Steve G.

80,107 signatures, two hotties, and mismanagement of the insane professional LP petitioners

In Libertarian on August 8, 2008 at 4:29 am

Hottie 1, Wes Benedict, Hottie 2; South Padre Island, Texas

“Hi! Are you registered to vote in Texas? Did you vote in the primary? Of course not! Can I get your name, address, and signature, and if you don’t have your voter registration card on you (where would you put it?), can I get your date of birth for verification purposes? Put your phone number and email, too, if you feel comfortable with that.”

Repeat a million times or whatever until you get 45,540 valid signatures. That’s enough to drive anyone insane!

In 2004, I volunteered full-time to help the Libertarian Party of Texas collect 45,540 valid signatures for ballot access (just happened to be available). I started off by getting training from a veteran Austin-area petitioner who was working for Ralph Nader petitioning at the University of Texas at Austin campus. Students are known to be more willing to sign petitions than the average voter.

Wasn’t long before UT officials kicked us off campus. But, since it was March and Spring Break week was coming up, I ventured down to South Padre Island, Texas, thinking it would be easy pickin’s hitting up students on the beach. Wise move.

Back to reality.

It’s hard to find volunteers who will collect signatures. Even if you have plenty of money to spend, it’s hard to find people who will collect signatures regardless of the pay. We didn’t have plenty of money in Texas. We went into unsecured debt because our by-laws prevented debt but several of us provided un-guaranteed debt.

While I started off on the 2004 Texas petition drive as the volunteer coordinator, I ended up helping to organize the paid petitioners and manage the verification and counting process. I still have photocopies of all 80,107 signatures in storage.

At times I was placing ads and hitting up almost anyone to collect signatures. Lots of people tried, but almost everyone without experience failed despite extensive training and hand-holding.

I think I wrote checks to over 70 different people. Most of those people wasted more of my time than they were worth.

I also dealt with many of the veteran professional Libertarian Party petitioners who travel the country collecting signatures wherever needed. Some of them are commenters on this blog.

I found dealing with them to be incredibly challenging, but finally resigned myself to realizing that while collecting signatures may sound easy, most good petitioners are nearly insane and difficult to deal with. Yet, trying to get signatures from anyone else was mostly a waste of time. I’m not sure whether collecting signatures makes you insane, or whether only insane people can collect signatures, or a combination. I do know I found myself bordering on insanity during our 2004 Texas petition drive and it took over a year before I could see a group of people standing around without reflexively sizing it up for its petition worthiness.

I do think veteran LP petitioners get screwed over often by the the petition organizers. That’s partly because it’s rare for organizers to have clear lines of authority, partly because those organizers are usually inexperienced, often they don’t have definite funds available, and partly because the experienced petitioners know how and often do exploit the inexperienced organizers.

I’m not surprised to hear about the recent problems with the West Virginia petition drive. They had an inexperienced organizer who didn’t have an appreciation in advance of how hard it is to find productive petitioners and match them with productive places to collect signatures.

This post is to give a disgruntled West Virginia petitioner a place to air controversies. I trust that will be covered at length in the comments section since I don’t have first hand knowledge of the issues.

I expect people will find little of substance in what I’ve written here. I mostly wanted to post the pictures.

Here’s a picture of the Texas turn in of signatures in 2004.

80,107 Signatures--75 days

80,107 Signatures--75 days

  1. Was Badnarik collecting signatures?

  2. I also dealt with many of the veteran professional Libertarian Party petitioners who travel the country collecting signatures wherever needed. Some of them are commenters on this blog.

    And even writers here…

  3. I do think veteran LP petitioners get screwed over often by the the petition organizers. That’s partly because it’s rare for organizers to have clear lines of authority, partly because those organizers are usually inexperienced, often they don’t have definite funds available, and partly because the experienced petitioners know how and often do exploit the inexperienced organizers.

    Not all petition organizers have good motives, either.

  4. I expect people will find little of substance in what I’ve written here. I mostly wanted to post the pictures.

    They’ve got me seeing double.

    Maybe I should put less vodka in my morning coffee?

  5. Was Badnarik collecting signatures?

    Pretty sure Andy told me he worked with him.

  6. Not that it isn’t tough for coordinators – on the contrary:

    Bubbu Blanco

    Yo! I collected in IL and didn’t get paid cause they said my sigs were forged, NOT! I want my money if others got paid for bogus sigs too. Who do I call?

    From An LFV Exclusive!, 2008/08/06 at 3:56 PM

    My idea for a petition company: a drop off slot for signatures. Signature blanks and checks come out of a chute. No person there for petitioners to talk to and no number to call. A robo-caller calls them to let them know about jobs starting and ending.

  7. Hey, it will be harder in the future. After Barr causes McCain to lose a couple states, the GOP will go into its “anger stage.”
    This means future LP petitions are likely to be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. And I’ve never seen a large petition drive that didn’t have many errors, fraud signatures, etc. etc.
    Heck, the GOP loses a lot of their own primary challenger candidates due to wrong zip code or wrong county entered by some legitimate signer. The LP has to pound away at more equitable petition requirements, perhaps allying with Democrats in the state legislature that may be all too willing to see LP candidates running in close races.

  8. I’ve probably spent 30 minutes staring at this photo today. I’m going to have to close this browser tab and work a little late today.

  9. I bet those girlies got lots of sigs. ;o) Back in 2004 I kept my clothes on and hit college campuses. I didn’t collect many signatures though.

  10. Hey, Miche, actually you were one of several outstanding volunteers who collected a bunch of sigs.

    Disclaimer: the girlies in the photo weren’t political petitioners.

  11. Last time I was on South Padre Island there was only a dead porpoise and a dead horse shoe crab.

    What happened?


  12. I’m guessing that either

    a) last time you were there was a long time ago
    b) wrong time of year
    c) It’s a big island, maybe you went to the wrong part

  13. Let’s start off the West Virginia story with the side of the story of the person who irrationally caused us to fail there, Shane Cory (a web designer turned “executive director” turned “petition drive coordinator” promoted grossly beyond his level of expertise).

    Here’s the letter I got from Shane Cory “terminating me” for my “poor performance” in WV. Notice how he forwarded it to the incompetent “Political Director” of the LP, Sean Haugh, as well as everyone else in positions of authority within the LP. Well, I guess that would be OK if the facts were on his side. (I’d like to know if Cory hired or suggested hiring Haugh while he was “exec director”. That would be interesting!) My response (the one that got me “fired and blacklisted” by Sean Haugh) will follow in the next post. As far as this post, just note the condescending, unprofessional, and “Nurse Ratched” tone of Cory’s email:

    Re: Expense Report – Jake‏
    From: Shane Cory (
    Sent: Fri 8/01/08 4:15 AM
    To: (; (
    Cc: Sean Haugh (; Robert Kraus (; (; (; (


    Turn in you car immediately. You will not be paid until that receipt is in our hands. We will also cover no further expenses past the point when you were instructed to turn in last week.

    You have failed to meet your quota on top of behaving completely unprofessionally by refusing to turn in or take our calls.

    It should also be noted that all but one of the professional petitioners outperformed you despite arriving well over one week after you and none of them had the luxury of a rental car or a $1,300 advance.

    The only one you outperformed went home sick after three days.

    Best regards,

    Shane Cory

    Mobile: 540-446-9111

    On Jul 31, 2008, at 11:56 PM, wrote:


    Here’s the expense report. Please fill in the rental car expenses and other applicable expenses and send in with your updated receipts.

    Shane, we are in receipt 1054 signatures. Jake doesn’t have his car rental receipt yet because he is still using the vehicle.

    The other receipts I do have turned in are:

    * 7/10 hotel room during trip here – $54.90
    * 7/11 hotel room during trip here – $46.36
    * 7/10 gasoline – $26.39
    * 7/10 gasoline – $45.90
    * 7/10 gasoline – $47.69
    * 7/18 gasoline – $47.03
    * 7/24 gasoline – $20.00
    * 7/31 gasoline – $30.00

    Please review the numbers and wire him the monies due.

    Mike Ferguson

  14. This is the response, unedited for professionalism, that I sent back to Shane Cory. I think there’s more than a grain of truth in it.

    After all, they turned in ~13,000 signatures. I was 1,660 of them. That’s around 87 per day. If it was double that, it would not have saved the drive. Sure, mercenaries can beat that, but usually only by not asking people if they are registered to vote.

    Moreover, Shane could do all kinds of stupid stuff, like renege on his oral agreement to keep my rental car and motel room up-to-date, as well as threaten me and incessantly tell me I have to produce more (which is infantile, and doesn’t get results from anyone), or he could have looked at reality, and brought in more petitioners (like the several I tried to convince him to bring in). In addition to that, simply looking at what a person has already turned in, and not making threats to screw them financially, often produces better results than repeated hysterical threats and condescending remarks. Just a tip for those of you who might be considering running petition drives.

