Steve G.

Haugh’s controversial email re Kevin Barrett

In Libertarian on June 27, 2008 at 3:38 am

Although I contacted the Barrett campaign early today requesting a copy of the email from Sean Haugh, pursuant to their own press release, I still have not heard back from them.

In the meantime, I have been informed by “Galileo”, in an LFV comment, that the following email is the one in question.  Many thanks to Galileo! 🙂

(The original Barrett press release is here. Sean Haugh’s response is here.)

___________________________________________

Sean Haugh wrote:
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 15:31:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Fwd: Kevin Barrett and Holocaust Denial
From: “Sean Haugh”
To: “JULIE FOX”

Howdy Julie! It was the Waukesha Freeman. The article will be in tomorrow’s paper.

Here’s my statement which I encourage you to share with the Wisconsin LP:

In almost all cases, as Political Director I support the candidates as nominated by our state parties no matter how I feel about them. I cannot in good conscience do this in the case of Kevin Barrett.

I do not have a problem with him or anyone as a so-called “9/11 Truther.” I accept that people who express skepticism over the official story about what happened that day have a home in the LP. But Mr. Barrett goes well beyond that in two ways:

1) He frequently calls for the mass executions for treason for reporters who wrote articles with which he takes issue. I absolutely will not support any candidate who calls for mass murder of anyone, and am appalled that anyone who considers themselves Libertarian would advocate something so horrific.

2) He has made qualified statements of support for the preeminent Holocaust deniers in North America. I researched this extensively before coming to this conclusion. He seems to be playing both sides of that
fence. I am and will always be totally intolerant of the Holocaust deniers. It’s a blatant racism borne of a deliberate stupidity and I will do absolutely everything in my power to make sure that Holocaust deniers
do not feel they have a home in the LP.

I strongly urge the Wisconsin LP to not nominate Kevin Barrett for US Congress. Regardless of your decision however I will go out of my way to disassociate him from the national LP.

yours in liberty –
Sean Haugh
Political Director

  1. Regardless of your decision however I will go out of my way to disassociate him from the national LP.

    What makes Hog think that Barrett WANTS to be associated with a bunch of neocon wannabes?

  2. Libertarians claim to be socially tolerant, although I have always thought that was something of a foolish claim. Now along come Sean and he makes the statement “I am and will always be totally intolerant of the Holocaust deniers.” So are we, or aren’t we?

    This whole mess, or is that hole mess, might have been avoided if the party had and would take the effort to explain itself better in the first place. But whadda I know.

    MHW

  3. Libertarians claim to be socially tolerant, although I have always thought that was something of a foolish claim. Now along come Sean

    You seem to be confusing Boss Hogg and the rest of the retard caucus with Libertarians.

  4. Well disinter I doubt it. I been around long enuff to hear a bunch of them boys speakin’

    MHW

  5. No, Libertarians do not claim to be tolerant. Many of us are extremely intolerant, as we should be. (“Judge and prepare to be judged.”)
    What is wrong with an organization enforcing a code of conduct or acceptable behavior for its members who have joined voluntarily? Can the Pope not excommunicate a Catholic who embraces Satan?
    In the subject case, the national Party can and should advise against the nomination of someone who may embarrass the LP. Would anyone object if the LNC disavowed a David Duke candidate? Perhaps Haugh acted without authority, but if authority is clearly established, then the LNC should act. And if you don’t like that they “excommunicated” a certain candidate, then you are welcome to reform the LP or leave.

  6. No, Libertarians do not claim to be tolerant.

    Well, now that retard caucus nuts (like you) have successfully hijacked the LP and turned it into another intolerant Repug party, that may be true. In the past, however, tolerance was one of it’s virtues.

  7. While I can’t say I’ve supported everything Sean has done as LP Political Director, I do believe Sean is correct in this instance.

  8. From Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Leonard Read, and on and on, the classical liberal ideals, morphed into libertartianism has always supported tolerance for lifestyle, views, actions, etc. However, what libertarians rightly don’t and shouldn’t tolerate is statism and coercion, and allowing the state to force disparate viewpoints, lifestyles, actions upon a peaceful people.

    Sure, Rand always said “Judge, and prepare to be judged”, and most of us judge right from wrong, good from bad, etc. However, judgment of others regarding personal, non-rights infringing behavior is of little to no value, other than to make one “feel” better about their own values.

    Mary Ruwart, who attributes a great many of her beliefs to Rand, nevertheless has raised objections, and has written and spoken extensively about the errors of “judgment” on everything, has rightly shown that such pervasive “judgment” has no place in libertarianism.

