Steve G.

LNC moves quickly to replace Keaton – Hogarth requests a more deliberative process and consideration for open seat

In Libertarian on December 9, 2008 at 1:55 pm

This is on-the-minute news, so there may well be inaccuracies

Four LNC members – Starr, Sink-Burris, Colley, and Karlan – have moved to fill Angela Keaton’s just vacated seat with Alicia Mattson. Apparently their call for a vote on Alicia’s nomination precludes consideration of other possible candidates until the up/down vote on Mattson can be concluded – which can (must?) take two weeks.

Note: as I write this, one of my assumptions – that multiple simultaneous balloting is not allowable – has been questioned by an LNC member. I rec’d the information from another LNC member, so at least one of us has had some misunderstanding here. I hope it can be sorted out quickly, but I will still publish my original statement.

Following is my request/statement to the LNC members:

Fellow activists and representatives,

I was saddened, as I am sure many of you are, by the sudden resignation of Angela Keaton from the LNC. I understand that it is the role of the LNC to fill Angela’s seat, and I can understand that the body would not want to remain with an unfilled seat for any longer than reasonably necessary. However, I also think there is no reason to unduly rush the filling of the seat and I assumed that there would be some reasonable period of time to allow for deliberation regarding the best method to replace Angela, discussion of the possible candidates for the position, and time for representatives to consult with their constituencies on the matter if they so wish.

Instead, I have been informed that Alicia Mattson has been nominated and that no other candidates can be considered until this vote is concluded. I am sorry that such a choice has been placed on you as a body.

I think this is unfortunate, because it means, in effect, that a representative wanting to vote FOR a more deliberative, careful, and open process, is placed in the awkward position of voting AGAINST a proven, dedicated activist. Representatives unwilling to make such a negative vote will, in effect, be voting against taking the time for due consideration and reflection that should be accorded this important choice.

As my vote count for the last available at-large seat in Denver was separated from Alicia’s by only four votes, and as I beleive it is clear that I represent a constituency that has much more overlap with Ms. Keaton’s than does Ms. Mattson’s, I think a strong argument can be made that I, rather than Ms. Mattson, should fill the seat.

But I am not writing now to make that argument. I am simply writing to urge you each to vote to allow that argument to be heard, and to give it a good listen.

I will not present my vitae for the position in this note – it’s purpose was instead simply to let you know that I am interested in serving in the capacity of at-large representative, and to urge you to vote, not AGAINST Ms. Mattson, but FOR a more open and deliberative process.

Thank you all for your continued service to the Libertarian Party and to the principles it represents.

Susan Hogarth | Outreach Director
Libertarian Party of NC

  1. From the bylaws:

    The National Committee shall appoint new officers and members-at-large if vacancies
    occur, such officers and members-at-large to complete the term of the office vacated.

    The National Committee may, without meeting together, transact business by mail. The Secretary shall send out mail ballots on any question submitted by the Chair or by at
    least 1/5 of the members of the Committee. Fifteen days shall be allowed for the return of the votes cast, by mail, to the Secretary. The Secretary shall establish procedures for
    identifying voters in a mail ballot, and may accept votes through any mail system, including facsimile and electronic mail, for which such procedures have been established.
    Votes from alternate regional representatives will be counted, in accordance with the ranking procedure of the region, only if the regional representative fails to respond to the ballot. If, at the expiration of the applicable period, a quorum of the Committee have not returned their votes, the measure being voted upon shall be deemed to have failed; in all other cases, a majority of the votes returned shall carry the measure, except where a higher vote is required by the Bylaws. The Secretary shall preserve all such votes until the next meeting of the National Committee, at which meeting the Committee shall order
    the disposition of such votes.

  2. And so it begins…and there is a report that George Squyres has resigned as well. And Macia Hardy has not yet been replaced either.

  3. At the close of the last LNC Meeting, David Nolan warned the LNC that it was inadvisable to appoint Mattson as interim chair of the platform committee. This proposed replacement for Keaton is not progress.

    Hardy Machia was a Regional Alternate and must be replaced by the State Chairs in his region, not by the LNC.

    I have also heard from several reliable sources the report about George Squyres.

  4. A few questions:

    — Why did Hardy Macia resign?

