Steve G.

Haugh demands ballot petitions be burned

In Libertarian on June 29, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 15:03:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Question about Alabama
From: sean.haugh at lp.org
To: markpickens at hotmail.com
CC: scott at draftresitance.org; robert.kraus at lp.org

Mark, I just received evidence that Gary Fincher is working in Massachusetts on our drive through you. I have told you before that this is completely unacceptable. I am now going to call the LPMA and instruct them to burn (quite literally) any signatures collected by Gary, whether they paid for them or not. I had warned them too.

Since it’s obvious that I can’t trust you to keep Fincher away from our petitions, I cannot work with you any longer. I’ll figure out some other way to keep Paul. This decision is final, and frankly I’m very
disappointed.

yours in liberty –
Sean

UPDATE: Gary Fincher responds

From: Liberty Crusader
Subject: Massachusetts Burning
To: sean.haugh at lp.org
Cc: richardwinger at yahoo.com, wredpath at his.com, chair at lp.org, phillies at 4liberty.net
Date: Sunday, June 29, 2008, 1:15 PM

Sean, one of the voters whose petition signature you threatened to burn is a New Bedford, Massachusetts police officer whom I will be meeting with later this weekend. He and I will be discussing the Massachusetts law making it illegal to “alter, deface, mutilate, destroy or suppress” an official Masachusetts nomination petition.

By the way, although I refuse to work on petitions for national (obviously, you’ve seen my resignation letter, tendered 9/29/07), I nevertheless am perfectly willing and able to work on petitions through the state parties, and will do so whenever I good and feel like it, as I’m in high demand for my services by thrilled state party ballot access coordinators. Do you understand?

My hunch is that your days as political director for this party are numbered. Let’s see how this unfolds over the next days or weeks as news breaks around the party of your eagerness to waste donors scarce resources in destroying perfectly valid, paid-for signatures (such of which are 2,000 freshly turned in this weekend).

Yours in REAL liberty,

Gary

  1. OK, this is one of those “walked into the middle of the conversation” moments. What’s the rest of the story?

  2. […] Muddy Thoughts nailed it.  I have no idea and that’s after talking to Sean, George, Paulie, reading the usual kind of Robert email and Aaron claiming first that he was too tired and then couldn’t hear me.  It’s too much drama in the act of collecting signatures. Whatever. What the fuck ever. […]

  3. 1) Gary Fincher is an excellent long time petitioner and a long time Libertarian Party activist. He first got involved with the Libertarian Party back in 1988 after hearing about the Ron Paul for President campaign and he became a petitioner in 1991. He was a Libertarian Party candidate for the State Legislature in Maine back in 1990 and has done lots of volunteer activism in addition to being a paid petitioner. I met Gary in 2004 and have worked with him on several occassions and I can tell you that he is in the A Class of petitioners. Gary’s services as a petitioner are sought after by a lot of campaigns around the country and he is on the “first call” list for several petition coordinators.

    2) I mentioned this to you previously, but Gary was the target of a controversy in New Mexico back in 1999. He was there with his late wife (she passed away in 2002) to do Libertarian Party voter registrations. The Libertarian Party of New Mexico needed a certain number of voter registrations to either recieve major party status (a status which they achieved but later lost). Some officials at the New Mexico State Election Office did not like the fact that more people were registering to vote under the Libertarian Party banner so they claimed that the voter registrations were fraudulent. So they put out the accusation that the Fincher’s “MUST” have committed fraud (because in their minds hardly anybody would want to register to vote under the Libertarian Party banner). When the accusations came out they hit the local media as a smear attack. Gary (and his wife Kay (short for Karen)) said that they were willing to go to the local TV news stations to do interviews to clear their names and the name of the New Mexico LP. However, Joe Knight (who I believe was the State Chair at the time) told them not to do this so they didn’t do it. After this, Joe Knight sided with the State and said that the Fincher’s must have committed fraud. Another member of the New Mexico LP by the name of Ron Bjornstad (he may have been the Vice Chair or a County Chair or something like that) went out and investigated the Fincher’s by spying on them while there were working and he came to the conclusion that they had not done anything wrong. Ron Bjornstad reported his findings to Joe Knight, but Joe Knight refused to believe him and then used LP of New Mexico money to hire a friend of his who was a private investigator to investigate the Fincher’s. Instead of going out and watching them work, the private investigator interviewed about 15 people that the Fincher’s had registered to vote under the LP banner. The private investigator reported that all 15 people said that the Fincher’s tricked them into registering Libertarian. The New Mexico State Elections Office sent an undercover investigator into the field to watch the Fincher’s work and to pose as somebody who wanted to register to vote with them. The State Investigator reported that the Fincher’s were actually too insistent on them registering as Libertarians as he tried to get them to register him as a Republican and they wouldn’t do it as Gary told him something like, “We are only out here to register Libertarians. If you want to register as a Republican then go and get your own registration form.” The testimony from Ron Bjornstad and the New Mexico State Elections Office Investigator contradicted the claims that the Fincher’s had engaged in fraud. However, this did not stop Joe Knight and some others (such as a guy named Dean Chambers) from smearing the Fincher’s. Joe Knight clinged to the story from the private investigator that he had hired. What likely happened with the private investigator is that his prescence intimidated people into saying that they’d been tricked and he may have asked them leading questions to enforce this outcome (Something like, “You didn’t really mean to register as a Libertarian, did you? A lot of people are stupid and sheepish and will crack under such “pressure.”). Due to allegations of fraud the LP did not pay the Fincher’s what they were owed for their last few days of work which came out to $679 and then the Fincher’s left the state. Note that the Fincher’s worked Albuquerque and that Joe Knight lived in Farmington and that he never came down to watch the Fincher’s work so his insistance that they engaged in fraudulent acts were based on hearsay and assumptions. Also, note that there were allegations of fraud that came out of Las Cruces where Scott Kohlhaas came in to do voter registrations yet Scott never got in any trouble over it (in all fairness, these allegations were likely false as well). Due to the allegations in New Mexico, the Fincher’s were temporarily blacklisted from a few petition drives in 2000 by then LP Political Director Ron Crickenberger (who came to New Mexico for the LP of New Mexico State Convention but who never saw Gary work in New Mexico). However, in spite of being blacklisted by LP National they were still invited by some state parties to work on some LP petition drives. Steve Dasbach was the Executive Director at that time and he told the Fincher’s that if they did some “penance” they could come back to LP National petitioning. They eventually came back, however, Kay passed away in 2002. Ballot access expert and long time Libertarian Richard Winger investigated the Fincher-LP of New Mexico voter registration controversy,. and he found out that the Fincher’s voter registrations were counted by the New Mexico State Election Office and that there was no evidence that they had engaged in voter registration fraud. Another point is that the State of New Mexico never pressed any charges against the Fincher’s because there was no evidence that they had committed any crimes. Since the State of New Mexico had counted the voter registrations that the Fincher’s had collected there was no legitimate reason for the Fincher’s to have not been paid or to be blacklisted. So Gary lobbied LP National to pay him, however, Ron Crickenberger refused. Ron Crickenberger passed away in 2004 and then Bill Redpath took over ballot access (as a volunteer ballot access coordinator, not as Political Director). When Bill Redpath came on board Gary explained the situation to him and Bill told him to put it in an e-mail and he’d get back to him. Gary sent him an e-mail and then he never heard from Bill. The next time Gary brought it up was at the 2006 LP National Convention in Portland. Gary asked Bill about it again and Bill said that he never read the e-mail but that he’d look into it later. Gary also spoke to Steve Dasbach at the convention and Steve said that he’d put in a good word to Bill. After the convention Gary e-mailed Bill again and never heard from him. Then sometime during the 1st half of 2007 Gary brought up the subject to Bill again in a phone conversation and Bill once again said that he’d look into it, and in this conversation Gary said that Bill should call up Steve Dasbach since Steve Dasbach had agreed to put in a good word for Gary at the 2006 National Convention. Bill actually did call Steve Dasbach, the only bad thing was that Steve Dasbach had backpeddled somewhat on his previous statement in that he said that he wasn’t sure if Gary should get paid! So after this set back, Gary called Richard Winger and he asked Richard Winger if he’d talk to Bill Redpath about it. Richard Winger did this and he informed Bill that the Fincher’s voter registrations were counted by the state and that there was no evidence of fraud, so Bill agreed to pay Gary the $679 and he actually did it (however, he did not recieve any interest even though it was 7 years late). Gary talked to Steve Dasbach again at the 2008 National Convention and this time Steve Dasbach said that the New Mexico controversy was water under the bridge and that it should not be used as an excuse to prevent Gary from working (I was standing right next to Gary when this conversation took place).

    (I brought up the New Mexico story because once the above story breaks, somebody may use it as a smear tactic. I think the fact that Gary was backed up by Ron Bjornstad and Richard Winger as well as the State Investigator (who actually critisized him for being too insistent about people registering as Libertarians) vindicates him, along with the fact that the State of New Mexico never pressed charges (due to no evidence) and that Bill Redpath paid him 7 years later, and in addition to the fact that Steve Dasbach said that it was water under the bridge and should not be used as an excuse to prevent Gary from working.)

    3) Gary was invited to petition in Massachusetts by Libertarian Party of Massachusetts State Chair George Phillies during the Libertarian Party National Convention in Denver. I was standing near Gary when George invited him. Gary has worked on petitions for George Phillies in the past and George was impressed with his work.

    4) Gary was planning to be in Massachusetts anyway as Gary had worked out deals to gather petition signatures for the Constitution Party and the Ralph Nader campaign and they both wanted him to go to Massachusetts. Gary is a solid Libertarian, and while he prefers to work on Libertarian Party ballot access and pro-liberty ballot initiatives and referenda, he does work on ballot access for other minor party and independent candidates sometimes to supplement his income. While Gary avoids working on anti-liberty ballot initiatives and referenda, he doesn’t have as much of a problem with working on ballot access petitions for other minor parties and independent candidates because he agrees with some of their issues and sees them as being less toxic than the average Democrat and Republican, plus, he sympathizes with their plight as minor party and independent candidates, and in addition to this, he knows that they have little chance of winning. (I agree with Gary’s sentiments here.)

    Interestingly enough, it was actually Bill Redpath who first talked Gary into working on ballot access petitions for other minor party and independent candidates back in the early ’90s. At the time the Libertarian Party had a deal with the Natural Law Party and/or the New Alliance Party to help with eachother’s ballot access petition drives. The LP had a similiar deal in several states with the Ralph Nader campaign in 2004.

    5) It is common on petition drives to try to get every person who is able and willing to work out there with pens, clip boards, and petitions. It is unusual to prevent anyone from working, and it is even more unusual – I’d say unheard of – to prevent a seasoned pro with a good track record like Gary from working.

    6) It is not unusual for petition proponents (the proponent is the person or group who came out with the petition) and petition coordinators (a coordinator is a person who manages the petition drive; they could be the same as the proponent or they could be a person who was hired specifically to manage the petition drive) to not know who all of the people are who are gathering signatures on petitions.

    Case in point: There is a mercenary petition coordinator in Massachusetts that the Libertarian Party hired to gather petition signatures. This mercenary petition coordinator was also hired to gather petition signatures for Ralph Nader and for the Constitution Party. The mercenary petition coordinator has a crew of petitioners that turn in signatures to him. The Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, and the Ralph Nader campaign have NO IDEA who all of the petitioners are who were hired by the mercenary petition coordinator (also, note that while some states have petition circulator declarations that are signed by the person who gathered the signatures, Massachusetts does not have circulator declarations on their petitions). The coordinator makes his money by collecting an override off of all of the signatures that his crew collects. It is common for petitioners who are working under a coordinator to sub-coordinate, as in they start their own crew and collect an override off of the signatures that their crew collects, and then they turn those signatures in to the coordinator (who turns the signatures in to the proponent). The petition coordinator may not know who the petition sub-coordinators hired. Also, it is not uncommon for people who are gathering petition signatures to hand out blank sheets to friends or family so they can gather some signatures.

