH) was elected alternative. Personally, I was of the opinion that it was time to clean house and throw out all/most of the existing LNC due to their various actions in the last year regarding programs like Liberty Decides, Ron Paul, Shane Cory, etc etc…

    As for MA… those “in charge” of the regional delegate “meeting” (which was hastily done, and held in a corner of the corridor outside the main venue ‘last minute’) tended to be extremely hostile to Phillies in particular, and the statements made were on the order of “He made demands.” (See above for the ‘demands’ he made…)

    I talked to George right after the convention, to ask him about his side of events, and it was clear that delegates of the NE/NY region were lied to by the ‘leadership’ as to the actual status as to negotiations with MA joining, they just didn’t want to deal with George and froze MA out, intentionally and with forethought.

  29. Eric:

    You write:

    “George indicated that his committee was not agreeable to this and indicated the convention would be an appropriate venue to continue any discussion in this regard.”

    I believe you misremember. I did not propose settling this at the convention.

    My first message to you was

    “Eric,
    I have previously circulated a note to other state chairs on this. The local inclination is that we want the next LNC rep to be chosen by the state parties, properly weighted, not by whoever happens to show in Denver, that we want an open competition with candidates known in advance so that they can be properly vetted, and that we want a majority vote of confidence of state chairs to retain any LNC representative. *We would much prefer that the next representative and alternate be chosen reasonably in advance of the convention.*

    I have not yet had nay response from other state chairs on this.
    George”

    This was in response to your message

    “Eric Sundwall wrote:
    Howdy folks,

    Chuck Moulton asked me if I would/could head up the formation of Region 7. State chairs or delegations are asked to report to Bob Sullentrup using the Region Formation Form on page 30 of the Delegation Chairs Manual.

    As he did this back in February, it is a small miracle that I have retained my original notes to that end. I will assume the formation again of the current Region and ask all to do so appropriately before the May 24th deadline.

    Feel free to call me about this. As this will most likely be my last official duty on the LNC, I wish everybody well in their liberty related endeavors.

    Sincerely,
    Eric Sundwall
    (518) 857-1731 cell
    (518) 754-1023 home
    Region 7 Alternate
    Libertarian National Committee”

    in which you did not seem to be aware of my message.

    You responded

    “George,
    That stuff is all politics as far as I am concerned. I trust than that the Region formation will accorded its proper paperwork.
    Eric”

    to which I answered

    “Eric,
    Please reread my last message.
    George”

    since my last message had already not agreed with your proposal.

    I believe it should now be clear from Seth Cohn’s message that my proposal that formation and representative selection should be done in advance, with appropriately weighted votes, is the correct solution.

  30. Bonnie,

    Thank you for your much appreciated clarification. I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the goals you wanted. My delegation viewed the possibility of having Dan Karlan or M Carling as our regional representatives to be totally and completely unacceptable. My position is more moderate than that of my state board member who, in essence, points at the Ron Paul ballotbase action and wants the entire sitting LNC–everyone who was at that meeting and agreed to the motion–to be expelled from the party for advocating theft and fraud for political purposes.

    My delegation did not question the accuracy of the report that WV had joined with New England, because so far as we knew New England was happy with the situation. The first we had heard about the double region was at the corridor meeting described by Seth.

    Incidentally, I agree with the rest of Eric’s and Seth’s description of what had happened.

    I believe that around the country large numbers of Libertarians are grateful for Chuck Moulton’s efforts on behalf of region formation, and we should be thankful to him for working for what he identified as the best interests of the party. I believe from his above statements that Chuck and I no longer have any significant disagreements about this, and hope that matters can be put behind us.

    Best,
    George

  31. George wrote to Eric:
    “I have previously circulated a note to other state chairs on this. The local inclination is that we want the next LNC rep to be chosen by the state parties, properly weighted, not by whoever happens to show in Denver, that we want an open competition with candidates known in advance so that they can be properly vetted, and that we want a majority vote of confidence of state chairs to retain any LNC representative. *We would much prefer that the next representative and alternate be chosen reasonably in advance of the convention.”

    Well, George, here’s where I say that you should have done something differently, like starting to put into motion just what you suggested — communicating with the regional members, not just the state chairs. You were on the lp_7 (now the lp_5n) list, and presumably on all the NE state LP lists that I and probably hundred or two Northeastern libertarians are on.

    I didn’t realize until about a week before the NatCon that I was going to be the sole VT delegate (which made me the delegation chair, with regional formation responsibility), and I had never heard about that April note to the state chairs until I got to the convention and found that our region wasn’t set. You didn’t just make an anemic appeal to the region, you made an elitist (or: minimal) appeal: just to the chairs, rather than taking your case to the delegates and members in the region and suggesting that we talk about regional reps before the convention–as you correctly suggest would have been a good idea. Please do that next time.

    re: “State chairs or delegations are asked to report to Bob Sullentrup using the Region Formation Form on page 30 of the Delegation Chairs Manual.”

    Ha. The reason I missed so much of the Northeastern meeting is that this form was NOT in the Delegation Chairs Manual, and no-one else at the meeting had a copy on them. For my efforts running around the entire bottom floor of the hotel trying to find one (getting told by Bob S. that he had no time to deal with this then, and getting Braxton-Hicks contractions for moving so much so quickly), I got brushed aside when I returned to the meeting. It turns out that this form got placed in the regular delegates’ manual, not the delegation chairs’ manual where Bob S. thought he’d put it.

