Steve G.

Haugh: LP Whistleblower?

In Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008 on December 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Sean Haugh posts a tell-all (or tell-most) article at Liberty For All, Lee Wrights’ blog, about sexual harassment issues at the national HQ in ’05, involving M. Carling, who had served as an LNC regional rep and is now serving as the LP’s parliamentarian.

Sean mentions that he started the article in ’05, killed it out of party loyalty, and is now publishing it in light of the Keaton charges for the same reason – party loyalty.

I am not sure if this post goes against the LP staff policy of not posting on ‘blogs. I am also not sure what, if any, efforts Haugh took to have this addressed privately with the LNC before going public with it. He ends with a strong indictment of Chair Redpath:

The message is loud and clear.  With Bill Redpath as our Chair, it is open season on women in leadership or on staff of the Libertarian National Committee.  People such as Keaton who crusade against sexual and gender bias within the party will be run out of town on a rail.  Meanwhile, men who have a history of real sexual harassment will be protected and even promoted by Bill Redpath.

  1. Continuing my long tradition of commenting on my own posts, let me just say that I don’t see how these two lines can follow one after the other without some sort of reality-field collapsing:

    Flood got Keaton off the board by destroying her life.

    However, the fault here lies not with Flood, but with the Chair of the LNC, Bill Redpath.

  2. I’m still mulling this, but here’s my current thinking:

    If Sean was accusing Bill of some *specific wrong act*, *and* had brought it up to his immediate supervisor (Kraus) *first* and had been ignored or threatened (maybe he did, and maybe he was), then I can see such comments *maybe* being appropriate. As things stand now, though, I cannot.

  3. I wonder if Flood considers THIS to be “laughable” and “something to fill a slow news day “?

  4. Susan, the connection is very simple, actually.

    Redpath could have exercised some common sense with his discretion as Chair and A) told Flood to knock it off or the activity would be reported to his region’s state chairs, and B) simply not put the whole discipline thing on the agenda in the first place.

    Whether he did A) I don’t know, but judging from the things I’ve heard coming out of that region, it most likely didn’t happen. And of course, he didn’t do B) at all.

    So yes, the fault does lie with Redpath since he did little to nothing to stop the clusterf*ck when he could have stopped it dead in its tracks and get the LNC going on important issues instead.

  5. If the incidents Haugh alleged did take place, I think it is more important to act against the perpetrator, rather than using the matter as a political weapon against Bill Redpath. Haugh, Kraus, and Redpath should sit down and discuss the matter.

  6. Redpath could have exercised some common sense with his discretion as Chair and A) told Flood to knock it off or the activity would be reported to his region’s state chairs, and B) simply not put the whole discipline thing on the agenda in the first place.

    Thanks for the timely warning to those with ambitions within the LP: the job of Chair is thankless.

    Had Redpath done what you describe, he would have been accused (perhaps correctly) of ‘sweeping under the carpet’ unpleasantness.

    Don’t blame Redpath for Flood’s bad decision. I’ve got my issues with him, of course, but I don’t expect him to babysit Stewart Flood.

  7. Peter, they’re cutting staff, and it’s a simple guess Sean is the first to go, as unfortunate as it is, which is probably why this was finally published. I’m afraid a sitdown with the compounders of this in Redpath and Kraus would be fruitless.

    Folks, pack the brooms and “Meet Me in St. Louis!”.

  8. Susan, part of the job of the Chair is to exercise that discretion, and to keep members in line when they act out of it. Not everything can be on the agenda. In this case Redpath resisted several calls to remove it before the meeting. That by itself is culpablility.

    Yes, the job of Chair is thankless, especially when done wrong. Had he chosen to not have it on the agenda and refer it to being resolved offline, he would not have been accused of “sweeping it under the carpet”. He would have been lauded for making the correct decision to resolve this type of issue in private and save the public for the positives. That’s just good management: praise in public, discipline in private.

    Because they chose to air it out in public, Angela raised their bet to air it all out, going all-in and they folded. Angela then simply took her chips left the table.

  9. I will probably try to become a D.C. delegate to St. Louis, if only because Missouri is one of the few states I’ve never been to. Hopefully I can vote for Susan for LNC there.

  10. I think it would have been incorrect to leave this off the agenda, simply because I dislike it. It might well have been correct to say: The charges and evidence must be supplied by date X, or I will omit it from the agenda. Even President McKinley’s assassin’s attorney had some time to prepare a defense.