    What is my point in bringing this up? My point is that Sean Haugh has no clue who some of the petitioners currently working on LP ballot access are, and some of the petitioners he only knows them as a name or through a few phone conversations. Sean is playing personality games with Gary, and now he is saying that Gary should be prohibited from working on petitions just because Gary has had the misfortune of actually interacting with Sean Haugh, while petitioners who have never had the misfortune of interacting with Sean Haugh are able to work. Why should Gary be prohibited from working due to the personality quirks of Sean Haugh?

    8) Gary recieved word from the Ralph Nader campaign that Sean Haugh from the Libertarian Party had contacted them and trashed talked him, urging them to not hire him.

    It is HIGHLY egregious and unprofessional for the Political Director of the Libertarian Party, or for that matter, any paid employee of a political party, to contact a another political party or entity to smear a petitioner (or any other type of campaign worker) and urge them to not hire a person.

    How in the hell is it any of Sean Haugh’s business if Gary gathers petition signatures for the Ralph Nader campaign, or for any other campaign?

    Fortunately, the folks at the Ralph Nader campaign did not take it seriously (since Gary had done good work for them in the past) and hired him anyway.

    Incidentily, Gary showed the “burn the petitions” e-mail to one of the people coordinating the Ralph Nader petition drive in Massachusetts and this person found it to be quite disturbing.

    9) A lot of this nonsense stems from the fact that Gary and myself were ripped off by Libertarian Party fundraiser Scott Kohlhaas on a Libertarian Party ballot access petition drive in Nebraska during October-November of 2008. I left Nebraska being owed $10,000 (note that part of the reason I was owed so much was because I personally bailed out 2 petitioners – Mark and Paul – by paying them out of my own pocket) and Gary left Nebraska being owed a little over $4,000. We were strung along and told that the money was coming soon (note that we were originally told that we’d be paid while we were in Nebraska) and this went on for several months. Between February and March we recieved some of the payments – I recieved around $4,000 and Gary recieved around $1,000. We did not recieve the remainder of the money until September 1st (10-11 months after the work was done!). It turned out that Scott Kohlhaas was supposed to have recieved a 40% weekly commission for his fundraising efforts for the Nebraska petition drive, but instead of just getting 40%, he paid himself his projected commission as if the job had been completed, and then he just stopped raising money, and he knowingly left Gary and I unpaid for months. When we finally recieved the money it was not due to efforts from Scott Kohlhaas but rather from the LNC doing a round-the-room fundraising at the July LNC meeting in Pittsburg (a meeting in which Gary and I made a suprise appearance). Scott Kohlhaas had stopped returning our phone calls after a March 10th conference call. I called him quite a few times between March and late April or early May and it became apparent that he was ducking Gary and I so I gave up on calling him.

    Gary and I confronted both Scott Kohlhaas and Sean Haugh at the LP National Convention in Denver and both of them reacted like crybabies and weasels. The first thing that I asked Scott Kohlhaas was why he didn’t return my phone calls after the March 10th conference call and his response was that he called me a bunch of times. I said let’s check the phone records to confirm that and he wouldn’t respond to me. So the first thing that Scott Kohlhaas said to me after not speaking to me for over 1 year and 2 months was a lie.

    Kohlhaas and Haugh made threats about blacklisting Gary and me for merely daring to question them, and of course they refused to anwser any questions.

    10) Sean Haugh said, “Mark, I just received evidence that Gary Fincher is working in Massachusetts on our drive through you.”

    Mark is not even in Massachusetts right now as he’s been in Colorado since shortly before the LP National Convention in Denver. The last time Mark was in Massachusetts was in November of 2007, months BEFORE the Libertarian Party ballot access petitioning started (note that it started around late April or early May of 2008).

    Sean could claim that the pay for the petition signatures that Gary collected is being routed through Mark, but this is completely false. Gary hasn’t even been paid yet, but when he does get paid he will get paid directly from the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, and the pay will be from STATE PARTY FUNDS, NOT funds from LP National (not that there is any legitimate reason that he shouldn’t be paid if the funds came from LP National).

    11) Sean Haugh said, “I have told you before that this is completely unacceptable.”

    Why would it be completely unacceptable to have Gary – who is regaurded as one of the top petitioners in the country and who is a long time LP activist – to work on a Libertarian Party ballot access petition drive? This makes no rational sense. This is the equivalent of saying that a star football or basketball player should not be allowed to play (for no legitimate reason).

    12) Sean Haugh said, “I am now going to call the LPMA and instruct
    them to burn (quite literally) any signatures collected by Gary,”

    Sean Haugh is instructing the LP of Massachusetts to engage in a CRIME! It is a CRIME in any state in the country to destroy filled out petitions or voter registration forms. In fact, in Massachusetts it actually says that this is a crime right on their petitions. In bold letters it says something like, “Warning: anyone who defaces, destroys, or supresses this petition is guilty of a crime and may be sentenced to fines of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison.”

    Not only are Sean’s instructions a crime, they are also extremely stupid and irrational. Why would the Political Director of a party that is trying to gain ballot access want to burn petition signatures for ballot access?

    I have worked with Gary on several occassions and I’ve never seen him have a problem with bad validity. Signatures can be disqualified for a variety of reasons, such as if a signer is not a registered voter, if a signer fills out the form wrong, if a signer signs the wrong page (note that in Massachusetts, every town has to have a seperate page (there are 351 towns in Massachusetts)), if a signer has illegible writing, if a signer puts the wrong address on the peition form (as in not the address where they are listed as being a registered voter), etc… A good petitioner screens the signers by asking them questions such as if they are a registered voter, where they are registered, and telling them to make sure that they put the same residence address that appears on their voter registration. The threshold for decent validity is generally considered to be 70-75%, but a good petitioner can get validity that is in the 80s-90s% range. I’ve worked with Gary enough to say that I know that he does not have a validity problem. In fact, Gary and I – as well as Mark and Paul – staid at Carla Howell’s family’s beach house on Cape Cod from September-November and we worked on Carla Howell’s ballot initiative to End the Massachusetts State Income Tax and another one that was being run by a different organization to Reduce Penalties on Marijuana Pocession and NONE of us had problems with bad validity. I wouldn’t be suprised if Gary’s validity on the 2,000 Libertarian Party ballot access petition signatures that he has gathered in Massachusetts is in the 90s% range, and I seriously doubt that it is lower than the 80s% range.

    No petition coordinator or proponent IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would throw out perfectly good signatures. I joined the Libertarian Party in 1996, and I got involved with petitioning in 2000 and I have worked on petitions in 24 states plus Washington DC. I have gathered petition signatures for numerous candidates, ballot initiatives, referenda, and the recall of California Governor Grey Davis. I have worked with numerous petition coordinators and proponents. I have NEVER seen or even heard of anyone advocating the destruction of good signatures. If Sean Haugh advocated this on one of the big ballot initiative drives in say California or Washington or Colorado or Florida (or whatever other big initiative state), he’d be laughed out of the petition office and would likely be fired, and there is a good chance that he’d face criminal charges as well.

    The only justification that I could see to throw out all of these petition signatures would be if they were all forged, but even in this case you would have to PROVE that they were all forged before you threw them out.

    Even if the validity on the signatures was bad, say that only 30% of them were valid (as in if 70% of them were thrown out because the signers were not registered voters or signed the wrong pages or wrote so sloppy that they couldn’t be decifered, etc…) this still would not justify throwing the signatures out. Why? Because even if 70% of the 2,000 signatures were ruled invalid, that would mean that there would still be 600 signatures that were valid, and those 600 valid signatures would count towards obtaining ballot status.

    What usually happens when a petitioner has validity that is below the 70-75% range is that they get docked on their pay. A petitioner does not normally get fired for bad validity unless the bad validity is habbitual (and even then they may just get docked instead of getting fired).

    I’ve worked with Gary enough to say with confidence that his signatures in Massachusetts have good validity. Gary is a pro, he’s not some bum off the streets who does crap work.

    This actually could be considered to be a serious offense from Sean. He can’t claim that he was joking or engaging in hypebole because he said “burn (quite literally)…” Sean ought to be reported to the Massachusetts elections officials and charges should be pressed. This is not only a violation of Gary’s rights, and a violation of the rights of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, this is also a violation of the rights of the 2,000 people who signed the petition. Remember, this is a STATE REQUIRED petition for ballot access. The destruction of a petition like this IS A CRIME.

    13) Sean said, “whether they paid for them or not.”

    WOW! Sean really sinks this to an even lower level here. He is saying that even if Gary was already paid for these signatures (OUT OF LIBERTARIAN PARTY DONOR’S MONEY) that the LP of Massachusetts should still burn them. Man, this guy is really a nutcase who has obviously got no regaurd for how donor’s money is spent. He would actually take 2,000 good signatures that were already paid for, and then burn them, only to pay for another 2,000 signatures!

    Gary is supposed to get paid $1.50 per signature, which with 2,000 signatures comes out to $3,000. Without Gary’s signatures the mercenary petition coordinator’s crew would get these signatures at a rate of $2 per signature (why Gary is only getting $1.50 while the merc petition coordinator is getting more is another issue – Gary SHOULD be getting the same pay rate), which for 2,000 signatures comes out to $4,000.

    So Sean Haugh is advocating that it is OK to burn $3,000 worth of signatures only to pay $4,000 for the same amount of signatures to come in at a later date (and note that there are ballot access deadlines and that driving any petition drive on for longer than necessary jepordizes ballot access efforts not just in the state where this happens, but also in other states). Man, talk about being fiscally irresponsible! Would anyone here who is a Libertarian Party member agree with having their donations WASTED in such a manner?

    For years Libertarian Party members have complained about how the government wastes money, yet they have a Political Director who clearly doesn’t care about wasting money. Of course this is the same Political Director who for a few years got paid $1,200 per month to do very little work on candidate tracker, which at times had as few as 6 candidates on it (which meant that he got paid $200 per candidate a month during those times) and which never seemed to have more than a dozen or so candidates on it, which was not even close to the actual number of candidates running.

    Since Sean said “whether they paid for them or not.” this indicates that if they haven’t paid for the signatures that they should just burn them and not bother paying Gary for his work. So the guy goes out and busts his ass and gathers 2,000 signatures for LP ballot access and Sean doesn’t think that he should get paid, even though George Phillies had already promised that he would get paid.

    14) Sean said, “I had warned them too.”

    Warned them about what? Gary is an A Class petitioner and a hardcore Libertarian activist as well. Most petition coordinators trip over themselves to have Gary work on their campaign.

    15) Sean said, “Since it’s obvious that I can’t trust you to keep Fincher away from our
    petitions,”

    Why would anyone want to keep Gary away from petitions? That is like if somebody said, “I want to keep (New England Patriot’s wide reciever) Randy Moss or (New England Patriot’s quaterback) Tom Brady away from footballs.”

    Why should it be Mark’s responsibility to keep Gary away from Libertarian Party petitions? Mark and Gary are not even in the same freakin’ state right now! This entire premiss is ABSURD!

    Also, notice Sean’s use the the word “our” in reference to the petitions. This indicates that Sean thinks that the Libertarian Party is owned by a little clique to which he belongs, nevermind the fact that Gary has been involved with the Libertarian Party for about 20 years, or for that matter, that I’m a member of the Libertarian Party, and that Mark is a member of the Libertarian Party, and that George Phillies is a member of the Libertarian, and that there are thousands of other people around the country that are members of the Libertarian Party. Funny how Sean assumes to speak for all of us when he says “our” petitions. This is a VERY ARROGANT attitude. The Libertarian Party is not just Sean Haugh, nor is it just those at LP National. The Libertarian Party is every member of the party. I don’t think that every Libertarian Party member would agree that the 2,000 signatures collected by Gary should be destroyed or that Gary should not be allowed to gather petition signatures.