  9. So speaks the ever so tolerant disinter. Get a grip and grow up.
    Your behavior of juvenile gratitious insults and vulgar postings alienate just about everyone who wants to find the nuggets of truth you sometimes display. Surely you can find the words to express your differences on Bob Barr, “reform” caucuses, etc. – like in your final sentence – without the
    extraneous vomitus?

    So, show me a time when the LP ever had tolerance as one of it’s virtues?
    The oath alone (which I have always, and still do, vigorously support)
    shows intolerance for those who would use government coercion to get what they want.

  10. Roscoe far too often I have heard libertarians say the “Libertarians are socially tolerant and fiscally conservative”. The damn line has been written often enough over the years.

    Personally I do not agree with it because to be tolerant of someone’s behavior you have to know about it and frankly other people’s business, or habits is none of my business. Privacy still has some merit. And I cannot begin to know everything, nor can you.

    MHW

  11. I have long been an opponent of the “socially liberal (or tolerant) and fiscally conservative” characterization of libertarianism.

    First and foremost, liberty is not one sided . .. i.e. not relegated to personal, economic, or non interventionist aspects. Rather, those aspects are PART of libertarianism. Conservatism, in large part has ripped out the “enterprising aspect of liberty and claimed it for conservatism. Socialists (and other variants of modern “liberalism” have taken the freedom of expression aspect of liberty and claimed IT for “liberalism”.

    By framing libertarianism in such a way, is to uphold conservatism and “liberalism” as primary schools of thought, and libertarianism as secondary. In reality, liberty (and libertarianism) is primary and the others are fractions (to the extent they adopt liberty in their program) of it.

    Regarding Mr. Wilson’s characterization of “private behavior”, I agree, but only to the extent that even if I DO know, I am duty bound to be tolerant of such behavior/lifestyle, unless it is obvious that such behavior involves coercion. Under such “coercive” elements, that then becomes a “whole ‘nuther” topic of what obligation we as individuals have.

  12. Even our “esteemed” LP chair Mr. Redpath has framed libertarianism as “socially liberal and fiscally conservative”. Either Redpath (who has been an LP member since 1984) is just too lazy to present a better “soundbite”, or he just is ignorant of what libertarianism is really about! Simply horrible! This is why I am skeptical of Redpath representing and speaking for the LP (including his non-repudiated gun control advocacy!)

    p.s. I would have to look thoroughly through the LP website to find this Redpath tidbit, and I am not going to do this, but rest assured it is (was?) there.

  13. So my question remains hanging out there, unanswered, *still*:

    What are the published, consistent criteria used by the executive employees to determine who gets a Ruwart-is-a-porn-publisher or Barrett-is-a-Nazi treatment, versus the complete silence on the Kevin Craig “Congress should hate homosexuals” stuff?

    No, an answer stating “it personally offended Haugh” is not good enough. If the LP executive is going to get free reign to bounce out repugnant perspectives that contrast with Libertarian moral values, it needs to publish those standards and enforce them *uniformly*.

    At the moment, it is quite clear that it’s not a uniform standard, but based on the whims, personal biases, and political agendas of certain folks in the Watergate.

    Which stinks even worse than the various statements that Haugh claims to be opposing.

  14. Further questions for Haugh and his supporters:

    1) Why is the racism alleged against Barrett grounds for decertification, but others who have been accused of racism — or even put out racist press releases/letters, including the recent Barr letter on immigration, and Ron Paul’s 20-year newsletters — not getting similar treatment from Haugh?

    2) Considering that the Libertarian Party is a grassroots, bottoms-up organization made up of members, then constituent county parties, then state parties, then the LNC, why is the Watergate attempting a “command and control” style of management?

    3) If Haugh is truly concerned about racism, why isn’t he asking Libertarians in the party and movement who are involved in minority issues to confront Barrett directly and get to the bottom of it? There are many individuals in this party who can be counted on to have both more knowledge of the issues, and the integrity to state their clear and unbiased opinion on this situation.

    4) Why are people who demand consistency on these issues accused of “shrinking the party?” When did consistent application of ethical standards become a handicap?

  15. Mr. Miller, this may only be a half answer, but information releases, whether to the press or simply “published” on the LP website were for several months not subject to the “ADVERTISING & PUBLICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE”, as it had been disbanded by a vote of 8 or 9 to 3 (I think) at the Dec 2007 LNC meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.

    With virtual free reign, Cory, Haugh and Davis went hog wild on whatever target they felt needed targeting, without direct LNC oversight.

    Thankfully, the LNC has re-authorized this oversight committee.