    Another tip would be: hire professional petitioners and aim for 100 signatures per day from them, and plan for that to finish the job. Don’t bother wasting donor money trying to recruit locals with radio and newspaper ads. You probably won’t be able to make pro petitioners out of them in under 2 weeks (even if you are Shane Cory, petition drive coordinator extraordinaire). …And listen to the more professional and rational and experienced petitioners when they give you feedback. If locations are difficult, as they are in WV, then you might want to work on that. And you definitely might want to deliver messages that are intended for specific petitioners, to them, from the National LP office, should you have someone following up with location access.

    Anything less would be damned ignorant.

    RE: Smear Letter Response From (Tired) Jake‏
    From: jake witmer (
    Sent: Fri 8/01/08 1:06 PM
    To: Shane Cory (; (
    Cc: Sean Haugh (; Robert Kraus (; (; (; (


    I’m tired of you running around on a petty powertrip, failing to perform adequately as a coordinator, and repeatedly breaking your oral contract with me, and the Barr campaign (since I assume they wanted to be on the ballot in WV).

    If someone other than you is available at the Statehouse for me to turn my signatures into today, then the Barr campaign will have a few more signatures, as agreed to last night by Mike Fergusen and myself. I will not take phone calls from you, because I can get irrationality and poor treatment from anyone, and it serves no purpose in my life.

    Had the Barr campaign fired you weeks ago and delegated your job to myself or Christina Tobin, or Edie Baggett, or anyone with common sense, Barr would be comfortably on the ballot here in WV. (And no, in no scenario do I gather all of the signatures myself. It’s called delegation and cooperation. You should look into those ideas.)

    I hate to lower myself to your level, but you are really starting to annoy me, so it might be necessary. You have 24 hours to rescind your prior libelous remarks and promise me full payment of all expenses and payments, as I left the deal with Mike. Don’t confuse what I’m saying: I know I am dealing with you, and that Mike is your subordinate in dealing with me. I am not claiming he has any say in the matter.

    I am holding you directly accountable for your word. I will see you at the final turn in, at the state house. I work for Barr/Root 2008, and not you, since you are a liar and a fool, and not representative of such fine candidates.

    You are hysterical, incompetent, and barking delusional power-tripping orders to the end, I see. But are you right about anything? Let’s re-examine some of the facts in question:

    …1054 signatures + 548 signatures (all photocopied, since I knew I was dealing with someone who makes idle promises and then forgets them) (NOTE ADDED AT THE TIME OF THE LFV POSTING: 58 signatures turned in on the final day, before the 5pm deadline = 87 signatures per day)
    = 1,602 signatures in 19 days (84 signatures per day). Not the best I’ve ever done, to be sure… But is it worth it to your goals to try to cheat me out of expense money that you had offered in your oral contract (backed up with logged emails)? Ask yourself if it’s worth it, because you have 24 hours to rescind your email and offer me a public apology (this is only going to the people you CCed in your email. After that, it goes public, to the blogs, to my lawyers, to the radical caucus, and anyone else who will listen. I’m pretty sure that your day will be ruined at least as much as mine is by worrying about losing expense money that I was promised.).

    Where do I start? If you had listened to anything I had said, the WV drive would have been a resounding success. We began with plenty of time to meet the ~20,000+ signature mark. As it is now, it’s not likely.

    …Can it all be the fault of one petitioner, who promised the irrational and then didn’t deliver? Or is it more likely that TOTAL MISMANAGEMENT caused this failure? After all, a petitioner is limited in what they can achieve in terms of signature count, and what they WILL LIKELY achieve is roughly known to fall between 500 to 1,500 signatures per week (assuming they are properly circulating / checking to see if people are registered voters).

    So do you estimate on the high side of that for petitioners, counting on yelling and hysterics to increase the signature count, or do you get rational and simply bring in more professional petitioners?

    1) You agreed to send over a signed contract to my email (that I had insisted on, because you seemed a tad delusional/incompetent on the phone, which is why I imagine you found it impossible to bring the necessary petitioning manpower into WV). I guess you agreed with no intention of delivering, simply to get me into the car and get me going (you said it would be in my inbox soon after I left, and surprise, it never arrived!). I left Illinois on your oral contract, which apparently meant nothing to you, because you instantly violated it. You also never sent the written contract, which –if anything you say is true– would have protected you more than me. …Smart!

    2) I called Austin Petersen at the LP national HQ for location help “breaking open” a K-Mart one week before the final turn-in. All the K-Marts in Charleston were no-go with their management. It turns out Austin called you back with a pristine location in Huntington, that I pulled a couple hundred signatures out of, the last 2 days. So the whole time I was getting kicked out of places last week, you were sitting on a great location that had noone producing there. (I’ll be there again, today, to try to compensate for your gross underperformance as a coordinator.) …Smart! You sure were able to send me a lot of inane and threatening text messages during the time you wanted me to turn in. Why not the one single message that was intended to be relayed to me, and the one that would have given you another 500-1,000 signatures, easily?

    3) I roughly met my quota, in spite of fighting your insane tempermental irrationality the whole drive. I have no idea why you were poisoned against me the entire drive, but since you told me —and I quote– “Jake, you know you’re hard to work with” every time you talked to me, I guess someone must have told you that. It didn’t sound like you came up with it yourself.

    I’ve never met anyone who likes to be told they’re “hard to work with”. Said another way: beating the cow doesn’t often produce milk. This is just management 101, but I thought you might find it useful. Moreover, let’s say you’re right about petitioners, and they are all just “manual labor that can be hired out of a bar” (one of your past quotes). Would they produce more for a manager who looks down on them and ignores any suggestions they have, or produce less for such a manager? I think you can figure this one out eventually, I just wish you’d find it out as a McDonald’s manager, not a ballot access manager for the federal political candidates I intend to vote for.

    4) But was I really hard to work with? Did I ever insist on anything we had not discussed and agreed upon over the phone? …I am not a travel coordinator by profession. You agreed to take care of travel expenses, as they were incurred, since otherwise I couldn’t afford to come out to WV. When the travel companies had a problem using a debit card, your travel person couldn’t figure out how to make it happen. I had to do her work for her, because she got frustrated with finding a car rental place that could take a debit card. It took me about a day to do so. How much of the problem was you telling her “I am hard to work with” (repeated ad nauseum), I have no idea.

    …So you took her off of providing me travel expenses, and replaced her with _nothing_. This left you in the position of randomly estimating (lowballing) my expenses and making me pay out of pocket for the difference. …Causing me to overdraft my bank account, and rack up $100 in overdraft fees. ….The exact opposite of our agreement. …And exactly what I was afraid of when your childish temper first exhibited itself.

    4) I had several suggestions for you that –in fact– would have saved the WV drive. —But noone wanted to buck your authority. —I have no idea why, since any authority you have is totally undeserved. Where was your first successful petition drive managed? …Just curious. I did 18K signatures in roughly 2.5 months in Texas (75 days), for which I was thanked profusely by more competent managers than yourself. This was an average of 240 signatures per day. Of course they paid me a small amount extra to organize other petitioners. –Something you summarily dismissed out of hand, even though my terms would have been very cost effective.

    5) If you make any additional hassle for me, or fail to pay me what I’m owed, or fail to rescind your prior remarks, the entire world will learn in great detail –from me– that you have zero competence at managing petition drives. I have a lot of evidence, so much that it will take approximately a week to organize it all.

    6) One way to save any drive: bring in an adequate number of petitioners, and extrapolate their future numbers based on their first turn in: If that number is too low, hire more petitioners, and do what you can to get them working (like relaying vital messages —such as the one Austin Peterson had for me– in access-poor areas). If you don’t have the money, telemarket fundraise until you do.

    DON’T: Burn money trying to hire worthless locals (the money could be better spent on travel expenses on proven petitioners. The guys who did 700 per week for me in IL for Ron Paul were golden. Did I have people who did more? Yes, but that’s irrelevant. I’d rather have producers who produce less but will go where I tell them, and make the most out of a bad location.). It’s alright to hire locals if you have lots of time, and patience, and are willing to train them yourself. If not, it’s a sure way to fail. (Then again, you’re quoted as saying that you can just “walk into any bar and hire petitioners”. Is that a correct quote? If so, ….Smart!)

    7) I’ve been told that there was money left in the account to pay for signatures that were not collected. Can you tell me why you turned away several pro petitioners who wanted to come out, including one that you would have not been paying motel for, because he could easily double up with me? He found a deal that would have gotten him out here and producing independently for $850 (flight + rental car). He was in California, 2 weeks ago, his name is Mike Plested –you spoke to him on the phone. You offered to give him gas money up to $600 instead, even if he would only be getting a ride here. So let me understand this: A petitioner on the ground, with free hotel, and a rental car and the corresponding autonomy on the ground two-three days earlier, is less valuable than $150? Did I do that math right? Gee, yeah, I think I did!!!! …Smart! Did they teach you that at Camp Pendleton?