    16) Sean said, “I cannot work with you any longer.”

    So now Mark – who is a long time Libertarian Party activist and a pro petitioner in his own right – is blackballed for simply being associated with Gary (who is blacklisted for no legitimate reason). Not only is this guilt by association, it is guilt by association for no reason and no proof of guilt!

    17) Sean said, “I’ll figure out some other way to keep Paul.”

    So Paul can stay for now, but of course he could end up getting blacklisted the next time that Sean Haugh throws a temper tantrum, especially since he knows Gary and Mark and myself, and since Sean likes to play the Guilt By Association Without Any Proof Of Guilt game.

    18) Sean said, “This decision is final,”

    Translation: I’m an emotionally unstable middle aged crybaby and I don’t like to admitt when I’m wrong. I make irrational decisions and then I stick with them. It would shatter my pathetic exsistence for me to admitt that I’m wrong.

    19) Sean said, “and frankly I’m very disappointed.”

    The entire Libertarian Party should be disappointed that this deranged individual is the Political Director, or for that matter, holds any position at all within the party.

  4. Wow. I ask a question…and I didn’t expect this much.🙂

    Seriously, I remember a little bit of the NM thing (I was up the road in CO at the time and remember thinking it was cool that NM got major status), but not this much detail.

    Thanks for filling in what apparently is a lot of background…

  5. As State Chair, I have received no such request. If our State Political Facilitator, Carol McMahon, received such a request, she did not forward it.

    I asked Mr. Fincher to petition in my state, at an agreed-upon rate, and I am absolutely confident that he will be paid, if need be because my checkbook is immediately at hand.

    George Phillies

  6. My wife was asked to contribute funds for ballot access the other day in a phone call. No such funds will be sent unless and until this mess is cleaned up. One way or another.

    MHW

  7. What the bloody hell is going on at LPHQ?

  8. Sean,

    You don’t know your butt from a hole in the wall. Gary is an old friend of mine. Who, exactly are you?

  9. And, Sean,

    produce some evidence of your expertise in petition matters. Something other than you sit on boards and do ABSOSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    Cause, Sean, that is thieving.

  10. Brian Miller asks: “What the bloody hell is going on at LPHQ?” Same old shit. The farts don’t know what the hell they are doing. So, they blame others, and want it all their own way…

    Remember, always, they do nothing, never, ever have.

    Ask Sean to tell you what the —- he knows about petitioning. Gary knows about 1,000 times that.

    Sean is full of shit.

  11. Which is NOT to say that Sean is lying and that Gary is blameless. I’m just suggesting a logical starting point.

    ALWAYS remember, the national LP is populated by moronic people who never achieved anything in their lives.

    That is Sean…Gary has done half the drives in our LP history. I know who I believe. Do you?

  12. Anyone but a nincompoop would have had the data BEFORE he paid for the sigs…It IS that simple nowadays…and for someone like Haugh to say it isn’t, well, just proves Haugh doesn’t know his head from his ass.

  13. Do not question the motives or experience of others unless and until you can match that.

    And you cannot, can you?

    You twit, and I do mean you, Sean…Twit.

  14. I’ve only worked on one petition drive and I did it as a volunteer in Texas. I collected somewhere between 500-1000 sigs while working full time and heading a household as well as collecting and notarizing (thanks to a non-LP girlfriend who could help out) sigs from paid people and I’ll say right now that it’s a freaking thankless job. It’s activism in a rough life and while I don’t mean to parrot CBennett from another comment, liberty does have some friends in odd places. Eric Dondero comes to mind- he’s certainly no friend of mine but it does seem he, like many others, work their dicks off to provide for their living as well as ballot access initiatives.

    Now, I’m usually one that will point out that Dondero does this type of work for a living and so we should never act like he’s a martyr to the cause and I still feel that today. But, it is asinine to pay what we do for ballot access and not do it smartly. I’d rather that Paulie, Gary and even Dondero get good money for a good product from me than me throwing my effort (whether donation or sweat) down the shitter like a soiled napkin.

  15. I vaguely remember the N.M. situation because that was when I was working at LPHQ. I understand the fears of a repeat situation, but I also question the wisdom of throwing away so many signatures.

  16. “Peter Orvetti Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 6:42 am
    I vaguely remember the N.M. situation because that was when I was working at LPHQ. I understand the fears of a repeat situation, but I also question the wisdom of throwing away so many signatures.”

    Peter, Gary has worked on numerous Libertarian Party ballot access petition drives since then and has never done bad work. He has also worked on numerous ballot initiative drives since then and has never done bad work. I even worked with him on some of these drives – in some cases side by side. I actually hired Gary a few times when I got to be in more of a petition coordinator role and during the time that Gary was there he was one of our top signature producers and had one of the highest validity rates.

    For this current election cycle, Gary gathered signatures that got the LP back on the ballot in North Dakota and Nebraska. I’d be willing to bet money that the 2,000 signatures for LP ballot access that Gary recently gathered in Massachusetts are of good validity.

    “John P. Slevin Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 2:30 am
    Sean,

    You don’t know your butt from a hole in the wall. Gary is an old friend of mine. Who, exactly are you?

    John P. Slevin Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 2:33 am
    And, Sean,

    produce some evidence of your expertise in petition matters. Something other than you sit on boards and do ABSOSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    Cause, Sean, that is thieving.”

    John Slevin is a vetran of ballot access petitioning and he knows a hell of a lot more about ballot access than Sean Haugh. Slevin knows of Gary’s work back in the ’90s and he knows that Gary does a good job.

    Sean Haugh, on the other hand, doesn’t know about which he is speaking. He’s a political dilliatante dilettante:

    adjective
    1. showing frivolous or superficial interest; amateurish; “his dilettantish efforts at painting”

    noun
    1. an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge [syn: dabbler].

    I think that he’s got a HELL of a lot of nerve putting down one of my colleagues (and myself for that matter).

    Let’s seem him go out right now and bust his ass for 8-12 hours per day, 7 days per week, for weeks at a stretch, and deal with extreme cold and extreme heat, wind, rain, and snow. Let’s see him handle getting hassled at locations by cops, government beauracrats, security gaurds, and store managers. Let’s see him deal with apathetic and/or hostile members of the public. Let’s see him deal with blockers (these are people who don’t like your petition and who hang there and harrass petitioners and try to scare people out of signing).

    This political panty waste doesn’t deserve to carry one of our clip boards. Sean Haugh sits on his ass and does a little bit of nothing, while people like myself and Gary are out there busting our asses so voters can have more choices. Sean Haugh gets (over)paid to track a few candidates, but remember, THERE WOULDN’T BE ANY CANDIDATES IF IT WEREN’T FOR BALLOT ACCESS PETITIONERS!

    “John P. Slevin Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 2:42 am
    Which is NOT to say that Sean is lying and that Gary is blameless. I’m just suggesting a logical starting point.”

    I would say that in this case, Sean is clearly in the wrong and Gary is clearly in the right.

    “miche Says:
    and I’ll say right now that it’s a freaking thankless job. It’s activism in a rough life and while I don’t mean to parrot CBennett from another comment, liberty does have some friends in odd places. Eric Dondero comes to mind- he’s certainly no friend of mine but it does seem he, like many others, work their dicks off to provide for their living as well as ballot access initiatives.

    Now, I’m usually one that will point out that Dondero does this type of work for a living and so we should never act like he’s a martyr to the cause and I still feel that today. But, it is asinine to pay what we do for ballot access and not do it smartly. I’d rather that Paulie, Gary and even Dondero get good money for a good product from me than me throwing my effort (whether donation or sweat) down the shitter like a soiled napkin.”

    I’ve never met Eric Dondero in person (although I know people who know him in person). My only interactions with him have been from internet forums and two phone conversations. I disagree with Eric on some political issues (mostly foreign policy), and I REALLY don’t like the way he sells out to big government Republicans and tries to paint some of them as “libertarians” (such as Rudy Giuliani) when they are FAR from it. I’m also not too impressed with the temper tantrums that he’s thrown (listen to his blog talk radio appearance on Andrew Barnett’s show with George Phillies and also go to Harry Browne’s radio archives and listen to one of the last shows where Eric was a guest). His smear campaign against his former boss Ron Paul was absolutely classless and disgusting.

    Having said this, from what I’ve heard, Eric is a good petitioner. He brings in good numbers and gets good validity. Some of his views make me want to puke, and I’ve even suspected that he’s a plant, but this does not mean that he’s not a good petitioner.

    I don’t know if Eric is really a plant or not, but for the sake of discussion, assuming that he is not a plant and that he really believes what he says he believes, then he does hold some pro-liberty views. If he is not a plant he could just be warped.

    From what I’ve heard, Eric Dondero the petitioner is not completely out to just make money. I heard that while he was in Colorado in 2006 he turned down working on a ballot initiative to Increase the Minimum Wage (I also refused to work on this). Of course he left Colorado to travel to Connecticut to gather petition signatures for Joe Lieberman’s independent run for the US Senate, but in Eric’s warped view of what it means to be a libertarian Joe Lieberman is a decent guy. I wouldn’t gather signatures for Joe Lieberman if the pay was $10 per signature myself, but that’s not my point here. I also know that Eric refused to gather signatures to put Ralph Nader on the ballot in Texas. I worked on this one myself, not because I’m enamored with Ralph Nader, but because LP of TX Executive Director Wes Benidict asked me to (the LP of TX had a deal with the Nader campaign to help eachother get on the ballot), and also because I considered Nader to be less toxic than Bush & Kerry, and because I knew that he stood little to no chance of winning.

    Also, just because a person is getting paid, it doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in what they are doing. Doctors, auto mechanics, teachers, nurses, plumbers, cooks, actors, athletes, muscians, etc…, get paid and it doesn’t mean that none of them care about what they do. Yes, there are petitioners who really don’t care about what they are doing and are only it it for the money (of course the same can also be said about people in any type of work), and lately it seems that LP National has actually been favoring these types of people as petitioners, but there are other petitions who do care and a small number of us are actually libertarians. The most passionate petitioners that are I know are fellow Libertarians like Gary, Mark, Paul, Jake, and Bob.

    Speaking for myself (but I know that the others can say the same), I’ve actually TURNED DOWN work on campaigns where I could have made a lot more money to work on Libertarian Party ballot access or other pro-liberty causes. Yes, I like to make money, but a big part of the reason that I’m out there is because I want to be “out on the streets” fighting for liberty. I want to be out there waking people up. If I were “only in it for the money” I wouldn’t have turned down so many work opportunities over the last 8 years. I have TURNED DOWN a LOT of money.

    This is why it pisses me off all the more to get screwed over by the likes of Sean Haugh.

  17. Just skimming this, but my concern is that many (or at least some) people who thought they were contributing to the LP’s effort will have had their sigs tossed (‘burned’).

    But I think everyone should recall that as Sean is forbidden from posting to outside blogs by LP policy (a policy he mostly adheres to), he cannot readily defend himself against these accusations. Perhaps someone from LFV can get Acting Director Bob Krause to allow him to be interviewed (or can interview Krause himself) about the issue.

  18. “Susan Hogarth Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm
    Just skimming this, but my concern is that many (or at least some) people who thought they were contributing to the LP’s effort will have had their sigs tossed (’burned’).”

    Susan brought up an excellent point that everyone reading this should remember. Sean Haugh has got ZERO REGAURD for the people who donated the $3,000 to pay Gary for his signatures, nor does he have any regaurd for the people who could end up donating $4,000 to the mercenary petition coordinator in Massachusetts who would be paid to collect.