    I would personally like to thank Mary Ruwart and Lee Wrights (both are at-large reps on the LNC) for pushing to have this committee re-instated, and though I won’t here and now name names, but the only “nay” votes on the re-authorization were outspoken “reform caucus” sympathizers.

    I would also like to thank Jim Lark, Angela Keaton and Chuck Moulton for voting correctly in Charleston in December, by voting against disbanding this oversight committee.

  16. The other half, which I brought up (I am an LNC Regional Alternate) was to investigate the actions of Cory et al, in releasing clearly un-libertarian positions. I also suggested a follow up press release, repudiating the ill-advised releases.

    I was met with “let’s just move forward and not punish”. I don’t know what else I can do.

  17. I agree with Steve LaBianca regarding the importance of the publication review committee. Given the serious problems which have arisen, as a result of LP staff being allowed to write and release whatever they want without oversight, it has been proven that official LP statements should be reviewed prior to dissemination.

    I’m not sure if something like this email would be covered under the committee requirement, though, and don’t currently have the time to do the research. Perhaps someone here is more familiar with the requirements, and can kindly fill us in on what type of written statement is and is not covered by LNC oversight.

  18. I understand the publishing thing, but it would appear to me that Haugh is pursuing things independently, abusing his perceived prominence as an LP exec employee to push his own agenda.

    Executive employees should be blanket instructed not to comment on any LP candidacy, position or policy without deliberate instructions from the LNC. Any LP executive employee taking a public position on any issue that is not authorized directly by the LNC (or copied verbatim from the LP platform) should be immediately terminated.

    This is not an effort to censor execs’ free expression — the employment is a voluntary assocation, and said silence and disengagement from political activity outside of executing LNC mandates is a reasonable expectation.

    Howard Dean would have been fired long, long ago had he tried a similar adventure. It appears to me that other executives in LPHQ “haven’t gotten the message” yet, and thus I’d suggest the LNC make the message very, very clear.

    Ultimately, anything that reflects poorly on Haugh in his official capacity as an LP employee reflects poorly on the LNC and national party as a whole. It also potentially exposes the LNC and individual LNC members to personal liability for any statement or action undertaken by out-of-control executive employees. I’d certainly not want to be in that position, if I was a member of the LNC.

  19. Steve LaBianca wrote, “I was met with “let’s just move forward and not punish”. I don’t know what else I can do.”

    You are doing the best thing you can do, by shining light on LNC actions (or inaction) with which you disagree. After all, your responsibility is to the LP membership which you were elected to represent, and not to the LNC.

  20. Mr. Miller is essentially correct. What we might want to do, however, is see how the other parties handle such matters. Is there an official designated spokesperson? If media members call, is is o.k. to repeatedly say “I have no comment at this time” and “I’ll get back to you as soon as I track down the Chair and convene a special meeting of the LNC or the Review Committee.” Sometimes there is a need for timely response
    (Barrett situation probably doesn’t qualify) so how do we propose doing it?

  21. bmillerlib Says:
    June 27, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    I understand the publishing thing, but it would appear to me that Haugh is pursuing things independently, abusing his perceived prominence as an LP exec employee to push his own agenda.

    My take on this is that Mr. Haugh, in acting unilaterally in a “press” release, would be subject to disciplinary action, as he would have violated his “employment” contract.

  22. ElfNinosMom Says:
    June 27, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I’m not sure if something like this email would be covered under the committee requirement, though, and don’t currently have the time to do the research. Perhaps someone here is more familiar with the requirements, and can kindly fill us in on what type of written statement is and is not covered by LNC oversight.

    I have not yet seen the “final”, approved motion to re-instate the committee. Plus, there were some question, just recently aired on the LNC discussion list, about just how extensive the oversight committee would cast authority over, and exctly what the makeup of the committee would be. Possibly, even this post I am posting right now is subject to review, however, I am not an “employee” of the LNC.

    When appropriate, I can detail the specifics of the committee and its duties.

  23. Thanks, Steve. 🙂

  24. What we might want to do, however, is see how the other parties handle such matters.

    I don’t agree.

    As Libertarians, we have unique values and ethics. We should hold our party’s executives and employees to the highest possible standards, not the low bar of the behavior of other parties.

  25. If media members call, is is o.k. to repeatedly say “I have no comment at this time” and “I’ll get back to you as soon as I track down the Chair and convene a special meeting of the LNC or the Review Committee.”

    Depends on what they’re calling about.

    If they’re asking the LP position on an issue, that’s covered by the media.

    If they’re asking for comment about the alleged positions of a minor candidate for office, the answer should be “no comment at this time.”

