Rachel Hawkridge recently sent out an e-mail to a number of Libertarians about the final vote to try and boot Angela Keaton.
Keep in mind that this resolution was passed AFTER an earlier effort to brand Ms. Keaton a sexual predator, and still earlier efforts to smack her down for her outspoken, pro-transparency nature.
A shrewd observer would note this was the modus operandi of those who attempted to frame Mary Ruwart as a child porn acolyte. But I guess shrewdness is not a gift of the average LNC member.
Without further ado, Hawkridge writes in her summary of events, and I comment with my thoughts:
PLEASE read it carefully, and note that things are not nearly as bad as have been reported – anything red is note from me to Sully. Notes from me to you are ****. Most of the bold or italics are my attempts to highlight important points.
I did not receive any coloring in my e-mail, so I have no clue what is from “Sully” (LNC treasurer Sullentrup).
I’ll start with the substantive description of what happened, based on the Sullentrup and Hawkridge discussion:
After a break, the Chair announced Angela Keaton had blogged on the Internet some information that had been revealed in executive session.
“Executive session” is a fancy term for “secret meeting where various LNC members can engage in various shenanigans off the record, without any notice.”
Such secret meetings are useful for highly important classified stuff — like discussing lawsuits, etc. — but not for the purpose that they’re generally used for in the LNC (such as the BS politicking that we’ve witnessed this weekend).
**** Also note that some of this was reported incorrectly, and had already caused problems for some members. ****
I guess we’ll have to take Rachel’s word that there were some factual inaccuracies, since we’ll never actually know the content of the double-super-secret LNC meetings in question — which took up quite a bit of time last weekend.
From what I can tell, the “problems” were mostly constituent feedback. Unfortunately, lots of LNC members consider constituent feedback to be bad and something not to be replied to… hence its lack of connection to the paid membership in general.
Pat Dixon moved to censure Angela Keaton for having blogged what she had put onto the LastFreeVoice website.
Angela Keaton does not have access to LFV’s website as a poster.
Angela Keaton left the room after having admitted to the transgression.
Why did she leave the room?
The report is that she was ordered from the room.
Did she voluntarily leave the room? Was she ordered from the room? Did Imperial Shock Troops drag her out of the room?
Michael Jingozian read the passage to the body.
Aaron Starr moved a substitute motion: It is the belief of this body that Angela Keaton should resign for having disclosed material in executive session.
Hilarious. Aaron Starr swoops in for the kill.
How did the motion go?
Everyone in the room voted for the substitution. ****I believe this was a voice vote, and that I did not vote. – R****
So Keaton was not in the room — presumably because she was ordered out (as reported). Then there was an Aaron Starr resolution demanding her resignation for revealing material in one of the double-super-secret sessions (we still don’t know what the material was).
We also don’t know who voted or didn’t vote, and a voting member is claiming that she “believes” it was a voice vote and that she didn’t vote at all. That’s not very precise.
Angela Keaton returned to the room.
And the response was?
Aaron Starr moved to have her leave the room while the body decided what actions to take.
This is where it gets even dodgier.
As I noted prior, this is a clear violation of both the Libertarian National Committee’s Bylaws, and a violation of Roberts’ Rules. The body cannot order a sitting member of the body to leave the body other than through a valid vote to suspend the member.
The bylaws of the LNC clearly mandate a 2/3 vote of the LNC to suspend a member of the committee. Starr’s motion was not a motion to suspend, thus he (and the LNC) did not have authority to expel a sitting member of the body.
Angela Keaton was removed from the room
Whoa, holllllld on a minute, partner.
“Removed from the room?” Through what mechanism?
How did Starr’s illegal removal-from-room motion get introduced? Was there a vote? Who voted for it?
If not, was Keaton ordered removed from the room by Redpath and Starr (as reported)? If so, what basis do they claim the removal?
Was she removed physically?
but was afforded an opportunity to speak in her defense before departing.
By whom? In what capacity?
Her defense was that executive session was inappropriate for the material being discussed.
She wasn’t on trial. If the LNC was voting to suspend her from the LNC, calling it a “defense” would be appropriate. However, this was an illegal motion made by a politically motivated member of the LNC to expel a valid sitting member of the committee from the room. No “defense” needed other than “you don’t have the authority to do this.”
I wish Angela had not given in to this bullying.
Moreover, some of the material was an affront to her, and she had no opportunity to meet her accusers.
Typical day in the Starr Chamber.
Mary Ruwart invited Ms. Keaton to try again to address the specific issues the Committee had raised, since she had not appeared to have addressed them.
By whose estimation?
Again, the LNC is not a court.
There can be debate, there can be discussion, but the LNC does not have “powers of trial.”