    “But I think everyone should recall that as Sean is forbidden from posting to outside blogs by LP policy (a policy he mostly adheres to), he cannot readily defend himself against these accusations.”

    I’ve seen Sean Haugh posting on blogs since he’s been the Political Director. In fact, I believe that he’s posted on this very blog. I also saw a post from him on the anti-war.com blog just last night (that was from last night or shortly before that).

    “Perhaps someone from LFV can get Acting Director Bob Krause to allow him to be interviewed (or can interview Krause himself) about the issue.”

    How in the HELL could anyone defend this? What Sean advocated was not only stupid and irrational, it was also wasteful, unethical, and ILLEGAL.

  19. Jacobs,

    Hogarth is dead on. Haugh has no ability to defend himself in this forum. As a radical, an anarchist, an LNC rep, and a close friend of Canolli, you are completely unfair. You and Fintcher are very difficult to work with and I am being very restrained here. Very.

    Haugh isn’t paid enough to put up with people who can barely adhere to basic social norms. As for his comments on the Antiwar.com blog, they were completely appropriate (expressing grief over the loss of a major movement figure) and had no bearing whatsoever on the Libertarian Party internal policy.

  20. Sean Haugh has got ZERO REGAURD for the people who donated …

    I think you missed my point – though yours is valid as well. Destroying the signatures destroys the intent of the *signers*.

    As for his comments on the Antiwar.com blog, they were completely appropriate (expressing grief …

    I typically don’t expect to find expressions of grief beginning with the words “Well, crap.”

  21. Angela Keaton wrote: You and Fintcher are very difficult to work with and I am being very restrained here. Very.

    Haugh isn’t paid enough to put up with people who can barely adhere to basic social norms.

    Angela has no basis whatsoever to make such a claim regarding Jacobs and me. This strikes me as a very bizarre thing to say, in addition to being mean-spirited for no reason.

    I have my own thougts about this comment, but I am not going to stoop to Angela’s level, and I apologize to everyone who anticipated some drama from me.

  22. Sean Haugh has posted on Last Free Voice. In fact, he posted here four times in the last month alone.

  23. Mr. Fincher has been paid, in full, for his work.

  24. No, I was refering to the acting ED’s ban on staff posting on blogs. ENM is one of the fairest libertarian journalists in the biz.

    As an LNC rep, I have grilled Haugh on the narrow matter of the men in question. Haugh has a very very good case.

    Mr. Gary, I am mean, even cruel, but always fair.

  25. I have differences with Haugh on several matters but we talk about them one on one nor are they relevant to the specifics of this case. He is well within his rights on who he can hire and fire as an LP vendor.

    Susan, “Aw, crap” is a North Carolina expression of sorrow? No?

    Meanwhile, my blog is now closed. It’s gone private meaning that the Seebecks, Paulie, Dr. Milsted and the other early adopters will have exclusives on my bile.

    Extra special thanks to ENM, Todd Andrew Barnett and Jim Davidison and to all those who “get it” and I know some of you do.

  26. Angela, your blog will be greatly missed. 😦

  27. “you are completely unfair.”

    How am I completely unfair? There has been more than one occassion when I’ve gone for weeks or months without getting paid on Libertarian Party ballot access petitions. There have been several occassions where I have actually GONE INTO MY OWN WALLET to pay off other petitioners who could not afford long delays in getting paid (such as the aforementioned Canoli whom I’ve forwarded several thousand dollars to – you’ll have a hard time finding any other petitioner that has ever done this). There have been several occassions where I have turned down more lucrative petition drives to work for the Libertarian Party.

    “You and Fintcher are very difficult to work with and I am being very restrained here. Very.”

    How in the HELL would you know this when you’ve NEVER even worked with us and in fact barely even know us?

    For the record, I’ve spoken to Angela Keaton one time on the phone back in 2007 (she was talking to Paul back in July of 2007 and he put me on the phone with her for a few minutes – the topic of discussion was Libertarian radicals), and then briefly at an LNC meeting in Pittsburg later that July, and then briefly at the LP National Convention in Denver (and when I say briefly, I mean very briefly). The limited interactions that I had with Angela were all cordial so I don’t know where she is coming up with this crap.

    Gary’s interactions with Angela Keaton at the LNC meeting in Pittsburg and the National Convention in Denver were even more limited than mine, and I don’t think that he’s ever interacted with her beyond those two brief encounters.

    If Gary and I are so “difficult to work with” then why is it that we get so much work? Why is it we have campaigns all over the country calling us and trying to get us to come in and work?

    For instance, in the last several months, Carla Howell called called Gary and I and asked us to come to Massachusetts to work on her End the State Income Tax initiative (this was from September-November of 2007). Gary and I worked on Carla’s End the State Income Tax initiative in 2001 as well (although I didn’t know Gary back then and never happened to see him during that campaign I did hear his name mentioned in Carla’s campaign office). Carla called me back in 2002 and asked me to come back and work on Libertarian candidate petitions and then the 2nd round of the End the Income Tax initiative (in Massachusetts the initiative petition occurs in 2 rounds) but I had been called to work on some other campaign in California and then Washington so I didn’t go. Carla called me back in 2008 to try to get me to come back to Massachusetts to work on round 2 of this End the Income Tax initiative but I turned it down because I was working on LP ballot access in Pennsylvania and then I went to Colorado to work on ballot initiatives and go to the National Convention. Gary was also in Masssachusetts in 2007 and he and I staid at Carla’s family’s beach house on Cape Cod. If we were so horrible to work with then why would Carla keep calling us and why did she put us up at her family’s beach house?

    During the middle of the petition drives in Massachusetts during the fall of 2007 a petition coordinator in California (a person that Gary and I had both worked with before) called us up and tried to lure us into leaving Massachusetts before it was over (in the latter half of November) and offered to fly us to California, put us up in a motel, and rent us cars. We were tempted by the offer, but we ended up turning it down and staying in Massachusetts until the end. If we are so difficult to work with then why did this person make this offer to us?

    Before Massachusetts finished up in the fall I was already getting calls from the Ron Paul campaign (note that they called me before I ever called them) and I ended up working for Ron Paul in 3 states. If I was so horrible to work with then why did the Ron Paul campaign call me for 3 states (and note that after the 3rd state they didn’t really need ballot access assisstance anymore)?

    While I was still working on the Ron Paul campaign in January I started getting calls from petition coordinators in Colorado who had worked with me before, and in February or March I started getting calls from petition coordinators whom I’d worked with before who wanted me to come to Nevada and California (but I made what now looks to have been the mistake of staying in Pennsylvania to work on LP ballot access since my efforts there are obviously not appreciated).

    Gary and I have both recieved calls from the Constitution Party and the Ralph Nader campaign (both of whom we have worked with in the past) to work on their ballot access drives. If we were really so “difficult to work with” then why would they call us?

    While Gary and I were at the National Convention we both ran into several Libertarians whom we had worked with in the past on ballot access drives who WANTED us to come back to their states to work on ballot access drives (for example, see the above posts where George Phillies said that he invited Gary back to Massachusetts). If Gary and I were really so “difficult to work with” then why would any of these people have wanted us to come back?

    It is clear that there are numerous people involved with ballot access who WANT to work with Gary and I again and again.

    “Haugh isn’t paid enough to put up with people who can barely adhere to basic social norms.”

    LOL! Haugh is an overpaid patronage job holder and if anyone can barely adhere to basic social norms it is him.

    If basic social norms include flying off the handle in irrational and unprofessional fits and burning 2,000 high validity petition sheets – even if they had already been paid for – then I suppose that our society is even more screwed up than I thought it was.

    Incidentily, I had limited interactions with Sean Haugh and in fact never met him in person until the National Convention that we just had in Denver. Prior to the National Convention, my only interactions with Sean Haugh were back around late December of 2000-late January of 2001, and they consisted of maybe 10 phone conversations, most of which were short, and none of which were really long. I flew to North Carolina from California on my on dime ($327 for a plane ticket) – and Sean flat out LIED to me about petitioner travel reimbursements as he said that they weren’t doing that and I later found out that they did pay for travel reimbursements for some mercenary (ie-non-Libertarian) petitioners. I worked in North Carolina for a month without a car and under adverse condidions yet I still managed to bring in over 4,000 signatures (I believe the number was around 4,372). Any petition coordinator in their right mind would tell you that my work there was very good. Sean ended up stabbing me in the back and ripping me off and then he lied about it and has in fact been making up different lies ever since (his story has changed 5 times – and this is just from the stories that I’ve heard).

    “As for his comments on the Antiwar.com blog, they were completely appropriate (expressing grief over the loss of a major movement figure) and had no bearing whatsoever on the Libertarian Party internal policy.”

    My point was that he posted on a blog, and now that I think of it, he has in fact posted on this blog (in fact, I think that he posted here back in April or May), and I’m pretty sure that he’s posted on some other blogs such as Third Party Watch.

    In addition to this, I attempted to engage him in debate at the National Convention and he refused to anwser any questions.

    I will gladly engage Sean Haugh in a public debate. I’d like to find out who were the other applicants that he beat out to become the Political Director (from what I heard, there weren’t any other applicants). I’d be curious to hear him justify why he got paid $1,200 per month to run candidate tracker when sometimes there were as few as 6 candidates on it and there never seemed to be more than a dozen. I’d love to hear an explanation from him as to why he’d burn 2,000 petition signatures – which is a CRIME that is punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison – even if they had already been paid for, which shows his willingness to WASTE money from Libertarian Party donors. I’d love to put Sean Haugh on the spot as to why he hired mercenary petitioners in Illinois who turned in horrible validity and whom the party WASTED THOUSANDS of dollars on while at the same time he was blacklisting proven Libertarian petitioners for no valid reason. I’d love to get an explanation from him in public as to why he is “nickle and diming” and in some cases blacklisting (without valid explanation) proven Libertarian petitioners and then paying out more money to mercenary petitioners who don’t give a rat’s behind about the Libertarian Party and are just out to make a quick buck (and often screw the party over as Chris Bennett pointed out).

    I asked Sean some of these questions at the Convention and he refused to anwser them. Gee, I wonder why…

  28. ENM,

    When you get a chance to shoot the breeze, give me a ring. My non-profit work and other matters force me to distance myself from the LP. (Read between the lines.) Some hurt feelings on the part of the LP drama kings force me to take a less hard hitting approach. Besides, the bills will come due in November regardless of what I do. As Dr. Phillies notes, the light at the end of the tunnel is the on comming train.

    I’d work with Chris Bennett and Paulie Cannolli anyday. They are two of the reasons why I still bother. Good people, hell, great people.

    Mr. Jacobs, comparing Antiwar.com to Third Party Watch is like comparing a Bentley to your piece of shit Pinto. Talk to my elbow, cuz my hand ain’t listening.

  29. coming train…that is. Forgot I wasn’t writing for Hustler anymore.

  30. Kevin Barrett to Interview Federal Reserve Banker on Radio Today

    For Immediate Release – June 30, 2008

    Contact:

    Dr. Kevin Barrett; 608-583-2132, kbarrett@merr.com

    Rolf Lindgren; 608-279-5889, rolfusaugustusadolphus@yahoo.com

    http://www.barrettforcongress.us

    On Monday, June 30, Dr. Kevin Barrett will interview former Federal Reserve Board banker Harold ‘Hal’ Greenwood, on the Genesis Communications Network.

    Hal Greenwood was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board by U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.

    In 1968, Democrat Party Presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey announced that if elected, he would appoint Greenwood to be Secretary of the Treasury.

    Greenwood is a scholar of Federal Reserve Board history and has studied G. Edward Griffin’s book ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island’.