    8) Either you can or you cannot pay for travel expenses. If you can’t and you say you can, then the fault is yours for offering, and you should not complain at all about money that was already axed from your budget. …Unless you like whining about things you have no control over, instead of addressing the issues at hand. Perhaps you would have gotten more signatures out of me if you had relayed Austin’s message to me via one of your incessant and frantic messages. At that point, I was rapidly figuring out that it didn’t pay to talk to Shane Cory. Shane exacerbates problems, and there is never any solution other than “get hysterical, bark orders”. I was really looking for a good place to plug in and circulate that would get me close to my first day of signature gathering, which was at a Wal-Mart parking lot here, where I got 230 signatures.

    9) I think you, Shane Cory, have severe short-term memory problems, as indicated above. (It’s either that, or it’s a basic problem with honesty.)

    10) You dare to try to slag my reputation? You dare to forward and CC a bad report about my production, literally caused by your incompetence that has gravely endangered this drive, after every petitioner I know said I was a fool to go into West Virginia when there was “easier money” elsewhere? They said this because you clearly had no idea what you were doing, and the drive was understaffed and mismanaged from the beginning, and likely to be called off as a floundering flop? (I guess they know you.) So even though this was obvious to the casual observer, you rejected out-of-hand my signature-increasing suggestions, until you realized they were exactly correct, and then implemented and tried to take credit for them?

    (Christina Tobin and the Constitution Party circulators finally convinced you that she and they were “friends with the mutual goal of ballot access for all third parties”, months after you rejected her help. The same thing happened with the CP circulators on the ground. Had you utilized them from the beginning, we would NOT BE SHORT SIGNATURES AT ALL, RIGHT NOW. Yet you came up with the idea that the CP was “Out to get us”.)

    …Amazing! I guess paranoia is only a Libertarian trait when it’s counterproductive.

    11) THIS PART IS A PERSONAL ATTACK AGAINST SHANE, AND IS SIMPLY INCLUDED BECAUSE OF HIS PERSONAL ATTACKS ON ME: I am not surprised in the least that you were given the choice of being fired or of resigning from your post at the national LP HQ. You are a web designer who has been promoted vastly beyond your level of competence. The proof is in the result of WV’s low signature count.

    Every effort that I made to shed a little light into the petition drive coordination process was met with 100% ignorant opposition from you. (You seemed to be angry that right off the bat I did not have superhigh production. Well, petitioners are autonomous. The best thing you can do is not try to ride or micromanage your own team. As you can see, being a hysterical micromanager who goes back on his own word, sticking petitioners with expenses you promised to pay for really doesn’t work out too well.)

    12) You bear 100% of the responsibility for the WV drive’s failure. When there was enough time left to save the drive, you heaped scorn and derision on me for suggestions that have saved much more difficult drives. You were once quoted as saying that “If you were short of petitioners, you would just hire a few out of the nearest bar”.

    How has having complete contempt for petitioners worked out for you, Shane? Is your drive a success?

    I’ve worked on a lot of successful drives in the past, but I have never encountered anyone as foolhardy, arrogant, and outright irrational as yourself.

    13) The aforementioned unforgivable blunders above don’t even mention the facts that
    …1) I figured out that the petition sheets were being filled in incorrectly, and corrected you and Mike Fergusen about them. You had both previously TOLD me to fill them out incorrectly (Mike acted on orders from you), but I didn’t listen to you, and it turns out I was right. I pointed this out to the Nader people, since they were misinformed as well. They realized that they had handed in 7,000 invalid signatures, because of this exact same mistake (could you afford to hand in 7,000 invalid signatures?). But nevermind doing things right, full speed ahead! Nevermind checking the important facts! Good ‘old Jake Witmer can just shut up and petition, because that’s why Shane Cory gets paid the big bucks! …Smart!
    …2) You paid my expenses and then fired me (right after I landed in WV). Then you “rehired me” because you realized how irrational that action was! (But I’m “hard to deal with”). NOTE: this was after I had just landed on the ground in WV, and been stiffed on the agreed upon motel expenses, having paid them out of pocket. The oral agreement (that you instantly forgot) was that you front them to me (via the Barr office’s travel coordinator), so I was not screwed for food and motel expenses, and worrying about how I was going to juggle everything. For those reading this who are uninvolved: You have a petitioner who has just landed, been stiffed on his agreement, and called your office seeking contract fulfillment: What do you do? If you want signatures, regardless of the situation, you …FIRE HIM? (all because the office wants to know why petitioners are calling the national office irritated that they are putting off paying agreed-upon expenses?)
    …3) You note that my production was a little low. Well, fine, extenuating circumstances were agreed to be taken into consideration. I just didn’t know that the biggest stonewall to my production would be “Shane Cory, coordinator”. By the way, Shane, how many signatures did you collect in the blazing, humid, WV heat? I’m interested to find out, since a one-armed, blind monkey could have done a better job coordinating the WV drive than you did.
    …4) Are you aware that for 2 days I sat around in WV without having the correct petition because of your rank incompetence? You told me to fabricate my own petition, based on the information available at , assuring me that they correct information for Wayne Root’s address would be listed there. I stayed up late on the second night here, after racing around and getting credentialed by various counties here (also unnecessary for a petitioner to be doing, it turns out, just as I had figured out on my own, and tried to tell you. The credentialing process works for parties, not individual petitioners. It’s amazing how simply asking the people on the ground often gave me a correct answer, verified or flasified with simple fact-checking. You heard it first with me, then later you told me I was right, without admitting it, after having admonished me that I was “just a petitioner” and that you had it “all under control”). All my work creating a new petition, and getting past a printing bug in my crappy freeware software was wasted due to your lack of planning. That put my starting date at 7/12/2008 instead of 7/11/2008, because you assured me you had sent the file to my email. I then paid my first night’s hotel bill out of pocket, also contra our oral contract.

    If you stonewall payment for me, you will be contacted by a lawyer, as you will be if you do not retract every negative statement you made about me to everyone you forwarded your vile little email to. I know many pro-bono lawyers who drool over cases like this one, and upon arrival in Chicago I will have nothing to do but wait for my latest loan to fund, and send them emails and phone calls all day long.

    …It’s as much of a big deal as you want to make it.

    Advice: grow up Shane, and —if someone is dumb enough to give you a “next time”— take advice from people who know how to run petition drives. (People like Christina Tobin, for instance, who begged you to enter a reciprocal time and money saving agreement with her ALREADY ON THE GROUND AND PRODUCING NADER PETITIONERS that would have saved the LP Barr 2008 WV drive, had you acted on it much earlier. For your information, SHE is a Libertarian Party Member, even though she is Nader’s ballot access coordinator. See, Shane? …Not everyone is “out to get you”. …Just the people you alienate with you idiotic marine drill sergeant mannerisms that are grossly unsuited to voluntary human cooperation.)

    …YOU, my friend, are EXTREMELY hard to deal with. (And infantile. And worthless.)

    I can and did hire Edie Baggett for Ron Paul’s successful petition drive in Illinois. Anyone can do that. Her petitioners are usually pretty good. I imagine they did fine for you. …And I’m glad she and other professsional petitioners outperformed me, and brought value to the WV campaign. It’s coming up with imaginitive sources for petitioners under budget that makes one a “good coordinator”. Did you “make it happen”?

    Or did you ignore the petitioners I sent you, and make them not work out, even though they were ready to get on a plane and had found reasonable deals?

    Again, I ask: did you, Shane Cory, WV petition drive coordinator succeed or fail in WV, for Barr/Root 2008?

    BTW: I am incredibly likely to surpass my roughly agreed-upon quota today, the last day of petitioning.

    If Scott Kohlhaas wants to, his and Sean Haugh’s professionally-managed effort in Connecticut can happily and easily ignore your hysterical command for me to go back to Chicago with the rental car.

    I need to stop wasting my time in the Shane Cory marines, and go out and petition, now.

    I urge you to not waste any more of anyone’s time, Shane. Lord knows, you’ve taken enough of mine with your unpleasantness. I need to get out and finish petitioning, since I REALLY WANT WV TO BE ABLE TO VOTE BARR/ROOT, AND THAT’S THE REASON I WENT TO WV, AND NOT ALABAMA. TO LOSE A STATE THAT WAS DOABLE WHEN YOU TOOK THE HELM WAS, AND REMAINS, UNACCEPTABLE TO ME.

    …Too bad you can’t say the same for yourself, because then Barr/Root would be assured of 49 States of ballot access.

    NOTE: If Shane is fired because of his gross negligence in WV, I will happily deal with his replacement, using simple logic that was denied to Shane by his creator(s).

    Best Regards,

    Jake Witmer

    Licensed Insurance Agent
    – IL, IN, WI –
    & Business Financial Services
    American Legacy Financial Group, LLC
    618 Oakton St. #1
    Evanston, IL 60202
    F: (866) 780-5480
    C: (907) 250-5503

    “I’m voting for Wayne Root, the Libertarian Candidate for President of the United States, on November 6, 2012. Root is currently the 2008 Vice Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party.” -Jake Witmer

    “The right of the jury to nullify bad laws represents the entire legal power of the individual in the United States of America.”
    -Jake Witmer

    ——————————————————————————–(A copy of the above email edited for humor and truth is below:)—

    Subject: Re: Expense Report – Jake
    Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 00:15:02 -0400


    Turn in you car immediately. You will not be paid until that receipt is in our hands. We will also cover no further expenses past the point when you were instructed to turn in last week, thus giving several lawyers in Chicago wet dreams, and further hobbling the Barr campaign with Shane Cory’s rank incompetence.