    You do hit on a good theme, however — the LPHQ has done a very very very poor job of media outreach, historically. I typically field more media interviews, as an unpaid member of a party issues lobby, than the national office has received, judging from the comparative volume of press coverage generated.

    Ideally, the LP would just decentralize media and let party people at the grassroots address the issues they’re most familiar with — but that would be letting control go, and I think a great deal of the present LP management is into controlling things.

  26. I was suggesting we see what the other parties do, not that we automatically adopt what they do. Perhaps their bar is already higher than the LP’s and knowing it would help make the argument!

  27. The oath alone (which I have always, and still do, vigorously support)
    shows intolerance for those who would use government coercion to get what they want.

    Where in the oath does it advocate the use of force against anyone for disagreeing with them?

  28. Roscoe far too often I have heard libertarians say the “Libertarians are socially tolerant and fiscally conservative”. The damn line has been written often enough over the years.

    You evidently have to draw roscoe a picture.

  29. Libertarians may have said we were “socially tolerant” but then they were wrong.

    Nothing in the oath implies using force against those who disagree. Who could read it that way? But it doesn’t mean that Libertarianism preaches social tolerance. Without violating the oath, a Libertarian can express disgust for gays or fundies, can tell tobacco or pot-smokers to get out of his house, and decide that he won’t date a cat-lover or neocon, or that he won’t work for an employer who has a union. A libertarian must be selectively tolerant in that he won’t sic the government on those peaceful persons who voluntarily lead lifestyle of which he may disapprove.
    He is perfectly free to be intolerant of preppie dressers, vulgar people,
    rednecks, hip hop artists, cosmolibertarians, ass-kissers, and LNC members who think they are God’s gift. He can snub them, vote against them, argue with them, but he doesn’t have to tolerate them as long as he does it peacefully.

  30. “Socially Tolerant. Fiscally Responsible.” is at the top of the California LP’s website.

    You might say it’s the state LP’s motto. It’s how we describe ourselves to the world.

  31. Steve LaBiance, the alt rep for my region, writes about the Advertising and Publications Review Committee “…there were some question, just recently aired on the LNC discussion list, about just how extensive the oversight committee would cast authority over, and exctly what the makeup of the committee would be. ” Please keep us posted as to what is happening with this committee. For way too long advertising and the PR work has been ignored.

    Thanks greatly for the up date and effort.

    MHW

  32. But it doesn’t mean that Libertarianism preaches social tolerance.

    Roscoe, you seem to be confused as usual. Being free to be intolerant is not the same as using force to coerce people to conform to your intolerant views.

  33. Dear Fellow libertarians,

    Libertarianism doesn’t preach tolerance, (or anything else for that matter). It simply obeys the laws of simple economics. In that line of thinking, allow me to make a suggestion:

    I urge the LNC to immediately eject Sean Haugh from salaried employment with the Libertarian Party! Since he apparently works from home, he need not even be shown the door. Are we to believe that noone else can fire and rehire several Libertarian petitioners, several times per month, all while ranting and raving like a complete lunatic, and giving pompous, (sometimes criminal) orders that he is completely unauthorized to give?

    …Let’s take our chances! We can hire him back as a petitioner, if he’s some wealthy donor’s idiot son. If he has any redeeming qualities, I’m sure he’ll work out! (And at least if he doesn’t, he will have been paid on commission, and not for unrealized theoretical possibilities.)

    Throw this fish back in the pond, but just make sure it isn’t the gene pool, because Sean Haugh is “Darwin Award” material if there ever was such. I don’t think any of us, least of all myself, want to be standing too close to this controversial human lighting rod the next time there’s a storm. It would be one thing if he was controversial with _results_. Quite another, for the late starts, slim margins, and shaky work he’s provided us in the States of Connecticut, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

    Has Haugh ever held a coroplast petitioning board before? That’s a sight I’d like to see, before he goes on any more petitioner lynchin’ expeditions. Then maybe he’d be in better company with Ron Crickenberger, (his vastly superior predecessor), Scott Kohlhaas (the guy who currently does his work) and Bill Redpath (our National chair).

    All of those people have gotten thousands of LP signatures, during tight-deadline petition drives. It’s summertime in the city, so let’s see you sweat, Sean!

    As for Jeff Wartman’s comment above, here’s my version:
    “While I can’t say I’ve supported anything else Sean has done as LP Political Director, I do believe Sean is possibly correct in this instance, but only by random accident.” Then again, how much was he paid to enlighten us all with his political genius/opinion?

    Whatever it is, it’s too much.

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