    Greenwood has not spoken out in public regarding the Federal Reserve in over two decades. He was initially scheduled to speak at the 2006 Libertarian Party of Wisconsin State Convention, but was unable to attend. Greenwood wants the American public to know the truth about the Federal Reserve System, and will reveal hithero unknown secrets for the first time.

    Greenwood and Barrett will be on the air from 4 to 6 P.M. central time on Network 4.

    Barrett’s program is called ‘The Dynamic Duo’.

    Genesis Communications Network: http://gcnlive.com

    Kevin Barrett’s Radio Schedule: http://www.barrettforcongress.us/airwaves.htm

  31. I would also point out that part of our negotiations with National and the petitioners were for a lower rate per signature because they were already going to be in-state collecting for the Carla Howell End the Income Tax referendum – it was a rather complex multi-way negotiation between the LPMA, National, and the Howell people along with the petitioners that could have been mutually beneficial to all involved.

    I’m not sure of the details of what was eventually worked out, except that National was incredibly difficult to work with, as multiple parties (both from the office, and from the LNC) kept inserting themselves into the process, with constantly changing offers, including ones that, had the LPMA accepted, would have guaranteed a FAILED petition drive… The published minutes on the LPMA website (we believe in operating transparently – our SC minutes get published, though admittedly not always as promptly as we might like…) show part of our frustration with this process…

    ART

  32. Angela Keaton Says: “As an LNC rep, I have grilled Haugh on the narrow matter of the men in question. Haugh has a very very good case.”

    You obviously didn’t do a very thorough investigation because you never spoke to Gary and I about any of this stuff. If you did you’d know that there is no merit to any of Haugh’s different stories (I said different stories because his stories keep changing).

    “Angela Keaton Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 7:49 pm
    I have differences with Haugh on several matters but we talk about them one on one nor are they relevant to the specifics of this case. He is well within his rights on who he can hire and fire as an LP vendor.”

    First of all, the Libertarian Party is not a dictatorship. Second of all, Haugh’s actions have actually been destructive to the party as he has held back ballot access in several states. Haugh’s penchent for favoring mercenary petitioners over real Libertarian petitioners has caused the party to waste money due to sloppy work from some of the mercenaries (see Chris Bennett’s story about some of the people that LP National hired in Illinois).

    Sean Haugh is not representitive of the Libertarian Party (and apparently he has pissed off Libertarians than just us). He does not speak for every party member. He is merely an OFFICE EMPLOYEE.

    People like Haugh seem to act as though there is a big wall of seperation between Libertarian Party members – and especially the clique at the National Office – and petitioners. Haugh obviously has a penchent for rolling out the red carpet for mercenary petitioners (some of whom end up flat out ripping off the party (once again, see Chris Bennett’s story about Illinois), but he seems to forget that there are some LIBERTARIAN PARTY MEMBERS who also work as petitioners. Maybe there aren’t that many of us out there, but we are here and we are the backbone of ballot access for the party. Sean Haugh inventing charges and blacklisting LIBERTARIAN PARTY MEMBERS from petitioning is an abuse of his position and should warrant his removal.

    Why is Scott Kohlhaas still working as a fundraiser for the party when there is clear and blatant evidence of his malfeasance of renegging on agreements, lying to people, ripping people off, and lining his own pockets with ill gotten gains? I mean come on Scotty, isn’t a 40% weekly commission enough for you? Scott Kohlhaas is another guy who I’d love to debate in public, but of course he’s too chickenshit to debate me just like Sean Haugh.

    “Mr. Jacobs, comparing Antiwar.com to Third Party Watch is like comparing a Bentley to your piece of shit Pinto. ”

    Who compared Antiwar.com to Third Party Watch? They are in competely different genres of websites.

    The point was made that Sean Haugh has posted messages in both places and as Elfninosmom pointed out, Sean Haugh has posted messages here as well, 4 times in the last month according to Elfninosmom.

    Sean probably knows about this thread. So come on Sean, why don’t you come on here and tell us why you ordered a crime to be committed in Massachusetts? Why don’t you come on here and explain your blatant disregaurd for Libertarian Party donors and for the voters in Massachusetts who signed those petitions which you wanted to set on fire?

    “Arthur Torrey Says:

    June 30, 2008 at 9:11 pm
    I would also point out that part of our negotiations with National and the petitioners were for a lower rate per signature because they were already going to be in-state collecting for the Carla Howell End the Income Tax referendum – it was a rather complex multi-way negotiation between the LPMA, National, and the Howell people along with the petitioners that could have been mutually beneficial to all involved.

    I’m not sure of the details of what was eventually worked out,

    This negotiation was not with any Libertarian Party petitioners but rather with a mercenary petition coordinator in Massachusetts who had deals with Carla Howell’s group as well as a group doing a Marijuana initiative (which recieved lots of funding from MPP). I’ve worked with the mercenary coordinator in question on that Marijuana initiative and he did what he said that he was going to do for me so as far as I’m concerned he’s a guy that is OK in my book. So I’m not saying any of this stuff because I dislike the guy, because I dont, I’m saying it to point out the double standards and disloyalty in which LP National engages.

    Anyway, since he made a lot of money off of the initiatives he agreed to do the LP petition for a lower price than he would have otherwise. According to a document that I read at the National Convention they were paying him $1.70 per signature, however, since then I’m pretty sure that his rate went up to $2.

    Keep in mind that they didn’t bother to offer either of these rates to any of the actual Libertarian petitioners. Paul is in Massachusetts and they offered to pay him $1.50 per signature whether he turned in to the mercenary coordinator or whether he turned in to the LP.

    Now one would think that since Paul has been involved with the Libertarian Party for 14 years (he even became a Life Member in 2000 by donating $1,000) and since he’s been a petitioner for 10 years (and worked on numerous LP ballot access drives) and since he’s done a lot of volunteer work for the party, that they would have offered him the same rate that they offered to the mercenary coordinator (and for that matter, Paul could have BEEN a coordinator), but this is the New Libertarian Party where you screw the activists and reward the mercenaries.

    This mercenary coordinator also landed deals with the Constitution Party and the Ralph Nader campaign. Well guess what, Gary also landed deals with the Constitution Party and the Nader campaign and they are paying him at the same rate as the mercenary coordinator. So the Constitution Party and the Nader campaign have more honor than the Libertarian Party in that they don’t screw over their vetran petitioners.

    “except that National was incredibly difficult to work with, as multiple parties”

    LP National difficult to work with, surely you jest! (sarcasm)

  33. Andy:

    Many more people would read what you write if you could summarize it.

    You have many good points, but they get lost on too many people when you present them at such length. And I say this as someone who has the same problem to some degree.

  34. I left Nebraska being owed $10,000 (note that part of the reason I was owed so much was because I personally bailed out 2 petitioners – Mark and Paul – by paying them out of my own pocket)

    Correct. Thank you!

  35. George Phillies Says:
    June 30, 2008 at 12:35 am

    As State Chair, I have received no such request. If our State Political Facilitator, Carol McMahon, received such a request, she did not forward it.

    Carol told me that Sean asked her to burn Gary’s signatures over the phone, just as he indicated he would in his email to Mark. She has said the same to George today, and I believe also to Andy on the phone tonight.

  36. I think you missed my point – though yours is valid as well. Destroying the signatures destroys the intent of the *signers*.

    True. Andy said the same thing above yours.

  37. I agree,

    Angela, your blog will be greatly missed.😦

  38. Rolf, was there a connection between your press release and this topic?

  39. As a radical, an anarchist, an LNC rep, and a close friend of Canolli, you are completely unfair. You and Fincher are very difficult to work with and I am being very restrained here. Very.

    Angela and Andy are both my good friends.

    Andy is indeed exasperating at times with the length and repetitiousness he brings to conversations.

    However, he is one of the most hardworking and honest people I know. He is dedicated to the cause, hands out literature at his own expense, gets outstanding validity while usually bringing in good numbers. He has helped me out many times.

    Gary is no longer my friend, but his numbers and validity have always been good the times I have worked with him. I’ve worked with him at the same table, handed in his petitions to the state (Alabama, 2000), and have been his coordinator in some states (South Dakota, Arkansas, etc) and have never personally seen a problem with his work.

    There was an incident while we tabled in NC in ’07 that occurred while I stepped away from the table to talk on the phone. That is the only controversy with Gary that I was ever even closely around for.

    Briefly, he got a woman’s phone number off a voter registration and called her later. That, along with the NM situation Andy described above, are the reasons cited for Gary not being allowed to work on LP drives.

    Andy is currently banned because of a dispute over his pay rate in PA earlier this year.

    Mark and Andy have told me that half (over $8,000) of their pay for PA was withheld because they did not go around to every county in PA to notarize the signatures of the people from those counties who signed. We have all worked PA before, and there was never any such requirement. If it exists now, shouldn’t they have been informed of it before they collected signatures?

  40. Well that sucks about Angela’s blog.

    For me that leaves:

    Knappster
    IPR
    LFV
    Delaware Libertarian

  41. Jason,

    I got tired of making grown men cry. Just paust for a moment: our leadership can’t handle a 5’1”, 118 lbs anarchist.

    Good thing martial law isn’t around the corner.

  42. http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/56-11.htm

    PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT

    TITLE VIII. ELECTIONS

    CHAPTER 56. VIOLATIONS OF ELECTION LAWS

    PENALTIES FOR OFFENCES CONCERNING CERTIFICATES OF NOMINATION, NOMINATION PAPERS, PETITIONS, ETC.

    Chapter 56: Section 11. Wilful alteration, mutilation, or destruction of nomination papers, etc.; subscribing to false statements

    Section 11. Whoever falsely makes or wilfully alters, defaces, mutilates, destroys or suppresses a certificate of nomination or nomination paper, or letter of withdrawal of a name from such paper, or an initiative petition or a petition for the submission of a question to the voters, or unlawfully signs any such certificate, paper, letter or petition, or files any such certificate, paper, letter or petition, knowing the same to be falsely made or altered, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

  43. I’m making an early prediction, the LNC will look “radically” different in 2 years.

  44. http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/274-2.htm

    PART IV. CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGSIN CRIMINAL CASES

    TITLE I. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

    CHAPTER 274. FELONIES, ACCESSORIES AND ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT CRIMES

    Chapter 274: Section 2. Aiders; accessories before fact; punishment

    Section 2. Whoever aids in the commission of a felony, or is accessory thereto before the fact by counselling, hiring or otherwise procuring such felony to be committed, shall be punished in the manner provided for the punishment of the principal felon.

    http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/274-3.htm

    PART IV. CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGSIN CRIMINAL CASES

    TITLE I. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

    CHAPTER 274. FELONIES, ACCESSORIES AND ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT CRIMES

    Chapter 274: Section 3. Counselling or procuring felony; prosecution as accessory before fact or principal; punishment; venue

    Section 3. Whoever counsels, hires or otherwise procures a felony to be committed may be indicted and convicted as an accessory before the fact, either with the principal felon or after his conviction; or may be indicted and convicted of the substantive felony, whether the principal felon has or has not been convicted, or is or is not amenable to justice; and in the last mentioned case may be punished in the same manner as if convicted of being an accessory before the fact. An accessory to a felony before the fact may be indicted, tried and punished in the same county where the principal felon might be indicted and tried, although the counselling, hiring or procuring the commission of such felony was committed within or without the commonwealth or on the high seas.

    http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/274-6.htm

    PART IV. CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGSIN CRIMINAL CASES

    TITLE I. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

    CHAPTER 274. FELONIES, ACCESSORIES AND ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT CRIMES

    Chapter 274: Section 6. Attempts to commit crimes; punishment

    Section 6. Whoever attempts to commit a crime by doing any act toward its commission, but fails in its perpetration, or is intercepted or prevented in its perpetration, shall, except as otherwise provided, be punished as follows:

    First, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years, if he attempts to commit a crime punishable with death.