    You have failed to meet your quota on top of behaving completely unprofessionally by refusing to turn in once per day (and risk being fired on the spot, since that’s my signature “powertrip” move) or to take my incessant, hysterical, ranting calls.

    It should also be noted that all but one of the professional petitioners outperformed you, even though this is irrelevant, and has nothing to do with your contract, despite arriving well over one week after you and none of them had the luxury of a rental car or a $1,300 advance. So you should be humbled by their agreeing to a worse deal than you agreed to, for no valid reason.

    The only one you outperformed went home sick after three days. …Unless you count Shane Cory. You outperformed him, but also handed him the tools to save the drive, to which he responded with mindless contempt and repeated innuendos he had heard about you, and caused the drive to fail anyway.

    Best sarcastic and condescending regards,

    Shane Cory

    Mobile: 540-446-9111

    On Jul 31, 2008, at 11:56 PM, wrote:


    Here’s the expense report. Please fill in the rental car expenses and other applicable expenses and send in with your updated receipts.

    Shane, we are in receipt 1054 signatures. Jake doesn’t have his car rental receipt yet because he is still using the vehicle.

    The other receipts I do have turned in are:

    * 7/10 hotel room during trip here – $54.90
    * 7/11 hotel room during trip here – $46.36
    * 7/10 gasoline – $26.39
    * 7/10 gasoline – $45.90
    * 7/10 gasoline – $47.69
    * 7/18 gasoline – $47.03
    * 7/24 gasoline – $20.00
    * 7/31 gasoline – $30.00

    Please review the numbers and wire him the monies due.

    Mike Ferguson

    Time for vacation? WIN what you need. Enter Now!

  15. Also, note: the 87 signatures per day was for each political party, including Nader and the Constitution Party. (And damn, am I glad I was reciprocally circulating, since the LP tried to screw me from day one by not replacing the girl who was going to front me my travel expenses!) In exchange for gathering signatures for them, they agreed to gather signatures for us, thus I needed to be gathering reciprocally for the other 3 parties. If Cory would have instantly taken them up on their offers, we would now be on the ballot in WV.

    In fact, since Christina Tobin is a libertarian, and had offered to have Nader circulate for us WHEN THEY BEGAN THEIR DRIVE IN WEST VIRGINIA, THREE MONTHS AGO, we would have never been in any danger at all in WV, had we taken her up on her offer! Ooooops!

    But no! ..Shane Cory give heap good political advice! He say: “Jake, those guys don’t want us on the ballot, they see us as competition!”

    What a dolt! He had the drive handed to him on a silver platter, but by then it was too late.

    Was he a success in OK?(no) Was he a success in WV?(no) Was he a success at the LP? (resign or be fired!)

    Shane, hot tip: not all petitioners are dirt. Stop treating them like dirt, and you might get some results.

    Of course, the Barr campaign wasn’t doing anything 3 months ago, and neither was the LP. If they had offered to pay 50 cents per signature, and had extended their hands for the olive branch being offered by Christina Tobin, they’d be on the ballot for half of what they paid in WV.

    Let’s have a little VISION, OK, guys? We’ll never be more than a minor party if we’re not reliably getting on the ballot in all 50 states for the presidential elections.

    It’s easily possible (and affordable!) for 2012, if we can just get rid of the screwups (Scott Kohlhaas, Sean Haugh) running the show at national now.


  16. And here’s the response that the small child that the LP has hired to be their “Political Director” sent to me, after reading the response to the email that was forwarded to him:


    RE: Smear Letter Response From (Tired) Jake‏
    From: Sean Haugh (
    Sent: Fri 8/01/08 3:22 PM
    To: jake witmer (
    Cc: Shane Cory (;; Sean Haugh (; Robert Kraus (;; (; (

    Jake, based on this rant alone, I will never hire you. I don’t need the drama. Please do not contact me in the future and do not think for a moment you are working for us in Connecticut, Alabama or any other state. yours in liberty -Sean HaughPolitical Director, Libertarian Party

    “In liberty”, my ass! -Now there’s a guy who’s drunk silly on his petty position of power! Wow! He finally gets to be the guy who fires people!

    As if this inbred monkey has the ability to do anything other than waste LP donor money, and divert longtime LP petitioners to States (and other Parties like the Constitution Party) where they are not very useful to the LP (thus driving up the cost of the various ballot access drives).

    Haugh loves to fire people. It’s obviously a little thrill for him. (Even if he later is forced to rehire them, because he realizes how bad he screwed up by firing and alienating them. Duhhhhrrr….) Think about that folks: One ignorant douchebag like Haugh can “fire” or “slander” someone who’s been a libertarian activist on the streets for 20 years, doing the dirty work most LP donors don’t want to do.

    Redpath never engaged in tactics like this while he was ballot access chair! ..But he is generally competent, and delegates well.

    I have a lot more of Sean Haugh’s antics to follow, if anyone is interested. This guy is a loose cannon and a grade-A screwup, and needs to get the boot before he needlessly engages the LP in a series of losing lawsuits.

    I’m just going to start cutting and pasting from my email, with no comments, so the data will take some interpreting. You’ll see a pattern emerge about Sean Haugh though: he is Scott Kohlhaas’s odd job guy / flack jacket / condom.

    Scott never gets dirty, and Haugh catches the blame for being the irresponsible and uncontrollable loon he is.

    But why does he even interact with people at all? He stated he was working with Kohlhaas “very closely” in a phone call I got some time around May. (He said it in his goofy slow drawl, and I almost couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic. )

    Anyway, there’s enough evidence in my emails alone that Haugh is simply incompetent and vindictive and tempermental enough to alienate everyone he talks to.

    I report, you decide. I don’t have significant time to editorialize.


  17. The picture is damn distracting, Wes. 😉 Thanks for the post.

  18. Re: Sean Haugh-Hypocrite with history of outbursts‏
    From: Liberty Crusader
    Sent: Tue 2/26/08 7:17 AM
    To: The Patriot ; jcwitmer; travellingcircus; MarkPickens

    Yep, he’s an unstable wacko.

    How’d he get that job? Had to be Shane Cory’s doing.


    The Patriot wrote:
    Man, the hypocracy of this Sean Haugh character is ASTOUNDING! It sounds to me like he likes to dish it out but he can’t take it.

    He accused you of leveling wild accusations against him, yet that is EXACTLY what he did to me, and he did the same thing to Gary as well.

    He also chastised you for using strong language, yet he’s done the same thing. Here’s just one example…

    Susan Hogarth Says:
    February 25th, 2008 at 12:41 pm
    Re: professionalism and Sean Haugh:
    Haugh has a history of unprofessional outbursts. While serving as the (paid) Executive Director of the LPNC as recently as 2005, he wrote the following in a private email which (naturally) showed up later in a public forum:

    Sean Haugh said: “Connie, you’re right I probably never will be a success in politics
    because I believe it’s about doing the right thing, not sucking the right dick. A lot of fucking gall to speak of principle while breaking a promise.”

    This is not the sort of correspondence I want to see the LP’s paid staff engaged in. We all make mistakes, but most of us learn to apologize for – rather than brag about – our mistakes.


    So in addition to being a lazy, incompetent, hypocrite and a nutjob, Sean Haugh is also a CRYBABY.

    It has taken the LP of NC over 4 years to regain ballot status and they are STILL not finished. One of the main reasons is because Sean Haugh basically handed the entire petition drive over to ONE PETITIONER, Darryl Bonner. Keep in mind that NC needs over 69,000 valid signatures which translates to a good 100,000 plus raw signatures. Now I’ve got no problem with hiring Darryl Bonner, but what I DO have a problem with is giving him an almost exclusive deal on the largest petition drive that the LP has to do for the 2008 election. One big irony here is that Darryl is not even a Libertarian! Like I said, I’ve got no problem with hiring the guy, but come on, handing over a state the size of North Carolina to one guy so it is his own “personal playground” (so to speak) and this guy is not even a Libertarian, and then you SHUT THE REAL Libertarian petitioners out of the drive. That’s fucked up!

    ***** spoke to Sean at the recent LP Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada and during the course of the converstation ***** said that Sean ADMITTED that he likes to play favorites on petition drives. He said that if somebody is on his good side he will hook them up with work and give them good deals but if somebody is on his bad side he will actively try to cut them out of work. The thing is that Sean is such a MENTALLY UNSTABLE WHACKO that it doesn’t take much to get on his bad side, in fact, one doesn’t even have to do anything and if you catch him in the wrong mood he will fly off the handle at you. If you recall from my NC story, I NEVER EVEN MET SEAN HAUGH IN PERSON, I ONLY SPOKE TO HIM ON THE PHONE ON A HANDFUL OF OCCASIONS, AND WHILE I WAS IN NORTH CAROLINA I COLLECTED APPROXIMATELY 4,372 SIGNATURES OVER A PERIOD OF ONE MONTH, AND I COVERED MY OWN EXPENSES (AND NOTE THAT I LATER FOUND OUT THAT SEAN HAD LIED TO ME ABOUT EXPENSES), YET BECAUSE HE’S AN EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE BASKET CASE I GOT STABBED IN THE BACK BY THIS WEASEL.