    It would have been correct and wise for the radical faction to object to Jingozian’s motion on the grounds that Angela deserves a vote and the LNC deserves to make this go away, one way or the other, rather than letting it fester until Charleston in February.

    If the chair omits matters from the agenda, he will correctly be attacked for selectivity.

    On the other hand, putting ‘objectives of budget’ first one the agenda’ and ‘budget’ second on the agenda might have made sense.

    The large issue I saw is that the LNC still has no committee or working group structure to prepare matters prior to or at the actual meeting.

  11. George, the item was on the agenda long before the charges were put out publicly and long before Angela knew of them, even after asking for them repeatedly to no response. The Chair also ignored repeated requests to remove it from the agenda beforehand but did so with other items similarly requested, and because the Chair himself was a mentioned party to the issue, him presiding over that part of the meeting was an inherent conflict of interest as well, and he should have handed the gavel over to the Vice-Chair. It wasn’t a matter of personal dislike wanting it removed. It was a matter of requests being ignored and pushing ahead, which is why Redpath is complicit in the affair.

    But I agree with you on the prioritizing part and the committee issues.

  12. I agree that the item should have been dropped if the charges and evidence were not revealed by 12/1 or so.

  13. As for the vote part, I agree, but I think at that point everyone was looking for a way out. And Angela IIRC didn’t vote at all on that one.

  14. I will probably try to become a D.C. delegate to St. Louis, if only because Missouri is one of the few states I’ve never been to. Hopefully I can vote for Susan for LNC there.

    I look forward to seeing you there. I may decide to run for a regional seat, but if not, I’ll be delighted to have your vote 🙂

  15. damn, forgot to close tag. I blame the puppy.

  16. Having watched Angela, and then Mary, repeatedly ask for the “charges”, and then the evidence . . . and be ignored, I have a little different perspective.

    We finally got the evidence packet on Sat. morning. 23 pages, I think?


    Paul Frankel was charged with forging signatures on several initiatives, including proposals by Bill Sizemore and Don McIntire. Both turned Frankel’s petition sheets in to investigators. “There’s nobody more anxious than I am to get guys like this off the street” Sizemore said.

    Frankel was using a bait-and-switch approach where he would put a dummy sheet in front of you for something like lowering the gas tax and you’d sign that, and then he’d flip that page over and say ‘you need to sign here, here, here, and here to verify your signature.’ After initially denying the charges, Frankel pleaded guilty. His sentence was two years probation and 15 days in jail, but he received credit for time served. This was a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation with investigators. He could have faced $105,000 in fines and six years in prison.


    Videotapes of Paul Frankel, who as noted above (page 45) was convicted of forgery, was made by the Voter Education Project and turned over to state employees.


    Recently, petition circulators James Gurga and Paul Frankel pled guilty to fraud in a signature gathering scam in Portland. According to the union-sponsored Voter Education Project, which filed the complaint, Frankel and Gurga lured people with a fake petition that promised lower gas prices. Voters were then asked to sign several pages underneath to “validate” their signatures.

    As voters signed the other pages, they were unknowingly putting their signatures on a wide range of other statewide ballot initiatives.


    Already the Oregon Department of Justice has pursued two cases of election fraud committed by signature dealers, thanks in part to complaints filed by the Voter Education Project.

    The first resulted in the prosecution of Paul Frankel, an Alabama man who allegedly used a “bait and switch” technique. He had a fake petition that called for lowering gas taxes which he kept on the top of his clipboard at Lloyd Center Mall in Portland. After people signed it, he would tell them that they had to “verify” their signature by signing all the pages underneath. What the signers didn’t know is that he had fooled them into unwittingly signing real petitions.

    Additionally, Frankel forged the signature of a Department of Justice investigator on initiatives that were later found in the office of Bill Sizemore, executive director of Oregon Taxpayers United.

    In December, the AG’s office also issued a warrant for the arrest of James Gurga, who worked with Frankel.


    But next door, just south of the Columbia, in Oregon, suspicious watchdog groups and government agencies did investigate, and they found fraudulent activity. The Oregon Department of Justice earlier this decade pursued two high profile cases against petitioners which resulted in convictions.

    The first was the prosecution of Paul Frankel, who allegedly used a classic “bait and switch” technique. At Portland’s Lloyd Center, a shopping mall,. he used a fake petition which purportedly supported a measure that would lower gas taxes. He kept this petition at the top of his clipboard.

    After convincing passerby to sign it, he would then tell them they were required to “verify” their signature by signing all the pages he had underneath – which were in fact real petitions for real ballot measures.