    Second, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one half years, if he attempts to commit a crime, except any larceny under section thirty of chapter two hundred and sixty-six, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for five years or more.

    Third, by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, if he attempts to commit a crime, except any larceny under said section thirty, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for less than five years or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction or by a fine.

    Fourth, by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one half years or by a fine, or by both such fine and imprisonment, if he attempts to commit any larceny punishable under said section thirty.

  45. Jumping in here late, but…

    At LP National this year, they re-affirmed their right, and their right alone, to use the Libertarian brand.

    My guess is that where this is headed is court, which means there may not be a Libertarian Party presidential candidate on the ballot at all.

    That’ll be great! We’re just a political party. Who needs to be on the ballot?

    Meanwhile, other state parties have bucked-up and are supporting Barr, if not for any other reason than to make a run at ballot access for 4 years. You are hurting that effort, by taking away from the Barr campaign’s credibility, as well as our down-ticket candidates. I certainly don’t appreciate that.

  46. Ken,

    This may indeed be headed to court, as Gary has expressed his desire to press charges. See law sections quoted above.

    However, this will not affect whether the LP is on the ballot, since the LPMA did in fact accept Gary’s signatures, paid him for them, and plans to turn them in to the state. In fact LPMA political facilitator Carol McMahon is in the other room, merging them in with other petitioners’ signatures and sorting them by towns even as I type this.

    Furthermore, I think the LPMA would have still had enough valid signatures even if they were crazy enough to actually burn 2,000 mostly valid signatures.

    You are hurting that effort, by taking away from the Barr campaign’s credibility, as well as our down-ticket candidates. I certainly don’t appreciate that.

    Who do you mean by “you”? I would take that to mean anyone who would burn 2,000 Libertarian signatures, but I suppose it could also mean us for writing about it, or LPMA for refusing to follow the directive to burn from national?

  47. “You” is anyone involved in an effort to intentionally keep Barr, the duly selected candidate at the LP National convention, off of the ballot, resulting in the loss of credibility for his campaign. “You” are hurting my state’s efforts with the antics “you” are pulling in MA, and I’m not pleased about that at all.

    There’s a difference between not supporting, and working against a candidate. This is working against the candidate, and against the party; not just in MA, but in other states, such as Kentucky. If you fail to recognize that this hurts LP state affiliates everywhere, there’s nothing else I can say.

    I personally did the only thing I could do in return. Just last night, I sent a prospective LP member over to the Center for Small Government, rather than LPMA.

  48. “You” is anyone involved in an effort to intentionally keep Barr, the duly selected candidate at the LP National convention, off of the ballot, resulting in the loss of credibility for his campaign. “You” are hurting my state’s efforts with the antics “you” are pulling in MA, and I’m not pleased about that at all.

    Who is working to keep Barr off the ballot in MA?

    I’m certainly not. I got him well over 1,000 signatures, and facilitated putting the national party in contact with the contractor who got most of the signatures.

    That is, provided that the state government cooperates with substitution as they said they would before the drive started, and not to go with the placeholder candidates listed on the petition, as they are now saying.

    Gary is not either, since he got 2,000 signatures on the same petition.

    George Phillies is not, since he has indicated a willingness to be substituted if the state will allow it, and in fact is using his contacts as regional ACLU chair to help with a lawsuit to that effect.

    So, again, what are these antics, who is pulling them, and how are they relevant to the “burning” issue?

  49. I personally did the only thing I could do in return. Just last night, I sent a prospective LP member over to the Center for Small Government, rather than LPMA.

    The Center for Small Government could certainly use some help. I worked on the signature gathering both last fall and this spring, and helped recruit another petitioner to come down from NH in the fall. I’ve also posted their notices online and attempted without success to get them other petitioners, in addition to volunteering to sort petitions. We have enough signatures, and now face an uphill fight to pass the ballot question in November.

    I don’t really see this as an either/or thing.

    Strengthening state parties around the country strengthens the national ticket, and that in turn strengthens other state parties, including yours.

    A stronger LP helps pass more pro-freedom ballot initiatives, and as it does so, that strengthens the LP.

    Speaking of which, I am compiling a list of candidates from all states. Please post yours in the appropriate thread, which is not this one.

  50. 1) No one in the state party here is trying to keep Barr off the ballot. Our Secretary of State rules we do not have substitution under the exact circumstances that arise here, after previously ruling that we had substitution.

    2) When our Secretary of State made his new ruling, I promptly called National’s attention to the fact that they had three alternatives, namely

    (i) Keep petitioning for Phillies/Bennett,
    (ii) Keep petitioning for Phillies/Bennett and litigate for substitution,
    (iii) Restart petitioning for Barr/Root, meaning about 5000 signatures would not have any effect, and collect for the new campaign.

    The LNC, not LPMass, made the decision. They, not we, decided on choice (ii). We would have been exactly equally happy to work with any of these choices. So if you don’t like the decision, go complain to the LNC. Choice (ii) has guaranteed, up to unpredicted bizarre outcomes, that there will be some Libertarian in the Presidential column this fall.

  51. Angela, you have no idea what you are talking about. Trust me.

    And “fair” is not a word that comes to mind when I see phrases like “Sean has a very very good case”, since if you’ll probe further you’ll find that he is much ado about nothing.

    You just do not know what you are talking about.

    I urge you to withhold public comment on someone before you have facts.

  52. I just visited with the Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General has conferred with the Secretary of Stat’s office regarding Sean, and they are both very interested in the matter.

    Unlike Angela Keaton or Sean Haugh, I actually have evidence and supporting documentation to show to prosecutors, which I am now in the process of with the Bristol County (MA) District Attorney’s office.

    I also have reason to fear for my safety (since fire can be a lethal weapon if used improperly), and the Massachusetts State Police lieutenant agreed, suggesting I seek a civil restraining order against Sean Haugh.

    As George Phillies wrote, “I don’t know where Sean Haugh got the idea that he can burn our state nomination papers”.

    Indeed. Let’s see what the Commonweazlth of Massachusetts will have to say about it.

  53. News Release – For Immediate Release

    Gary L. Fincher
    National political consultant
    P O Box 1252
    Goshen, IN 46527
    (207) 450 5117
    garyfincher@yahoo.com

    National Libertarian Party official openly advocates criminal act

    Directs Massachusetts party officials to burn 2,000 state nomination signatures

    Sean Haugh, the national Libertarian Party’s political director, on Friday made a phone call to state party Political Facilitator Carolyn McMahon, who is in charge of collecting nomination papers of the party’s statewide slate of candidates – including presidential stand-in and Worcester resident George Phillies – to burn a stack of petitions containing the names of 2,000 Massachusetts voters, a crime in Massachusetts, punishable by a one thousand dollar fine and one year in prison.

    Haugh, in an expression of disdain for a couple of fellow LP activists who often circulate nomination papers for a fee, sent an email on Friday to party activist Mark Pickens, which threatened to call state party officials in Massachusetts in an effort to get them to cooperate in an undertaking to “quite literally” burn the batch of signatures party donors across the state had paid a $3,000 consulting fee to a party consultant from Maine, Gary Fincher, to collect. The email expressed hostility toward both Pickens and Fincher.

    Carolyn McMahon – whose name appears on the nomination papers as a presidential elector – confirmed in a conversation with Fincher on Tuesday that Haugh phoned her on Friday and instructed her in no uncertain terms to destroy (burn) the petition.

    The scandal – dubbed as “Massachusetts Burning” – had swept across internet message boards over the weekend, but confirmation from Ms. McMahon, who had been vacationing through Monday, could not be verified until Tuesday.

    Massachusetts nomination papers contain an instruction to the public: “Warning – criminal penalty for unlawfully signing, altering, defacing, mutilating, destroying or suppressing this petition; fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to one year.

    End

    Libertarian Party: (202) 333 0008

  54. Ken:

    Nevermind – I looked it up

    KY

    Sonny Landham, United States Senate
    http://sonny2008.com/
    P.O. Box 987, Ashland, Ky. 41105

    Lance Combs, KY House District 81
    Ken Moellman, KY House District 78

    BTW here is how it is going w/ other states

    So far, have looked at state party pages A-K.

    States that had candidates listed in a way I managed to find:

    Alaska
    Colorado
    Florida
    Georgia
    Illinois
    Indiana
    Kansas
    Kentucky

    States that did not:

    Alabama
    Arizona
    Arkansas
    California
    Connecticut
    Delaware
    District of Columbia
    Hawaii
    Idaho
    Iowa

  55. Angela lamented:

    “I got tired of making grown men cry. Just pause for a moment: our leadership can’t handle a 5′1”, 118 lbs anarchist. ”

    Hate to see it close down, milady. Some of us LOVED you making grown men cry. You may be small, but you are MIGHTY!

    As for as this ballot issue, I simply started this thread by asking for more details. I pass no judgement either way.

  56. Jason, Muddy Thoughts is still around as well as Lady Gaura’s Garden, but admittedly they tend to focus on a myriad of stuff, and are more CA-oriented.

    For example, the Mudslinger will be blogging on the CA ballot initatives shortly. Lady Gaura just did ones on salvia, AB1634, and mugwort (not related).

    End shameless plugs.

  57. links?

    I’ve never been to either one.

  58. Has Sean Haugh had a nervous breakdown?

    In Massachusetts the forms are not the property of any individual. The nomination forms are protected by statute which prescribe dire consequences for anyone mutilating them or destroying them.

    In Massachusetts there is no such thing as a fraudulent petitioner. There is such thing as a fraudulent signer. A fraudulent signer is one who has made a fraudulent signature. A fraudulent signature is fraudulent when the court says it is. That means the signature is fraudulent, not the form.

    Signatures are invalid when the local election commission says they are invalid. That decision can be appealed to a court. In my house district there was such a dispute. It took forever. Each person has to be called in to testify as to whether or not they signed the form. But ultimately, the court would determine whether or not they signed the form and whether or not they lived in the district.

    Then of course there is another issue. The issue of the individual voter who in good faith signs the nomination form. Someone then burns the form because Sean Haugh told him to do it, thus violating the civil rights of the signer.

    A person convicted of burning the forms would not be “Yours in Liberty” for long, unless he successfully pleaded insanity.

  59. I agree this is a serious matter – I have just posted on the Public SC discussion area of the LPMA website (in my official role) a request that the matter be addressed at the next SC meeting, and expressing my opinion that:

    1. Carol McMahon and any other SC memberrs that have had dealings with Haugh or Fincher concerning this matter be requested to do all possible to document their interactions and / or preserve relevant evidence such as e-mails, etc.

    2. That a FORMAL protest be made by the SC to LNC, Inc. about the actions of Haugh, both as a waste of LPMA time and resources, and his apparent solicitation of a crime. (This may be something that should also go before the LNC Judicial Committee?)

    3. That we do all possible to cooperate with the relevant legal authorities in the event that Mr. Fincher does pursue this matter

    4. We consider whether we wish to file any charges or take other legal action as a body. (If appropriate, I think we should, but will listen to other opinions.)

    ==== Back to speaking only for myself….

    IANAL, as the abreviation goes, and I must say I’m unsure just where the current situation puts Haugh from a legal perspective… IFF petitions had in fact been destroyed (REPEAT w/ EMPHASIS, they WERE NOT!!!) it is clear that there would have been a crime, and Haugh would have been an accessory for ordering the act.

    However, no petitions were destroyed, so has a crime actually been committed? Can Haugh just claim it was some sort of “melodramatic hyperbole” and that he “didn’t really mean it”? Or is he in the same sort of situation as the guy that tried to hire a hit man, but failed?