    Sean “playing favorites” is further evidenced by the fact that current State Chair of the LP of Alabama – Stephen Gordon – told ***** that Sean Haugh came to him and asked him to give Darryl Bonner an exclusive deal to the Libertarian Party of Alabama ballot access petition for 2008 (AS IN SHUTTING EVERY OTHER PETITIONER OUT EXCEPT DARRYL), and he did this with the knowledge that ***** LIVES in Alabama part of the year and is a long time Alabama LP member and petitioner. The NERVE of this ASSHOLE!

    Sean Haugh likes to hand out patronage jobs (which is likely how he got his job) like Dick Cheney does with Halliburton.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: “jake witmer”
    To: “Sean Haugh”
    Subject: RE: Wesley Snipes & blind LP press release writers who don’t read the news.
    Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 03:26:54 +0000

    Howdy Sean,

    I never asked you to coddle me, just wanted you to be able to handle a few cuss words, and a criticism of the LP ignoring huge demographics that agree with them (particularly most Americans who typically agree with Wesley Snipes). If you’ll reexamine that first email, the language allowed you to not apply those cuss words to yourself, but only if you’re not to blame for the LP missing a huge opportunity to reach out to a demographic that is totally aligned with our beliefs.

    (People who sympathize and agree with Wesley Snipes.) I talk to them every day. I sell insurance on the south side of Chicago, and in Gary, IN. I can’t find anyone who works for a living who doesn’t think that Wesley was right (especially when I point out that he had agreed to pay if the IRS could show him a law that _required_ him to pay…).

    …This is politics 101. And guess what? I’m not teaching it anymore. I DON’T CARE ABOUT THINGS OVER WHICH I HAVE NO CONTROL. If you can’t handle harsh language, then you better write off expanding the Libertarian Party in Montana and Alaska, as well as any area where people are financially uncomfortable and speak the truth.

    Also: You might want to react to criticism by pondering whether it has any validity. I think that’d get you further than replying with ire to the critic. Just my opinion, of course.

    …A magnifying glass is no value to a blind man, as I am apparently no value to you. I’ll let you take up the allegations with Andy Jacobs. He tells a different story than you, and I’ve never known him to lie. (I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I will say that I think it’s unlikely. Unfortunately, you give me no reason to doubt him.)

    Since you took offense, I assume you must deserve it, and ONLY because of that. If you’d have said nothing I’d have thought nothing, and we might have traded value. As it is now, I think you’re kind of a crybaby, and I will obviously have to wait until you’re replaced if I want to get value out of your post.

    Is that the kind of thing a “political director” wants people to think about him?

    Because, remember, I was not against you in any way, by criticizing the do-nothing faction of the LP. But since you owned up to being a member of that faction by taking offense, I guess I’m going to have to assume you are correct in that assessment, if no other.

    Mine in Liberty,


    > Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 13:43:19 -0500
    > Subject: RE: As early as 2004, Libertarians were being targeted under the new secretive government
    > From:
    > To:
    > Howdy Jake! Sorry, I have standards. One of them is not having to coddle
    > someone who is abusive to me. I give as good as I get. Since you decided
    > to up the stakes by leveling a wildly false accusation about defrauding
    > petitioners in NC, I honestly fail to see what possible value you could be
    > to me at all.
    > yours in liberty –
    > Sean
    > On Fri, February 22, 2008 3:00 am, jake witmer wrote:
    > >
    > > Hey Sean,
    > >
    > >> Jake, seeing obscene language like this used about me and my party (I’m
    > >> on> staff so you did direct these comments to me personally, among
    > >> others)> makes me far less excited about working with you on anything. I
    > >> don’t> mind criticism, but reject those who use such foul language
    > >> directed at me> out of hand.> > yours in liberty -> Sean Haugh>
    > >> Political Director, Libertarian Party
    > > Then don’t work with me, I’ll send the emails with strong language to
    > > people who can handle it. Take my advice, or be rendered obsolete. I
    > > don’t care which way you go, since I was the one bringing vastly more
    > > value to the table, and I have no control over your actions.
    > >
    > > If the LP says “to hell with Jake Witmer”, it will only help the
    > > libertarian movement, because it will show me I shouldn’t waste my time
    > > with YOU. I also refuse to censor myself unless I’m talking to people who
    > > can’t handle reality (such as the voters). Any libertarian that asks me
    > > to censor myself “for their sake” isn’t worth a dime to me.
    > >
    > > When someone sounds a valid alarm, you don’t complain about the noise, you
    > > MOVE.
    > >
    > > Also, you’re already on shaky ground having tried hard to defraud
    > > Libertarian Party ballot access petitioners in your home state of NC. If
    > > you thought that email was directed at you, then it was. If not, then it
    > > wasn’t. Your own conscience should tell you whether you’re working hard
    > > and smart for freedom.
    > >
    > > I forwarded you an email that contained strong language, because my
    > > emotions are strong on the subject, and nothing else could adequately
    > > convey that. Sometimes lethargic institutions need to be grabbed by the
    > > lapels and shaken hard. …But I don’t advocate shaking babies.
    > > I dearly hope that Wayne Root takes advantage of the opportunity to praise
    > > Wesley Snipes (remark about his courage in standing for principle) for
    > > questioning the IRS’s unconstitutional tax code, and condemns his
    > > “persecution”.
    > >
    > > Snipes is a hero for what he did. How often do you hear libertarians say
    > > he did the right thing?
    > >
    > > If the LP (you?) are too soft-headed to take a stand on that, then they
    > > don’t know enough to play politics, or they aren’t paying enough attention
    > > to current events.
    > >
    > > Was the LP website in the hit meters as the Snipes persecution was being
    > > covered by the media?
    > >
    > > Again, I call your attention to the fact that almost everything
    > > COUNTERCULTURE AMERICA begins with the black community in the USA.
    > >
    > >
    > > If you are all upset and fuming over this, then you don’t have the “water
    > > off a ducks back” “take the wheat and leave the chaff” thick skin that it
    > > takes to be involved in politics.
    > >
    > > I’m done lecturing.
    > >
    > > All things in their right place,
    > > Jake Witmer Licensed Insurance Agent – IL, IN, WI – American Legacy
    > > Financial Group, LLC6405 N. Avondale Ave. Suite 100 Chicago, IL 60631
    > > O: (312) 638-9099 F: (866) 780-5480 C: (907) 250-5503
    > > “If we reinstate the right of the jury to veto bad laws, and thus prevent
    > > unjust punishments, we thereby protect every individual right.”
    > > “Fight back now. Weakness invites aggression.” –
    > > Carla Howell> Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 05:00:09 -0500> Subject: RE: As early
    > > as 2004, Libertarians were being targeted under the new secretive
    > > government laws> From:> To:> >
    > > Jake, seeing obscene language like this used about me and my party (I’m
    > > on> staff so you did direct these comments to me personally, among
    > > others)> makes me far less excited about working with you on anything. I
    > > don’t> mind criticism, but reject those who use such foul language
    > > directed at me> out of hand.> > yours in liberty -> Sean Haugh> Political
    > > Director, Libertarian Party> > On Sat, February 16, 2008 5:12 am, jake
    > > witmer wrote:> >> > Yeah, Frank, sometimes when I send things to the
    > > group, they get to people> > who don’t need ’em, already know everything,
    > > are way ahead of me on the> > law and the battle for freedom…> >> >
    > > Anyway, since you’re on the level:> >> > I’m thinking about getting
    > > systematic about FIJA activism, and have some> > ideas about how to go
    > > about it. My latest line of thinking is that I’d> > need to do it every
    > > time a jury entered, and be able to ramp up with the> > sonsabitches when
    > > I started having an effect, other wise it’s only small> > good, it’s not
    > > changing anything…> >> > I was also thinking about making it a religious
    > > thing on the south side,> > and preaching to church groups, in church on
    > > sunday, since it worked kind> > of like that for Lilburne. (the key is
    > > tapping into the power of numbers,> > and using them to battle the bigger
    > > numbers)> >> > I also would like to export the idea of self-ownership to
    > > the churches, so> > they overturn prosecutions all the time, and support
    > > robot rights for the> > first sentient “robot”. see
    > >> >> > Also wondering what the fuck my lame-assed
    > > political party is up to that> > they’re too fucking stupid to be totally
    > > commenting on how Wesley Snipes> > is a victim of the government who
    > > should be looked at as a hero for> > performing civil disobediance!!! The
    > > LP is so far behind the cutting edge> > it’s pathetic!!! Where are they
    > > at??? I can update a fucking website!> >> > -J> >> >
    > > _________________________________________________________________> > Shed
    > > those extra pounds with MSN and The Biggest Loser!> >
    > >> >
    > > _________________________________________________________________
    > > Need to know the score, the latest news, or you need your Hotmail®-get
    > > your “fix”.
    > >

  19. Jake,

    Can you please provide an exec summary of your accusations against Shane, Sean, et al?