  32. Bonnie Scott says:
    Wes — your comment isn’t helpful.

    Wes says:
    I’m not trying to help resolve a conflict. I’m just trying to provide Howard Cosell-type commentary to boost the intensity of the experience for readers and to increase blog ratings.

    Bonnie Scott sort of good–a little too sensitive at times. Chuck pretty good, but he misses the mark sometimes. Phillies bad. M Carling very bad. Dan Karlan sometimes OK but too easily lead astray by very bad M Carling–needs better role model.

    Wes Benedict is Texan–’nuff said.

  33. I am the Webmaster of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, and a member of the LPMass State Committee. I was not at the Libertarian National Convention and cannot confirm what happened there. Some of us have to work for a living and don’t get much time off, and cannot afford the “Oh my god! Can they possibly find a more expensive and inconvenient place for me to reach?” airplane fares needed.

    However, I can confirm that the decision not to join the region was not only George and Carol’s. I can remember sending email to other members of the LPMass State Committee, before the National Convention, expressing my personal opinion that we should not join a region whose State Chairs cannot be bothered to respond to George’s email, because such a region would be a time sink, and we have better things to do.

    Not having met any of the people involved, as far as I recall, not responding to email makes you look to me like lazy, disorganized, spoiled, undisciplined, stupid, technological luddites, who do not take the job as Chair seriously. I thought we could do better. You may say now it was “not worth your time”. I don’t care why. Please understand how your lack of action makes you look to people who don’t know you.

    When the LNC membership made a certain LNC-funded database available to a certain Republican, whose campaign overloaded it and shut it down, thus making the database unavailable for the genuinely Libertarian candidates for whom it was intended, I considered those actions a nearly-criminal misappropriation of resources, and I made a decision then that every single person who was then a member of the LNC badly needed to be replaced, including our *ahem* “colleague” from New York. I am not alone in this extremely negative opinion among members of the LPMass State Committee, and we have discussed this at length.

    I was not the one who promised to strangle George. That was someone else, but please understand the passionate level of negative option that George is dealing with. He is arguably one of the members of the LPMass State Committee more friendly to the LNC, just a little more articulate in his opinions than some of us.

    What I wanted clearly did not happen. We now have Bob “some religions are not “real” religions” Barr nominated. Yuck! (insert vomiting noises here) As a result, I predict that LP National will fall apart, because I am so far from alone in my poor opinion. It is not a question of whether, but when and how. The re-elected LNC members should hold themselves responsible for that result. You can try all the spins you want, but *you* know the truth about your responsibility, and nothing changes that.

    Mary-Anne Wolf

  34. I was at ONE of the hallway meetings towards the end of the process, which was quite evidently being run as a “done deal” with Mass. being offered only the opportunity to join as a rubber stamp on the fiasco, or not.

    When I attempted to speak as head of the Mass. delegation (I got the position because George was busy w/ his Presidential campaign) I was shouted down by what appeared to be primarily NY delegates and Karlan supporters.

    Note that the Mass. State committee as a whole prior to the convention, and the subset present as delegates at the convention (which were enough to form a quorum for an SC meeting) had multiple meetings to discuss this issue, and REPEATEDLY decided that we wanted no part of a region represented by the incumbents due to their failure to represent our interests in the previous terms, and their blatant acts of malfeasance in supporting the Paul campaign.

    It was our feeling that we would FAR better have our interests represented at National as an independent state than to be misrepresented by Karlan and Co.

    I agree that things could have been handled better by people on ALL sides of this, but IMHO a large part of this is due to the entire concept of the regions being broken – I agree with the previous poster who suggested that a “caucus based” representative system might be a better approach.

    ART
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    Denver, MA Head of Delegation
    Elected Libertarian

  35. Art,

    “When I attempted to speak as head of the Mass. delegation (I got the position because George was busy w/ his Presidential campaign) I was shouted down by what appeared to be primarily NY delegates and Karlan supporters.”

    You were shouted down? I had not heard about that. That does not sound like a legitimate elective process. What were the details?

    George

  36. This was at the end of the corridor meeting just after Barr got the nomination. You and Carol had gone off somewhere, and I got grabbed (I forget just by who) and was told that this was an important meeting on Region formation. It was down the far end of the corridor at the back of the convention hall… I think Dave Blau was there for part of it, I’m not sure. There was a fairly large crowd – I would guess about 20 or so, including Karlan and some of the other usual suspects. (You know how I am about names…) It wasn’t terribly clear who was in charge, or what was being done – however I was asked about our willingness to join in a region formation. I said that I knew you had attempted to communicate with the other state chairs and had less than a satisfactory response – I was told loudly by several people that this was out of order – that all they wanted was a yes or no about if Mass. was willing to join their mob – I said we had decided not, but that if they had additional discussion I could try to contact the rest of the delegation… I was told they didn’t need us, and they proceeded to elect Karlan as rep, pretty much on a “rubber stamp” basis…

    Or at least it looked that way to me…

    ART

  37. Well I for one plan to vote for Chuck should I be fortunate enough to attend the 2010 Convention.

    MOULTON 2010!

    Me too, and I make this comment irrespective of issues raised in this thread; and fortunate may indeed be the operative word, as it may cost a fortune if it is in Hawai’i.

    On the plus side, it will complete my collection of US states visited.

  38. Wes says:
    I’m not trying to help resolve a conflict. I’m just trying to provide Howard Cosell-type commentary to boost the intensity of the experience for readers and to increase blog ratings.

    Thanks Wes!

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