    Either way, this certainly seems like a sufficiently egregious abuse of “official powers” that Haugh should be fired for cause, quite aside from any legal issues…

    ART
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    Speaking for myself, except where indicated…

  60. Art, see legal sections I quoted in comments above. Unsuccessfully attempting
    to solicit a crime is also against the law.

    However, no petitions were destroyed, so has a crime actually been committed?

    Sean might claim a momentary lapse of reason. However, he did mention separately in email to Mark and on the phone to Carol. He also had a few days to call back and say he did not mean it. That did not happen.

    Another state may have followed his instructions.

    BTW, at Sean’s insistence, Carol checked Gary’s validity.

    She used a 6 month old database (not showing the most recent registrations and moves) and did not try to look up hard to read names by address. All the sheets she checked were 70-82% verified voters.

  61. I’m new to the LP, but am a card-carrying member.

    I don’t like all this infighting. It’s a waste of time.

    But it appears quite conclusive based on the information presented so far that Haugh intended, or threatened, to commit a crime.

    This is highly inappropriate and, if true, he needs to be fired immediately.

    I just made a $500 donation to the LP yesterday. If I had put it off till today, I would not have made it.

  62. Sean Haugh has now been officially turned in to the Massachusetts Attorney General.

    This is from the Direction of Elections at the Secretary of State’s office:

    Dear Mr. Fincher:

    I have forwarded your information, including the e-mail below, to the Office of the Attorney General. Once I hear back from them, I will let you know.

    Michelle Tassinari

  63. Robert Underwood wrote: Has Sean Haugh had a nervous breakdown?

    Sean Haugh IS a nervous breakdown. People – especially circulators who have worked with him before – have been trying to tell anyone who will listen that this guy is seriously deranged. No sane person would call up a state party official and ask them to cooperate in committing such a crime, one that includes vandalism and fraud. In fact, if national had consulted with me prior to his hiring, I would have counseled them not to, precisely to spare them this exact sort of embarrassment. I know I speak for other circulators who actually did sound off such warnings to high-ranking LNC members. The LNC, in my opinion, should have seen this coming. They recieved the warnings, but chose not to listen.

  64. […] Phillies has confirmed that LPMass was indeed directed by LP Political Director Sean Haugh to burn the ballot petitions. Carol McMahon has now advised me that she was in fact told by Sean Haugh to burn the nominating […]

  65. […] Phillies has confirmed that LPMass was indeed directed by LP Political Director Sean Haugh to burn the ballot petitions. Carol McMahon has now advised me that she was in fact told by Sean Haugh to burn the nominating […]

  66. I have interacted extensively with Sean, Paul, Andy, and Mark, and I like all of them personally. In my experience they are all hard workers and thoughtful, serious libertarians (with whom I agree/disagree on the ideological minutiae to varying degrees). I don’t know Gary personally but his references seem to be in order from the looks of the comments here.It seems pretty clear that Sean’s email was a dreadful mistake that is likely to sow more enmity among libertarians. I wish he hadn’t sent it.

    With that said, I must express my own horror at the sight of so many dedicated libertarians excitedly discussing their efforts to wield the stick of government for… alteration of election documents. No, sorry… attempted alteration of election documents. Folks, do you really believe that we should advocate the use of violence for this infraction? That doesn’t sound very libertarian to me.

  67. I’m with Dick. Taking this up with the government, distributing press releases, shouting it from the rooftops is not the appropriate first course of action.

    I encourage the parties involved to take this up with whoever directly supervises Mr Haugh. If you don’t get satisfaction within a reasonable amount of time, _then_ take further action.

    Let’s not cut off the LNC’s nose to spite ourselves.

  68. I don’t think that reporting this to the government was the right thing to do (its unlikely that any crime was committed, and it sows the seeds of discord).

    But lets not adopt the position that governmental regulation of the democratic process is anti-Libertarian.

    The voters who signed those petitions have every right to expect their signature to be counted towards the nomination of the people named on the petition.

    It is an appropriate (and I think highly desirable) function of government to prohibit third parties (with potentially divergent or even adversarial interests) from invalidating this expression of the voter’s will.

    In my opinion, burning petitions (that are a mandatory part of the electoral process) is only slightly worse than burning ballots on election day, and absolutely requires enforcement by means of the government’s monopoly on force.

  69. My GF and I were talking about this mess with Haugh last night, and between us we came up with an interesting, zero cost to us idea for expressing our concern about this matter… Send Matches to National!

    The LP is always sending out loads of junk mail, with postage paid return envelopes enclosed… If most folks are like me, we probably have lots of books of matches laying around, probably more than we’ll ever use, as souveniers from various places we’ve been, etc…

    Drop a book of matches in one of those postage paid envelopes – perhaps with a note to the effect of “Give to Sean the next time he wants to burn petitions” and mark the envelope “Attention Bill Redpath”

    Think they might get the hint?

    ART – Definitely speaking for myself….

  70. George, Dick:

    Haugh’s attempt to destroy “election documents” was a malicious attempt to rip me off out of $3,000. This was not simply a mistake or error on Haugh’s part; it was malicilous. This is attempted theft, a real crime, even in a libertarian’s book. Since I was paid (unbeknownst to Sean) one could now say that Haugh also attempted to defraud LPMA donors.

    I am an anarchist libertarian too; but short of vigilante justice, when a property crime has been committed, state agencies are the “only game in town”, so to speak, for prosecution of a crime.

    I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to wait until an internal investigation is conducted to turn over evidence of this crime. If Haugh had carjacked my car, would you be saying the same thing?

    In fact, the first thing I did was write a letter to the members of the judicial committee of the LP. They will evaluate for misconduct; the evidence of a crime is a separate matter for the so-called state authorities.

    Rest assured that if Haugh had run across my signatures and found them to have forgeries on them (hypothetical example), Haugh would have not hesitated to turn over evidence of this to the Massachusetts authorities.

    So please, let’s stop this double-standard talk right now.

  71. Jason, I think YOU would report an attempted theft of national of $3,000 to the authorities. I’m highly confident of it.

    Please stop the double standard talk!

  72. Until an actual crime has been committed, there is absolutely no reason to involve the force of government.

    Pissed off at Sean Haugh? Then deal with him instead of running to some government agency with a complaint.

  73. Gary,

    I certainly didn’t accuse you of having a double standard. I hope you didn’t just accuse me of having one.

    When I have been in similar situations (a sadly frequent occurrence), I have always used negotiation and, when necessary, civil litigation to achieve my ends.

    I do think that, by referring this matter to the state government, you have made a less than optimal decision.

    I also think that by responding in rapid-fire fashion (without, apparently, fully reading the posts to which you are responding) you are not representing yourself in the best light possible.

  74. Are you sure it’s legal to send matches through the US mail? I would check on that first before recommending people do it.

    Gary: Assuming the facts are as presented, he did wrong. Don’t tarnish the LP’s reputation due to a dual of wills between you and Mr Haugh. Take it up through appropriate channels first, then escalate if nothing is done.

    Destroying your petitions might have cost you $3000 but it’s not exactly theft. Let’s drop the hyperbole.

    Carjacking is a violent crime. Burning a petition is not. Get serious, now.

  75. “Gary: Assuming the facts are as presented, he did wrong. Don’t tarnish the LP’s reputation due to a dual of wills between you and Mr Haugh. Take it up through appropriate channels first, then escalate if nothing is done.”

    The LP has already tarnished its own reputation by hiring Sean Haugh as the Political Director and keeping him in office. This isn’t the first offense from Haugh.

    “Destroying your petitions might have cost you $3000 but it’s not exactly theft. Let’s drop the hyperbole.”

    Yes it IS theft. The $3,000 was Gary’s pay for doing the work to get those $2,000 signatures. Sean Haugh wanted to burn the signatures to DEFRAUD Gary out of $3,000. Sean even went so far as saying that he wanted the signatures burned even if they had already paid Gary for them, which would have meant that 2,000 more signatures would have had to have been collected by a mercenary petition coordinator’s crew which would have cost $4,000. This would have been DEFRAUDING Libertarian Party donors out of $4,000!

    It is really easy for you to sit back and talk about this since you are not the one who is living through it. How about if somebody tried to destroy your work and defraud you out of $3,000? You’d probably be singing a different tuen then.

  76. “Folks, do you really believe that we should advocate the use of violence for this infraction? That doesn’t sound very libertarian to me.”

    Sean already initiated force against Gary, as well as against the Massachusetts LP, and the voters of Massachusetts. Sean attempted to DEFRAUD Gary out of money. Sean attempted to DEFRAUD Libertarian Party donors out of money.

    Let’s put it this way, Sean tried to DEFRAUD Gary out of $3,000. This is the equivalent to if Gary had $3,000 in his wallet, and Sean tried to steal his wallet. Let’s say that Gary was in his motel room and went in the bathroom. While in the bathroom he left his wallet on a table in the room. Then let’s say Sean walked by the room and through a crack in the draperies saw the wallet on the table. So let’s say that Sean was able to break in the room and walk over to the table and grab the wallet. Then let’s say that just as Sean is grabbing the wallet Gary steps out of the bathroom. Now wouldn’t you say that Gary has a RIGHT to use force to stop Sean from taking his wallet? I’d say that the anwser is clearly a YES.

  77. True or false?: Gary has a personal guarantee from George Phillies as to the LP holding up our end of the bargain.

    According to the comment posted by George above, at June 30, 2008 at 7:34 pm, the debt to Gary for these petitions has been satisfied. His “wallet” was not stolen. Furthermore, it is by no means certain that Sean’s email ever presented a credible threat.

    Further action by libertarians in support of some tampering charge would be for spite. If Gary has been paid, where is the libertarian beef? This is an organizational matter and a personal disagreement, and trying to use state violence against someone under these circumstances (or any other circumstances for that matter) is inappropriate. I hope that all involved will stick to the principles that they claim to believe in and eschew running to daddy state in favor of resolving this matter amongst ourselves like adults.

  78. “Dick Clark Says:

    July 4, 2008 at 8:40 am
    True or false?: Gary has a personal guarantee from George Phillies as to the LP holding up our end of the bargain.”

    1) It was the INTENT of Sean Haugh to burn the signatures and stiff Gary out of $3,000, or, if Gary had already been paid, to burn them anyway, which would have meant that Libertarian Party donors would have had to pay the mercenary petitioning crew in Massachusetts $4,000 to get another 2,000 signatures, thus it was also Sean’s INTENT to defraud Libertarian Party donors.

    2) Sean Haugh did not know that Gary had a an agreement with George Phillies.

    3) Sean Haugh blacklisted Gary for no legitimate reason. This not only hurt Gary, this is also hurting Libertarian Party ballot access.

    4) This year most of the ballot access drives are being handled directly by LP National, so Sean is cutting Gary out of most LP petitioning for fraudulent reasons. (If anyone deserves to be blacklisted, it is Haugh!)

    “According to the comment posted by George above, at June 30, 2008 at 7:34 pm, the debt to Gary for these petitions has been satisfied. His ‘wallet’ was not stolen. Furthermore, it is by no means certain that Sean’s email ever presented a credible threat.”

    1) Perhaps you missed this part of the story, but in addition to the email where Sean said that signatures collected by Gary should be burned “(quite literally),” Sean also CALLED Carol McMahon of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts and INSTRUCTED her to burn Gary’s signatures. This was a CRIMINAL command by Sean Haugh.

    2) Sean’s INSTRUCTIONS to burn the signatures was most certainly a credible threat. Fortunately, Carol McMahon had the good sense and good ethics not to carry out such an instruction, but Sean’s INTENT was to committ a crime. This is like in the military if a commander orders a lower ranking soldier to committ a war crime and if the lower ranking soldier refuses the unlawful command.

    “Further action by libertarians in support of some tampering charge would be for spite.”

    The charges against Haugh are not just tampering, they are also intent to defraud. I call going after Haugh getting justice.