  20. I am pulling the following comment out from spam from Jake Witmer. The only part I edited out is my real last name, which I do not use online because of death threats against me.

    It would be a long summary. The following is what I’ve been working on, in between circulating a local petition to decrease property taxes (too bad I’m fired and blacklisted from the LP. I think they could have used me in a few states this last week, rather than the mercenaries –and Eric Dondero– that they got… 😉 Haugh’s misuse of power would fill a book.

    To those that may be concerned with the future of the LP,

    In recent weeks some serious issues needing to be addressed have come to my attention. I believe these issues to be of great importance and see how they could have a serious negative effect on the LP as a whole. I came across these issues while working as a political petitioner on ballot access petitions. I have done this for the LP for a number of years and have extensive experience with the LP and the business of ballot access petition drives.

    Sean Haugh, the Political Director of the LP ballot access petition drives has made a number of serious errors in recent months and it appears the situation could be worsening due to his seeming incompetence. Here is a brief summary of some of the more glaring examples of Sean’s recent follies:

    (These are organized in bolded letter-points, so the primary claims in each point can be easily recognized and referenced, with supporting details non-bolded, since there is a detailed web of deception surrounding most of these allegations.)

    1) Haugh is “working very closely” (A Haugh phone call to Jake Witmer, prior to June 24 of 200 8) with Scott Kohlhaas who is providing virtually 100% of his direction. Kohlhaas called to hire me before the WV drive ended, and I was notified by email that I was hired, and then Sean Haugh “fired me” because of my response to Shane Cory’s slander of me (which only concerned him peripherally, because he was carbon copied (by Shane Cory) Cory’s incorrect and non-factual slander of me).

    If, in fact, it is Kohlhaas doing Sean’s job, then why is Sean being paid as the “Political Director”? (Unless it is to serve as Scott Kohlhaas’s “fall guy” or “flack jacket”.) …I posit that this arrangement allows Kohlhaas to be hired as an independently-contracted “political organizer”, without him being paid by the National Party to occupy the higher-profile position of “Political Director”, and without him having to bear the consequences of his personal retaliation against various petitioners whom he has defrauded. To those with inside knowledge, this seems pretty apparent at this time. Kohlhaas holding a loud title like “Political Director” is not strategically viable, since the Nebraska affair (where he is accurately documented ( ) having defrauded Andy Jacobs, Gary Fincher, Paulie, and Mark Pickens, and subsequently admitted guilt, and allowed LNC members –one of which was Aaron Starr– to pay his obligation to those said petitioners). At that point in time, several LNC members, and Bill Redpath stated that Kohlhaas would not be placed in a position of authority, due to his having defrauded these longtime LP petitioners/activists. (Whether one agrees that petitioners occupy a special and valuable relationship to the LP is irrelevant here. The issue at hand, is this: Should someone who is in a position to defraud people based on personal prejudice, who has a history of doing so, be allowed a position of authority within the LP?)

    Sean has often ranted and raved at people, simply for them having differences of opinion with him (or Kohlhaas). He is a very unstable individual, with virtually no skills of any kind. I know that this sounds incredibly unfair, ad hominem, and biased, but here is my evidence, organized as letters, so there is organization to this email.
    a) The first documented negative interaction of any petitioner with Sean Haugh that I am aware of is the instance in December, 1996, where Haugh began slandering Gary and Karen Fincher for their production on the Dec 1996 petition drive. Gary’s car broke down and they were both ejected from his house, midway through the abruptly and prematurely-ended petition drive (leaving them in the lurch in the middle of winter). Haugh was the one who ended that petition drive early. Haugh was allowing Gary Fincher and Karen Fincher (now deceased) to room in his house while they were petitioning in North Carolina. When their car broke down, he abruptly ended the drive, having said nothing of the quality of their work to their faces. Later, Gary found out that Haugh had been telling people –for years– that they were “worthless petitioners, whose production was very low”. He confronted Haugh about this at the 2008 National LP Convention in Denver, to see if it was true, and Haugh told him he “wasn’t going to talk about it” and turned and ran away from him.
    b) The next time a petitioner had a negative encounter with Haugh, it was Andy Jacobs, who has had multiple negative interactions with Sean Haugh, beginning with the first one, in 2001, when he was brought out to North Carolina on an oral contract, that was reneged upon, leaving him badmouthed by Sean with allegations that he could not refute, due to the lack of a written contract (or knowledge of the allegations against him). This is well before Haugh had an official title at the National LP. Details of this encounter amount to the drive being handled in a totally unprofessional manner, under an oral contract, where the deal kept changing both over the phone, and in person. Haugh agreed to pay Andy’s motel, and Andy cleared the motel with him, and when it came time to pay the bill, Haugh not only reacted with shocked surprise and hostility, he began spreading a rumor that Andy purposefully defrauded the NC LP on expenses. In addition to that, he ended the drive early, and reneged on how much he was supposed to pay Andy (Andy was on a sliding pay scale 1,200+ signatures = $1; 950+ signatures = $0.75; 850+ signatures = $0.65; >Also wondering what the fuck my lame-assed
    > > political party is up to that> > they’re too fucking stupid to be totally
    > > commenting on how Wesley Snipes> > is a victim of the government who
    > > should be looked at as a hero for> > performing civil disobediance!!! The
    > > LP is so far behind the cutting edge> > it’s pathetic!!! Where are they
    > > at??? I can update a fucking website!> >> > -J>
    The following is how Haugh responded, while occupying the title of “Political Director” (keep in mind that for all he knew then, he needed to use me as a petitioner, for National ballot access):
    > > Jake, seeing obscene language like this used about me and my party (I’m
    > > on> staff so you did direct these comments to me personally, among
    > > others)> makes me far less excited about working with you on anything. I
    > > don’t> mind criticism, but reject those who use such foul language
    > > directed at me> out of hand.> > yours in liberty -> Sean Haugh>
    To which I responded with:
    “…I was not against you in any way, by criticizing the do-nothing faction of the LP. But since you owned up to being a member of that faction by taking offense, I guess I’m going to have to assume you are correct in that assessment, if no other.”
    …My personal assessment of Haugh after this was that he was a wimp that often flies off the handle with other people, cussing them out and personally attacking them, while straining necessary future professional relations with them, but can’t handle lesser non-personal attacks on anything remotely connected with him. In short, an emotional crybaby.
    As an example of what an extreme hypocrite Haugh is, and why I think so regarding this subject, here is an example of him using profanity (well before criticizing me for doing something similar, though not the same, because he literally directed his profanity directly at the intended recipient of the email, which I did not) in a February 25th, 2008 at 12:41 pm email, quoted by Susan Hogarth (phone: 919-906-2106 phone:919-544-8988):
    Re: professionalism and Sean Haugh:
    Haugh has a history of unprofessional outbursts. While serving as the (paid) Executive Director of the LPNC as recently as 2005, he wrote the following in a private email which (naturally) showed up later in a public forum:
    Sean Haugh said: “Connie, you’re right I probably never will be a success in politics
    because I believe it’s about doing the right thing, not sucking the right dick. A lot of fucking gall to speak of principle while breaking a promise.”
    d) Sean Haugh admits to attempting to have valid LP signatures burned (due to a personal vendetta against Gary Fincher, OR an unseen order from Scott Kohlhaas), ( online here: )and then
    e) incorrectly fires (and later rehires) Mark Pickens for allegedly hiring Gary Fincher. Since the allegation was without merit, Haugh later rehired Pickens, and is currently paying Pickens in AL, after having realized that he has no ability to prevent State LP affiliates from hiring petitioners who have a good work record there. (Let’s all think for a second what being repeatedly fired by someone like Haugh, and then rehired later, when his delusional allegations are proven false does to a petitioner’s attitude towards the LP.) Here is Haugh’s temporary firing of Pickens, in his own (quite authority-crazed) emailed words, dated: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 15:03:09
    “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.”
    …These are clearly words of someone drunk on the power to fire people. After all, there has never been any documented or legitimate reason for Haugh to fire any of these petitioners. (Even after the many times he has been asked to provide one, he has never risen to the task).