    — How come there are regional alternates but not national ones?

    — Why is there such a rush to fill the slot? U.S. House seats stay vacant for months at a time.

    — Is Carling’s name Miller or Mark?

  5. As usual, The Nolan has sage words to offer.

    At this point, we have to hope that 2010 will grant us a better crop of candidates. I’m sure hearing some interesting rumors at this point, though.

  6. Correction: replace ‘Karlan” with “Flood” above. Stewart is now offering a resolution to hold the vote in Charleston, and withdrawing his support for the (immediate) Mattson vote.

    Evidently folks were not real keen on this rush job.

  7. Another question: Is this level of division and upheaval very unusual, or just par for the LP course? I know the party has a boisterous history, but from some of what I’ve read, recent events — the dissension over Barr/Root, mixed feelings about Ron Paul, the various schisms (BTP, Phillies-New Hampshire), LNC/Keaton — seem to be something new and unusually threatening.

  8. Peter, I’m not sure if it’s new or not, but it definitely is threatening. Putting Carling in as parliamentarian is not a good move, but my moles tell me that a majority went along with it with great reluctance considering his past reputation .

  9. At-large reps have been replaced in the past. So what is the precendential method? Years ago, Ed Crane resigned and several candidates presented themselves at the next NatCom meeting to make their case to the LNC, which then voted.

  10. Peter,

    There’ve probably been more contentious periods in the LP: 1980-1983 was huge, when Rothbard was on the warpath against the Crane Machine, and 1988-1990, when Rothbard, Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell broke with the LP, this time more because the Rothbardians had gone “paleo” and they were revulsed by radicalism of a more libertine sort.

    Rothbard tacked (I guess you’d call it “left”) in the early 80s, then (I guess you’d call it “right” to even “hard right”) in the late 80s, early 90s.

    The players have changed, but the issues are largely the same. IMO. The Web makes all these issues easier to discuss, which is generally helpful, as those in the middle can assess things more real time, if they choose to.

    Me — I’m going to start the Rodney King Caucus. Hopefully, I won’t be beaten about the head for doing so 😉

  11. During the last term, the Treasurer resigned. The position was filled the same day, during the meeting in which the resignation took place. Had Ms Keaton resigned prior to, or during last weekend’s meeting, the election of a replacement would have very likely taken place that day.

    Yes, the Internet makes certain issues easier to discuss. I would guess that years ago, when a member resigned, it the By-Laws did not contain a method of easily conducting business between meetings.

  12. If they are going to do this by email, they should open nominations for a period and vote on those nominated.

    Alternatively, postponing the election to the next meeting is fine because At-Large is not a critical inter-meeting position (unlike the officers). This would probably be the least controversial approach.

    However, I wouldn’t rush to judgment on a motion made by a few individuals, imputing it as an aspersion on the entire board. I doubt a majority of the LNC members will tolerate the process mentioned (voting on just one possible person without considering others).

  13. It now appears that Chuck is correct, and that’s a good thing. Single-sourcing a candidate vote like this is not a good thing.

    And I doubt Angela would have resigned before or during the meeting. She would not have wanted to give her persecutors the satisfaction. Instead she beat them and walked away in style.

  14. >>Happy birthday, Angela. We’ll keep the lamp lit. Come back as soon as you can.<<

    Good for you, Angela! Glad to hear you resigned.

    And how terrific that Mr. Starr now knows his bullying techniques work! And the next time some woman rejects him romantically, he can go after her with renewed confidence in his harassment techniques.

    (That WAS the message you wanted to send, right?? )

  15. Kate, Starr has that power over people only if those people let him have it. I drive him nuts because there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it, because I reject any claim of power he has over me.

    At the LNC meeting in SD he tried to mess with my computer, and he even went as far at one point to suggest a policy manual amendment to ban members from taping the meetings–as if the policy manual applies to members. When he proposed that idea (it never got to a motion), I laughed at him loudly and derisively, and basically asked “HOW?” He made himself look foolish by trying a power play that was all bluster and no substance.

    Don’t worry about Starr’s garbage. He is not popular in LP circles right now, and SD just made him out to be incompetent and foolish–all on tape, too.

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