From a Barr campaign email, written by former LP Executive Director Shane Corey:
Our staff is coming together strongly as our web team has relocated from California to our campaign hub in Atlanta. I’ve also made the move from Virginia along with the Libertarian Party’s media coordinator, Andrew Davis.
Andrew Davis’s relocation to Barr headquarters, while still being employed by the LP, raises a number of serious ethical questions.
Davis’s salary is paid by LP members, through dues and contributions. The point of having a Media Director is to ensure all party business is handled by a centralized source. The point of having an office in Washington DC is to ensure the LP has the best possible media contacts.
Is it within Mr. Davis’s job description for him to go to work directly for the LP presidential nominee? Who made the decision to relocate him to the Barr offices in Atlanta? What provisions have been made to ensure the confidentiality of information which would be available to the Media Director but should not be made available to the presidential candidate? Is Davis being compensated by LPHQ, the Barr campaign, or both?
It is the responsibility of LP staff to avoid even the appearance of impropriety; yet this appears to be very improper, both from the viewpoint of confidentiality issues, and from the viewpoint of Davis’s salary being paid by LP members, especially when many LP members have made it clear that they do not support the Barr campaign. If he is being compensated by the Barr campaign, it is equally improper given that he was hired to handle media for the party, and not for any specific candidate. After all, there are many other LP candidates, most of whom have more realistic chances of being elected than Barr, and they will almost assuredly be neglected if the Media Director is on site hundreds of miles away to support the Barr campaign in particular.
When was this decision made, and by whom? After all, at the moment we don’t have an Executive Director, though Shane Corey (who now works for the Barr campaign) was until recently the LP ED. Was this decision made prior to Corey leaving LPHQ and, if so, why wasn’t it retracted once Corey resigned his position with LPHQ? Was the LNC informed of this prior to his relocation?
If Andrew Davis wants to work for the Barr campaign, that is certainly his prerogative and I wish him the best. However, if that is his choice – and it appears that it is, given that he has relocated hundreds of miles away from LPHQ – he should resign from his LP staff position, and an interim Media Director hired to ensure that ALL Libertarian candidates are properly represented in Washington DC, until such time as a permanent replacement can be found. Either way, under no circumstances should any LP funds be used for his relocation, whether to Barr HQ in Atlanta, or back to LPHQ in Washington.
UPDATE: I asked some LNC members if they were aware of Davis’s relocation to Atlanta to support the Barr campaign, while retaining his position as Media Director. Angela Keaton responded by saying, “No, of course not. Miller and Phillies told me. I’m not part of the Redpath/Sullentrup/Colley daisy chain. Just a member of the LNC. As the kids would say, I’m so over the LP. As for Davis, he’s very bright and an admirer of Rand. He will be fine. He will make many contributions to the movement. The LP has not crushed his spirit yet.”