    Keep in mind that Sean’s allegations that it’s “obvious” that Mark can’t be trusted to keep Gary Fincher away from LP petitions, Sean “cannot work with him any longer”. Keep in mind that Sean is now working with Mark Pickens, because this “obvious” allegation was completely incorrect. I would analyze all of the other errors in judgement in this one single email, but it would number around 20 pages, and most readers will not even have the patience to make it this far.
    f)Another veteran petition circulator ( Paulie ) fired and ‘blackballed’ by Sean Haugh
    July 6th, 2008 · 48 Comments Veteran petition circulator and Libertarian Party activist “Paulie Cannoli” — who also writes for IPR — has reportedly been fired by Sean Haugh and will be denied future work with the LP. This turn of events is based, at least in part, on Paulie’s comments in defense of Gary Fincher, another victim of the Haugh purge, here at IPR. A good post regarding this firing is reprinted here, in its entirety:
    G.E. // Jul 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm
    Let me clarify my position one more time:
    1. I consider Andy a friend. I do not know Gary. MAYBE Sean Haugh has good reason to not want to work with Andy and Gary. But he does NOT have a good reason to order petitions to demand that other vendors not hire them.
    2. Let’s just say that Sean Haugh is right about Andy/Gary. That in no way justifies him firing Paul for merely saying that Gary is not a woman-beater. That this is a firable offense is disgraceful. Sean Haugh should have been fired weeks ago, and every moment goes by that he’s not sent packing (actually, he works from home) is another moment that Bill Redpath disgraces himself and our party.
    After this posting, ( on the website “Independent Political Report”),
    another good post here, from Andy Jacobs:
    Paul has done a lot of petitioning in Alabama and there aren’t that many people who’ve done as much petitioning in Alabama as Paul has. Paul is sitting in Alabama ready, willing, and able to work on LP ballot access, however, Sean is now saying that Paul is blackballed from petitioning for the LP based on some flimsy pretext. This is harmful to the LP because they’ve already got a proven, expierence, Libertarian petitioner in Alabama who is ready to work, but now he is prohibited from working for no legitimate reason, so the LP will have to spend more money to bring somebody else in to do work that he could have done (thus WASTING more donors’ money), and in all likelyhood the person whom they send in will not be as good of a petitioner and will not have as much expierence petitioning in Alabama.
    Another post follows from Paulie, indicating that Haugh has a pattern of simply lying to people when he talks to them on the phone. This sets up a pattern of him later denying his insane-sounding lies, when they literally sound so crazy that people doubt that he actually said them:
    paulie cannoli // Jul 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm:
    By the way Sean also said I had lied to him and said I was not working with Gary any more. That was in fact true(JAKE’S NOTE: the portion about Paul no longer working with Gary is true, but irrelevant, and not indicative of a lie on Paul’s part. Keep in mind that Kohlhaas has often slandered various petitioners in personal conversations with me in Alaska, and that it appears more and more that he is the origin of the insane things that Sean Haugh says. There is some strong circumstantial evidence of this, and it goes a long way towards explaining Haugh’s bias against Gary Fincher, as well as the idea that Haugh has control over him. Kohlhaas told me on several occasions in personal conversations that Fincher “couldn’t work for the LP anymore” and that the LP “won’t hire Fincher anymore” after I had asked him who some of the best petitioners and petitioning crews in the country were. I asked him about Fincher directly, because Scott had told me that Fincher had taught him how to register people into the Libertarian Party, for the purpose of ballot access.). I’m not working with Gary anymore. As I said elsewhere, that is over personal matters and has nothing to do with his performance as a circulator.
    Paulie is then rehired, by July 11, 2008, thus proving that Sean’s firing was either wrongful, or ineffective at producing a useful result, or both. Even if you side with “ineffective”, this is an action that has been repeated several times, to the overall detriment of the LP being able to hire high quality work.
    g) All of this barely goes commented on, even though these offenses are just a few of many. Haugh has slandered Kevin Barrett, one of the 2008 LP candidates, because he is a 9-11 truther. I may not agree with Barrett, but Jesse Ventura also is a 9-11 truther, and he says he knows something about controlled demolitions of buildings, and raises some interesting questions about 9-11. A lot of Libertarians would like Ventura to run for president. Haugh has repeatedly been in serious trouble for shooting his mouth off with no authority, and no intelligence. Whence comes the Political Direction he is being paid for?

    2) Possibly Haugh’s most egregious offense is that he is responsible for ordering a that a felony be committed by Carol McMahon, an LNC member, in MA. The documentation of this is on line here:
    And, in case this weblink is ever taken down, a copy of its substance can be obtained by contacting me, Jake Witmer, at 907-250-5503. The Petitioners Andy Jacobs, Gary Fincher, Mark Pickens, and Paulie all have copies of it as well.

    3) Here is Kohlhaas (“working for Sean” with Sean as his puppet) agreeing to hire me, dated
    Thu 7/31/08 7:23 AM
    Hi Sean! Jake has agreed to go to work for us starting 8/1/08 in CT where he has experience from 2004. He will be getting the standard deal we give everyone: $1.50 per sig, hotel reimbursement, car rental reimbursement, gas reimbursement and travel out of the last state in which he works for us. He has agreed to go to ME between 8/6/08 and 8/8/08 if necessary. Thanks! Scott Kohlhaas
    Here is Haugh firing me, because I responded to slanderous accusations that were leveled at me by Shane Cory, in an email that was carbon-copied to Sean Haugh, by Shane Cory. dated: Fri 8/01/08 3:22 PM :
    >Jake, based on this rant alone, I will never hire you. I don’t need the drama. Please do not contact me >in the future and do not think for a moment you are working for us in Connecticut, Alabama or any >other state. yours in liberty -Sean Haugh Political Director, Libertarian Party

    Do his irrational behaviors even need to be examined further? What sort of understanding of his mind could they lead to? Does he have the ability to unmake the Libertarian movement in a few months? We will be hurt for years because of the damage he has done. Who among us would ever trust the LP again? Will we always be battling the overpaid mercenaries who don’t care to gather valid signatures?

    …Interestingly, the result of this was to take me away from the LP Connecticut petition drive, where I had worked in the past, and received an open invitation to return from the CT State treasurer, whose name is Andy Rule. Kohlhaas had seemed excited to have me in CT, and had convinced me to go there, and that the LP really needed help there, the evening before. Perhaps this is all a lie, and all manipulation, and he’d have gotten away with it if it were not for those meddling bloggers!

    I only suspect this, because he refused to answer his phone when I called from 8/01/2008 to the present. If Haugh is simply a loose cannon, why no simple correction of Haugh by Kohlhaas, who is CLEARLY the “brains of the operation”. (This is not intended to smear Sean. His weak and self-contradictory track record speaks for itself. It is intended to give those close to the situation, with a knowledge of both Sean and Scott’s personalities, insight into the situation. Scott has ability, but in 2008 it all seems to be wasted on using his position to smear his rightful detractors, in order to save his own fairly long and lucrative career in the LP. Since Scott was hired by Matt Beauchamp in 2002 to run the IL LP petition drive, making at least $75,000 and probably more like $150,000, the LP has been a real cash cow for him. He has long been a “go to” guy when the LP is in trouble in an apathetic State, regarding ballot access work that otherwise would not get done.)

    4) Haugh’s many mistakes with respect to the functioning of the various functions of his title are
    a) Haugh has hired strictly mercenary, non-libertarian petitioners who have terrible validity rates in PA, NY, and probably CT, and several other states, due to the fact that there were no readily available libertarian petitioners to be had, since they were all blacklisted due to personality conflicts with him (or Scott giving orders or rumors through him). The bad validity poses a risk to ballot access for our existing and future candidates, in several ways. First: it discourages LP petitioners from working with and trusting the LP. Second : It makes them seek the highest dollar always, and not consider helping us in bad situations (like WV, and presumably, CT). It rewards mercenaries over legitimate work, encouraging less ideological LP petitioners to ignore validity in challenge states, opening us up to either petitioner conflict in the future, or to removal from the ballot when the practice becomes standard among most petitioners.
    b) Haugh has seemingly served as a mindless flack jacket for Scott Kohlhaas, and it has often blown up in his face. Why does he continue to do this, or is he actually making these decisions on his own? …I sense a greater intelligence behind him. Several petitioners are treated like dirt, and distrespected by several new libertarians in positions of authority. I believe I may have gained Scott’s ire at the convention and he simply put me on the back burner, until he could recommend me to Cory, while at the same time ensuring I could not prevent him from giving bad advice to Cory on the WV job. …And sure, this sounds paranoid, but why else would Shane ignore me when I offered to quite literally save the WV drive? It could be stupidity, it could be incompetence, it could be that he was told I was incapable of solving the drive, that I was a mindless petitioner, and that hiring locals with radio ads was “the way to go”. Obviously, Shane didn’t do the job, when he could have. Why not? I find it hard to believe that Haugh and Kohlhaas were too busy to point him in the right direction (unless they wanted him to fail).
    c) Haugh can’t keep his cool (or he does whatever Kohlhaas tells him, and it just seems that way). Haugh blows up at people and insults them, and then can’t even handle softer versions of that that happen to himself. He loves to “vocally or with a short email sever all ties, with perfunctory reasons”. This is power-trip behavior, and it has no place in the LP.
    d) Haugh has opened the LP up to several lawsuits that will likely move forward whether or not he is terminated. If he is terminated, it will be safer for the LP, which then does not need to defend itself with donor money.