    It was also discovered that Frankel had forged the signature of a Department of Justice investigator on petitions that were later found in the office of Bill Sizemore, executive director of Oregon Taxpayers United.

    Sizemore is a perfect example of a right wing ideologue who set up shop to dominate state politics as an anti-tax crusader. Frankel was convicted of forgery in December 2001.

    James Gurga, who worked with Frankel, was convicted of forgery the following year, in May of 2002. Gurga’s unethical practices included the outright forgery of signatures on petitions, the circulation of petitions with false signatures on them, the requisition of signatures from identified non-voters, the solicitation of duplicate signatures, the placing of false information on petitions, and obstructing signers’ access to legally required information.

    Numerous other petitioners in Oregon have been suspected or accused of similar practices. Upon further investigation some were found to have criminal records or backgrounds – a definite indication that these individuals probably did not think fraud was beneath them.


    The organization has been watching and occasionally videotaping voter interactions with signature gatherers this spring and says it found high levels of fraud. Two collectors, Paul Frankel and James Gurga, were convicted of felony elections violations in connection with this year’s campaigns. They were fined and barred from collecting signatures in Oregon for two years.

    More damning was the gatherers’ admission that huge numbers of the signatures they turned in were illegal. In a statement to elections officials, Gurga said probably no more than 50 percent of his signatures were valid, while Frankel estimated that his petitions probably had a validity rate in the single digits.

    Some petitions serve as bait

    Another practice the Voter Education Project found involved luring signers with attractive petitions promising to, say, stop child abuse or reduce domestic violence. Such petitions aren’t illegal, said Patty Wentz, spokeswoman for the project, because anyone can circulate a petition for anything. But these may not be certified ballot proposals, just bait to lure signers.

    Other collectors get a signature and then ask the voter to sign several more times “for verification” while they’re actually signing other initiatives they may not have read.

  18. I really dislike that the LNC is not as accessible as my state’s Executive Committee. I know I cannot be the only one waiting for the other shoe to drop (DUCK, George!) on this.

    Something I’ve been wondering is if there might be some sort of issue because the site (LFA) where this was published is (I think) owned by LNC member Lee Wrights.

    Ah, there’s a couple of new pieces there addressing the issue further:

  19. Wrights/Haugh write:

    These revelations are so controversial we knew it would be difficult for many people to accept them.

    How’s that?

    The ‘revelation’ that Carling might be a creepy dude who hits on women? The ‘revelation’ that Redpath might ask a creepy dude who hits on women to perform as parliamentarian?

    This does not sound to me like revelations ‘so controversial’ as to be ‘difficult for many people to accept’.

    Did I miss something?

  20. Sean Haugh a whistle blower?!?!?! LOL! People should be blowing this whistle on him for his known criminal conduct (ie-his attempted burning of 2,000 high validity Libertarian Party ballot access petition signatures in Massachusetts whether they had been paid for or not), FAILURE in his job to get the Libertarian Party on the ballot in places where ballot access SHOULD HAVE and COULD have been achieved had it not been for his gross mismanagement, squandering thousands upon thousands of Libertarian Party donors money with nothing to show for it, steering “sweetheart” deals to mercenary petitioners who did shoddy work and bilked the donors for money and contributed to ballot access failure (of which there could have been more failures had signatures been challenged in certain states), abusing his position to slander certain Libertarian Party candidates (which is highly unprofessional conduct), doing very little work as the Libertarian Party’s “Candidate Tracker” prior to getting handed the Political Director job where he got paid $1,200 per month to “track” LP candidates (note that sometimes there were only 6 candidates on the cite that he was “tracking” yet he was still paid $1,200, which comes out to a whopping $200 per candidate), making up and spreading lies about people, having a history of emotional childish outbursts, to name just some of his offenses.

    I wouldn’t take ANYTHING that Haugh says seriously since he’s got a history of making false accusations against people and being an emotionally unbalanced asshole. Haugh is just trying to create a distraction and gain sympathy for himself. His ass needs to be fired for the good of the party.

  21. Andy, you appear to be a one-note trumpet, and you’re out of tune. Think Radar on M*A*S*H with his bugle.

  22. IOW, play something different!

  23. “on December 16, 2008 at 3:22 pm Michael Seebeck
    Andy, you appear to be a one-note trumpet, and you’re out of tune.”

    I’ll keep on playing this note as long as Haugh remains in office. This guy needs to go, not just for me, but for the good of the party.

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