    “If Gary has been paid, where is the libertarian beef?”

    Where is the beef? Do you think that this is the only time that Haugh has screwed or attempted to screw somebody over? This type of unstable, backstabbing, underhanded, malicious behaviour is a pattern with Haugh.

    Gary was only paid thanks to George Phillies. If the Massachusetts LP and Phillies didn’t have any money then Gary would be screwed, and this was the intent of Haugh (nevermind the fact that Gary is one of the best petition circulators out there and is also a long time solid Libertarian).

    Also, note that Haugh is trying to prevent Gary from working on any LP drives anywhere in the country and he even went so far as to call up the Ralph Nader campaign to urge them to not hire Gary. So Haugh is trying to PREVENT Gary from earning a living for NO LEGITIMATE REASON.

    “This is an organizational matter and a personal disagreement,”

    There really isn’t a personal disagreement from Gary as Haugh instigated the entire thing.

    “and trying to use state violence against someone under these circumstances (or any other circumstances for that matter) is inappropriate.”

    Gary and I (as well as others) have already made complaints about Haugh to the LNC and those complaints have been ignored. Gary has letters out right now about this situation to the Judicial Committee and at this time we don’t know what they are going to do (if anything).

    If none of this “going through channels” accomplishes anything (which it hasn’t thus far), then what do you suggest instead of the police and courts, vigilante justice?

    “I hope that all involved will stick to the principles that they claim to believe in and eschew running to daddy state in favor of resolving this matter amongst ourselves like adults.”

    Haugh has NOT stuck to Libertarian principles and the LNC has done NOTHING to stop him.

    Also, do you think that if Gary had broken any laws that nobody would have called the police on Gary? If Gary had attempted fraud or turned in forged signatures or something like that you’d best believe that Sean Haugh himself would call the police on him.

    If anyone here is behaving like a child it is Sean Haugh.

  79. Dick – it is also worth remembering that even if Gary was paid, if National stiffed him and George paid instead, then it would merely have shifted the theft from Gary to George…

    Also, remember that in Mass. destroying signed petitions is a CRIME, just like any other, and soliciting someone to do so is likewise a crime, just the same way attempting to hire someone to beat up, or rob a third party is a crime. There are multiple victims, on multiple levels, and however much we may dislike it, under todays rules, going to the legal authorities IS the appropriate channel… “Pistols at dawn” is currently illegal….

    ART

  80. “Also, remember that in Mass. destroying signed petitions is a CRIME, just like any other, and soliciting someone to do so is likewise a crime,”

    This would be a crime ANYWHERE in this country.

  81. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and no one should rely on my opinion here for anything. DC)

    Aiding and abetting the state in a criminal proceeding is criminal itself, as far as this libertarian is concerned. No end, no matter how worthy, can justify an evil means.

    More importantly, this criminal matter has nothing to do with insuring that the various victims receive restitution. If that was the goal, what in the world is stopping folks from bringing a civil suit for breach of contract? That is what the victims are claiming here after all, not something criminal.

    I’ll tell you the reason why no one is yelling about bringing a civil suit: Gary made a deal with LP Mass. Sean tried to use his influence to bring about a breach. This influence was not adequate to bring about the breach. The contract was satisfied. Again, where is the beef? There isn’t any–this is about revenge, not satisfaction of a debt.

    I am a libertarian. I don’t have any desire to aid the government in wielding violence against people for solicitation to destroy petitions. The solicitation was never credibly a threat to the petitions, since there was no way LP Mass. was going to burn so many hard-earned signatures.

  82. “Aiding and abetting the state in a criminal proceeding is criminal itself, as far as this libertarian is concerned. No end, no matter how worthy, can justify an evil means.”

    So are you suggesting the vigilante justice route instead?

    Also, do you really believe that if the situation were reversed that the police would not have been called on Gary? I’d bet that Sean Haugh himself would have called the police on Gary given the chance.

    I confronted Sean Haugh at the National Convention in Denver about some of the issues that I have with him. I didn’t scream or anything like that. I simply wanted to confront him on some issues and get some anwsers to some questions. Well guess what, Sean wouldn’t anwser any questions and his response was to run away and to crybaby to retired cop and current LNC member Tony Ryan to try to get me thrown out of the Convention even though I was a delegate! (Tony Ryan was appointed head-of-security for the Convention.) Fortunately, Tony was a reasonable guy and after I explained the situation to him nothing more happened.

    Gary confronted Sean while standing in line at a restaurant not far from where the Convention was being held and he tried to talk to Sean about his problems with him like a gentleman and Sean’s response was to turn his back to him and say, “I don’t want to talk to you.” and then run away.

    “More importantly, this criminal matter has nothing to do with insuring that the various victims receive restitution. If that was the goal, what in the world is stopping folks from bringing a civil suit for breach of contract? That is what the victims are claiming here after all, not something criminal. ”

    Gary is looking into filing a civil suit against Sean Haugh right now.

    “I am a libertarian. I don’t have any desire to aid the government in wielding violence against people for solicitation to destroy petitions.”

    Libertarians are not so much anti-government as we are anti-initiation of force and fraud. Sean Haugh initiated force and fraud.

    Sean Haugh intended to rip Gary off and he also intended to rip Libertarian Party donors off. Just because he did this via telephone and email does not excuse his actions or make them any less egregious than if he had done this in person.

    Let’s say that instead of sending emails and making calls from Durham, NC, that Sean had actually been in Massachusetts. Now let’s say that Sean saw the 2,000 signatures that Gary collected sitting in a pile and let’s say that he pulled out a lighter and flicked the flame on and walked over to burn them. Then let’s say that Gary happened to walk in the room and saw Sean about to burn the filled out petition sheets that he had worked hard to collect. I’d say that Gary would be justified to use physical violence for the attempt at burning the signatures.

    This is kind of like if a mobster calls up a hitman to “whack” somebody, and for some reason the hit doesn’t take place. Just because the hit didn’t end up happening it does not mean that the mobster is not guilty of anything.

    “The solicitation was never credibly a threat to the petitions, since there was no way LP Mass. was going to burn so many hard-earned signatures.”

    I’d say that the solicitation to burn the signatures was indeed a credible threat. If not for the fact that Gary had gathered signatures for George Phillies in the past and done a good job as well as the fact that Carol McMahon knew of Gary’s extensive petitioning expierence in Massachusetts (Gary has petitioned there 16 times) and stellar repuation, I think that there is a very good chance that Gary would have gotten screwed.

    Say that instead of George Phillies and Carol McMahon running the petition drive that it had been a couple of new people who didn’t know who Gary was, or say that it had been a couple of Sean Haugh lackeys, I wouldn’t be a bit suprised if they had burned the signatures or just flat out stiffed Gary.

    I don’t think that you realize just how bad this situation is. Sean Haugh’s actions are not just screwing over Libertarian petitioners, his actions are also screwing over the entire Libertarian Party.

    As this directly relates to Gary, Haugh is actively trying to prevent him from earning a living, FOR NO LEGITIMATE REASON, and Haugh has gone so far as to call up the Ralph Nader campaign and urge them to not hire Gary. This is a really disgusting, vindictive thing to do.

    Just because Sean Haugh shows up at meetings and kisses rear ends it does not mean that there isn’t a dark side to his personality. In my first few interactions with Sean Haugh I assumed that he was a decent guy. However, I got a real wake up call about the guy after he stabbed me in the back and screwed me over. Appearances can be deceptive. People are not always what the seem to be.

  83. It doesn’t sound like Dick Clark is a libertarian at all.

    Sean Haugh has violated the non-initiation of force/fraud doctrine, which is a crime. A reading of his threat should lead reasonable people to believe he will do it again in the future, if not stopped. History shows that people who make such threats on innocent people, especially when they include the use of a potentially deadly weapon (fire), tend to escalate their threats until the safety of innocent persons is well at risk. No one can intelligently dispute this. Sean is indeed showing a deranged personality just by the nature of the threat.

    This goes beyond a civil matter, albeit it might include a civil case.

    Libertarians believe in the use of defensive force to stop deranged persons with criminal intent.

    Now, there are 4 choices:

    1) Use the monopoly state criminal system, which we all agree does not operate on libertarian premises;

    2) Wait for someone to start up a competing anarcho-capitalist court system, that is, if I wanted to turn blue in the face;

    3) Inflict my own vigilante justice;

    or

    4) Let Sean get by with it, and allow him to become more emboldened and escalate to violence.

    Unlike Dick, I’m not a pacifist, so I don’t like #4 at all. Also, I don’t want to get this to the point of my lying somewhere dead with people muttering, “Damn, well, I guess Sean DID have it in for Gary”, before acting.

    #3 could in fact get me into more trouble, and probably would result in, ironically for Dick, Sean Haugh using option #1 in retaliation on me.

    #2 can’t happen unless Dick Clark puts his money where his mouth is and starts up a libertarian court system to help me out. (If he isn’t willing to do this, he should shut up about my limited choice among poor options.)

    That leaves #1. The fact that I use a criminal to stop a criminal should not reflect poorly on me. Dick Clark is using the criminal’s road system to get around in his vehicle. Hypocrisy doesn’t set well with me. Most libertarians, when threatened, will go to the state officials to stop their threatener. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was stopped by government police. Government police is an arrangement that I DEFINITELY do not agree with. But if a criminal gang can stop a serial kiler and thus save lives, by virtue of their monopoly on force, then it’s ridiculous to argue for the alternative (let Bundy go free to kill college girls).

    So Dick: when are you going to start your own libertarian court system, of which Sean Haugh will be the first defendant (for threats of violence, fraud)?

  84. Gene, an actual crime HAS been committed. Would I (who hates the police and government) have turned over evidence of the crime to prosecutors if that were not the case? Think about it. Just think.

    And no, I didn’t “run” to government. I drove my car, parked it on the street, got out of my car, and walked to the various appropriate offices.

    This has nothing to do with “pissed”; I have been “pissed” at several various people over the years and in my life and I haven’t gone to the police with hard evidence of a crime. It’s absurd for you to make the comparison. I only talk to the police when I have evidence of an actual crime being committed, and I have this with Sean, whereas I have not had it with others who have made me angry.

    I’m amazed that you can’t see the difference, and are getting the goofy idea that I turn everyone into the police that makes me mad, angry or upset. That’s ridiculous.

  85. Unlike Dick, I’m not a pacifist, so I don’t like #4 at all.

    I can assure you that Dick is not a pacifist, and is indeed a libertarian.

    Certainly, he and I don’t always agree on how libertarian principle should be applied in every case, but we are both guided by it.

  86. Gary, you don’t need for me to start a court system. You could have just filed a civil suit, if indeed you had a credible claim of damages. You don’t. According to George, you got paid. What standing would you have? What have you lost that you need to have restored to you?

    The answer of course is that you are angry–rightfully so, in my opinion–and you are seeking to sate your anger. Well, you shouldn’t confuse revenge and compensation. I don’t think anyone should have to go to a rape room because you got angry.

  87. Dick, civil cases are handled in state-run courts, presently.

    Attempts to interfere in my private contractual relationships are serious, just as in the same way attempted robbery or attempted murder is serious. Failed attempts today may mean successful attempts tomorrow.

    You can’t just let people go around trying to commit illegal acts without restraint.

    Why is this concept hard for you to understand?

    I’ll let you know if my attorney feels that I have a credible claim of damages, but my gut feeling is that, in American jurisprudence, threats do count as infringements.

  88. “Unlike Dick, I’m not a pacifist, so I don’t like #4 at all.

    I can assure you that Dick is not a pacifist, and is indeed a libertarian. ”

    Then, in that case, a strict reading of Dick’s post is that he sanctions only my use of #3 (vigilante justice).

  89. […] Haugh demands ballot petitions be burned […]

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