It has one of two options — it can pass a resolution condemning Ms. Keaton (which she has full right to debate and participate within, including a vote, as a sitting member). Or, it can vote on expulsion, which requires a 2/3 vote of the committee.
It may not “kinda expel” a member.
**** I believe that Mary diffused some of the emotion here by injecting a moment of calm, loving . . . and allowed the discussion to later evolve into the apology compromise.****
I believe that Mary Ruwart folded like a cheap suit, at least if this account is accurate.
Bob Sullentrup called the question, which passed.
Was Keaton still in the room? What motion (if any) was used to “expel” her?
Moving then to a vote on the LNC recommendation to ask Angela Keaton to resign:
Voting in favor
Mary Ruwart, Jim Lark, Julie Fox, Pat Dixon, Rebecca Sink-Burris, Mark Hinkle, Michael Jingozian, Aaron Starr, Stewart Flood, Dan Karlan, Bob Sullentrup
Rachel Hawkridge abstained and the chair did not vote.
And there you have it. Your LNC voted to ask Angela to resign over absolutely nothing.
Worse, Mary Ruwart sold Keaton down the river, after earlier dirty dealing by several people in the same room targeting Ms. Keaton had earlier resulted in an attempt at a resolution (as well as a press release by Shane Cory) attempting to essentially smear her as a pro-child-porn activist.
Word to the wise — if you fight for the radicals, this is the “support” you can expect to get when your back is up against the wall later.
**** Note that this is not hostility in any way from Mr. Redpath. Both Gene and I feel that he was truly trying to be fair, and I got a sense of reluctance on his part in the whole matter. Mr. Redpath also DID NOT comment, suggest any motions, demonstrate any pleasure or anything else undesirable. He was FAIR and IMPARTIAL, and the overwhelming feeling and discussion then and later was that The Keaton had left us no choice. This was the second time in 2 days, and the revelations made on Sunday were made after discussion about secrecy about some of these revelations. ****
Absent for the vote were Lee Wrights, Admiral Colley (airport), Angela Keaton
Bob Sullentrup moved the LNC suspend the membership on the LNC of Angela Keaton for breaching confidentiality in executive session.
And now they move in for the kill.
Pat Dixon moved to amend with the phrase ‘as denoted in Article 8 Section 5 of Bylaws’.
The amendment was adopted.
Aaron Starr moved to make this matter a mail ballot. There was no second.
Aaron Starr moved to append ‘in the event she does not apologize with 10 days and commit to never repeating the offense again’. **** Once again, no malice or glee detected here. This was a major softening of the original motion, and I appreciate and commend Mr. Starr’s strength in being willing to back off the original motion.
Yadda yadda yadda.
At this point, we amended the agenda to remove Jim Lark’s goals item from the agenda and move Rachel’s to the email list.
When Aaron’s amendment passed, the main motion read:
The LNC shall suspend the membership on the LNC of Angela Keaton for breaching confidentiality in executive session as denoted in Article 8 Section 5 of Bylaws, in the event she does not apologize with 10 days and commit to never repeating the offense again
At some point the Chair returned to the room after a brief absence and reported Shane Cory had sent a text message noting the Barr campaign did not want Ms. Keaton removed from the LNC.
After some discussion that Mary Ruwart and perhaps others would talk to Angela to get her to understand her breach and how it affected LNC business, the body withdrew the motion, pending Mary’s report on her conversation. There was no objection to the withdrawal.
In plain English — Starr moved to eject Keaton, the LNC effectively had the votes to remove Keaton lined up (apparently including that of Mary Ruwart), but they suspended their final vote on expelling her to give LNC members an opportunity to browbeat Keaton into submission and compliance with their wishes.
And that, in a nutshell, is what “your” national committee spent so much time on this past weekend.
Opportunity for Pubic Comment
Perhaps the funniest typo I’ve read on this yet.
Chuck Moulton invited the LNC to consider Philadelphia as a convention site for 2010 or 2012.
Chuck also pointed out the maxim that if ‘a person is committing political suicide, step out of the way.’ This he said was true for both Angela Keaton and the LNC. He forecast ‘blowback’ and expressed relief he was no longer on the Board.
There are many lessons in here, if you care to read them. Hints: excessive sense of self-importance by the LNC, lots of emotional gobbledygook, and a generous dollop of good old-fashioned dirty gotcha politics.
None of which does anything to contribute to the advancement of liberty in the slightest.
If you are reliant on the integrity and support any of the LNC members who voted to eliminate Ms. Keaton (or did nothing to stop this obvious third-attempt-in-the-weekend of bullying her), I suggest you reassess your relations with those people.
Myself, I no longer have confidence in any members of the Libertarian National Committee based on what I’ve heard and the details in this account. And I certainly cannot be a member of a political party with such a deficit of leadership and a lack of transparency.