    As I have recently made it clear to Sean that I am aware of his incompetence and that I intend to make others aware of it as well. Sean is no doubt scrambling to build a case against me, wasting the few resources he has battling someone who would have been allied with the LP without him (or Kohlhaas). Haugh notified me that after 7 years of a healthy working relationship with the LP I am no longer be employable by the LP at a State or National level.

    He didn’t give a clear reason. Just seems he didn’t like me defending myself against Shane’s incompetent smears. BTW: Has it occurred to anyone here what would have happened if Shane would not have blocked me from bringing in 10 or so professional petitioners in WV? Does anyone care to get to the bottom of why this happened?

    To me, this seems counterproductive and irrational. And let’s not forget that I am taking the high road here, and not pursuing simple revenge, which includes a giant arsenal of dirty tricks that I have little doubt that Haugh would be pursuing if he were in my shoes, including, but not limited to:
    1) contract breach lawsuits against the Sean/Scott/Shane for issuing contracts that were then violates, both oral, emailed and written
    2) breach of contract and damage compensation and expense lawsuits (and the negative media that comes with them)
    3) Elimination of the Party from states where they hired low-validity mercenaries, rather than long time libertarian petitioners (and if this is not used now, then who is to say it won’t be in the future?)
    4) The continuing gathering of petition signatures anyway. Those petitions could then be turned in, or not, or they could be not turned in and combined with a media story about petitioners that are purposefully attempting to ruin the minor parties
    5) Were it to become known that any major party could ruin any minor party simply by circulating the petition fraudulently, how long do you think the LP would last?
    6) And then there’s ultimately the “joy” of having your own people go totally rogue on you. Such people might work for you, never respecting you, always abusing you, never caring about your interests. They might shoot down your mercenaries’ validity on their own, just to keep drives going, and raise per-signature prices.
    7) They might “sandbag” on you, and hold signatures until the end of drives, hoping that you raise the price per signature, or otherwise try to manipulate drives. They might form agreements to drive up the cost of drives, and work in “unionized” teams to complete them at higher rates.
    8) They might get the law involved when someone royally screws up, and violates the law, as Haugh did, in Massachusetts.

    In short, there’s no reason not to be friends with Libertarian activists. They can really help you out if they are utilized properly, and they can really annoy and waste your time if they are angry and mistreated.

    Most Libertarian petitioners want very reasonable things for themselves. A good rate of pay, to stay on the road, and make money, and an honest working relationship with their employers and/or the State parties.

    Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts regarding these issues.

    Thank you,

    Jake Witmer

    cell: 907-250-5503

  21. It would be a long summary.

    Hence it will not be read and understood by most people. Can you please write a short version?

  22. No more than one printed page, one sided, in standard font sizes, or very, very few of your intended audience will read it.

  23. on September 9, 2008 at 6:42 am10 Jake Witmer

    A brief list of the “fired and blacklisted” LP members/ petitioners / activists:

    Jake Witmer: Fired and blacklisted by Haugh for responding to a defamatory email from Shane Cory (after I was the only LP petitioner who went to WV, to try to save ballot access for the LP there). Shane Cory had CCed Bill Redpath, Sean Haugh, Robert Kraus, Russell Verney, and a few other people. When I responded to this email, I CCed all of those people. I did this after having been hired by Scott Kohlhaas to go to CT for the LP. Kohlhaas was allegedly Haugh’s subordinate at the time (while doing all of Sean’s actual work for him, since Sean is 100% incompetent), so Haugh firing me put me in the awkward position of not knowing if I was hired or fired, since neither he nor kohlhaas would answer my calls after I got Haugh’s email. Details available on request. 907-250-5503 (Haugh had previously responded like an offended soccer mom when I very generally criticized the LP’s lack of capitalization on the Wesley Snipes tax case. Apparently, he identifies himself with the LP “do-nothing” camp.)

    Andy Jacobs: the LP petitioner with the highest average daily signature counts in the nation. Fired by Haugh after he refused to remain silent about being defrauded by Scott Kohlhaas in NE in 2006. After having his payment delayed for a year (and paying the other petitioners similarly defrauded out of his own pocket), the LNC covered Scott Kohlhaas’s debt, and retained him as a (very expensive and over-rated) contract employee. Andy was put into the awkward position of signing a statement that forbid him to speak about his defrauding (which he signed under duress), or risk never being paid by anyone (this was seriously the threat that was made!). As leverage used to force Andy to sign, other petitioners were threatened with not being paid if Andy refused to sign (thus making Andy’s coerced signature legally non-binding).

    Paulie Cannoli: defrauded (never paid) on the NE drive by Scott Kohlhaas in 2006, and blacklisted by Kohlhaas and Haugh. Also made whole on everything except the interest he was owed by the LNC. Ask him for the details since he blogs here.

    Gary Fincher: Longtime activist who always worked on an oral contract. Defrauded many times, for many reasons. In NM, the NM party attempted to not pay him for voter registrations he did that lacked SSNs, after they told him that the SSNs were not required. Fincher filled in random numbers for the SSNs, and then handed them in anyway, in order to get around being defrauded. Since then, he has been blacklisted, even though upon examination, the LP (under Dasbach) sided with Fincher and paid him for the registrations that were counted as valid. The problem was initially caused by Joe Knight siding with the NM Sec of State in investigating the Finchers because they “registered too many libertarians”. Typical bullshit caused by weak-minded “Libertarians” agreeing with the state over their own activists out of simple fear. Fincher was later fired and blacklisted for calling up a woman who registered to vote with Fincher, when he called her to put a piece of info that she had forgotten onto her registration. The woman got frightened that her identity was being stolen and called the police to investigate Fincher where he was working. The cops vindicated Fincher, but the whole thing blew up on him anyway after the local LP was called. Fincher was also defrauded by Scott Kohlhaas in NE in 2006. Kohlhaas remains a salaried employee of the National LP. Kohlhaas is one of the highest paid petition drive coordinators retained by the National LP, because he actually does (very expensive) work himself (Scott Kohlhaas performs 100% of Sean Haugh’s job, but would prefer not to have the attention that a loud title such as “Political Director” attracts).

    Mark Pickens: Mark Pickens was briefly fired and blacklisted, and then re-hired by Haugh, when Haugh’s allegations against him were proven baseless. (It was alleged that Mark was allowing Gary Fincher to turn in petition signatures to him, in order to be paid for them. When it turned out that Fincher was on the other side of the country, Haugh was forced to either look like the nutjob he is, or rehire Pickens.) …In all fairness, Haugh is probably not the one responsible for doing all the erratic blacklisting, since he is not smart enough to get much done on his own, and there appears to be a structure and a purpose to the blacklisting. It is all the people who have made enemies of Kohlhaas and his longtime buddy, Eric Dondero. Eric Dondero hates all libertarians who are actual libertarians. He tries to smear them as anarchists, since he’s a partisan “Republican”. Kohlhaas is systematically trying to destroy anyone who knows that Andy Jacobs is speaking the truth about him online. It is simply Scott using Sean as a tool to protect his racket (of dramatically overcharging LP donors for ballot access work of a fairly decent quality.)

    If your name belongs on the above list, email it to me, , along with a brief summary of how you were treated by the new regime that thinks it’s OK to arbitrarily and without evidence “fire and blacklist” LP members / activist petitioners from doing vital LP work.

    Haugh, Cory, Kohlhaas, Verney, etc… Have also pissed off and alienated a few other petitioners, none of whom are philosophical libertarian activists (and who thus are not on this board). Those people simply got ripped off, and vanished into the night, like Kohlhaas, Cory, and Haugh’s conception of “good petitioners”.

    “Good petitioners” don’t complain when they get ripped off! They go to a hostpital and die of diabetes-caused bone infections! …Maybe Fincher will finally be a good petitioner in their opinions, since he’s in that situation, partly because he couldn’t get medical care after being ripped off by them in NE, and was too proud to accept medical welfare.

    Interestingly, Bill Redpath sympathized to me that Kohlhaas has been a longtime activist in the LP, and that he couldn’t “just fire him” (or Haugh).

    I guess Fincher doesn’t deserve that same recognition, even though he’s the guy who trained Kohlhaas how to part Libertarian voters from their D and R partisan registration labels.

    Who will Arizona hire now that I’m blacklisted? …I’m really curious! Probably Kohlhaas. After all, he will need the work after this, and Sean Haugh doesn’t have a problem with him (and the AZ LP will be more ‘desperate’ by then).

    Interestingly, if Kohlhaas goes to AZ to do voter registrations, he will gather them all at the Universities, even if there is a prohibition on his doing so (…because he doesn’t give a shit about local LPs being effective).

    Allegedly, the AZ LP doesn’t want “soft registrations” (registrations from college kids that move away after 4 years). Hard registrations are difficult though, so if they require zero “soft registrations” they will not likely find anyone capable of doing the work they desire, and will be less of a force in politics than they are now.

    I hope that adds to your understanding Chuck (Moulton). Feel free to call me for clarification. The problem with posts and stories like this is that they are full of so many supporting details that they quickly become tedious and boring, even to anyone who wants the truth.

    It’s a lot of BS to wade through.

    Thanks for caring,

    Jake Witmer

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