Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘convention’

Is Executive Session Overused or Abused in the LNC?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on November 13, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Well, George Donnelly made an attempt to find out.

He posted his results here.

But I’ll respectfully disagree with his findings, in part because of what happened to Angela Keaton in September, but also because of what happened to three other highly-respected Libertarians back before the 2008 LP National Convention. A report has come out that at the spring LNC meeting, in Executive Session (ES), Aaron Starr, Shane Cory, and M Carling were bashing BetteRose Ryan, Tony Ryan, and Michelle Poague because of Shotgun Willie’s co-sponsoring of the Convention in Denver.

Now, to be clear on the disclosure, I will quote myself from the past:

“I’ve known BetteRose Ryan for years. Ditto her husband, Tony, and her sister, Michelle Poague. I consider them my friends. They are great people, first class all around. BetteRose and Tony have both served the LP with distinction in both LPCO (BetteRose as state chair and predecessor to my state chair, John Berntson, Tony on the LPCO Board with me), and as LNC representatives (BetteRose as at-large, and Tony currently in a region). Michelle has also served on the LPCO Board in 2003-4. I was busy being a dad at that time as my son was born 4 days after the 2003 LPCO convention, which I helped organize, following the BetteRose “Cookbook” for conventions. I stepped down from the LPCO Board at that point for exactly that reason–parenting called.

“Shotgun Willie’s is the premiere club in Denver metro, in the unincorporated Glendale district. A lot of the girls there are LPCO activists, including Michelle. They co-sponsored the LPUS Convention. To Coloradoans, we know them as the “Glendale Ballet”, and they have been mainstays in the LPCO, especially at election night parties, for years.

“If the Starr Chamber is pissed over the Glendale Ballet at the LPUS Convention, then perhaps they ought to untwist their prude panties and go to a show. I’ve known that outfit for years; it’s high class, and they are regulars on the LPCO circuit–hell, an institution, even!–and not just for sex appeal either–some of them are bona fide party activists! That and BetteRose Ryan, Tony, and Michelle are all well-known as class acts bar none, which seems to be lost on the Starr Chamber, since they seem to lack it. The Glendale Ballet is what the LP is all about–free enterprise, free expression, and free minds and bodies.”

It should be noted that the “Cookbook” was used to make Denver as successful as it was.

This case illustrates a clear abuse of the Executive Session by the previous LNC.

But while that points out problems, the bigger question remains as to what the scope of the Executive Sessions should be. I’m not referring to what is written in the revered and until-recently mysterious LNC Policy Manual (of which I do have a current copy, thanks to Rachel Hawkbridge). I’m referring to general principles. I would posit that the answer to my own question is “Yes.”

In my own experience in both political and business management circles, the types of meetings that are Executive Sessions by any name tend to revolve around exactly two types of situations: personnel decisions and legal issues. 90% of all Party activities are neither of those; therefore Executive Session shouldn’t apply to them. That includes using Executive Session to bash longtime and well-respected Party members.

“So, Seebeck,” someone will undoubtedly snarkily ask, “How would you make it better?” I’m glad you asked.

In the case of the limited public meeting times the LNC has at present (different discussion), the use of ES should be even LESS than what it is. I’ll be the first to admit that a goal of no ES at the public meetings is not logical nor feasible. But, the ideals of minimal and proper use is not, and in fact should be the goal. Most ES issues can and should be resolved ahead of the public meetings. Doing so is not difficult, whether it be by a simple private email list, teleconference, videoconference, or something web-based such as Yahoo Messenger or NetMeeting. The LNC meetings are for the public membership as much as it is for anyone, and that focus should be respected.

As for the proper use, it should be noted that the bovine biosolids (I’m trying to be polite here!) that happened at the September LNC meeting were a direct result of improper use of the ES, both in the ES that Angela Twittered about and the subsequent ES where the attempt was made to expel her without giving her the chance to defend herself. LNC members are elected by the delegates, and they are not hired staff. As such, there is no personnel matter there that falls under ES purview, Policy Manual be damned. If the delegates decide to remove a LNC member, they can do so, and it is relatively easy for the LNC to ask the delegates to do so–all it takes is a delegate list and a mass mailing/emailing with a deadline attached. LNC Regional Representatives can already be recalled by their respective state affiliates. The LNC needs to remember that there is a huge difference between elected members and hired staff. HR can’t fire the Board of Directors; only the stockholders can. We, the delegates, are those stockholders.

Also, every person has the legal right to disclose any part of an ES that pertains directly to that person. It’s called an implicit waiver of confidentiality, and every person has that right in all cases.

So the solution for the LNC is rather simple to implement, once people get past the mental blocks of paranoid secrecy: Get most of the ES work done prior to the public meeting, and keep the scope limited to what it is supposed to be about and nothing more. They might even find the public meetings themselves are more productive uses of their time.

It’s that mental block thing that appears to be the problem.

On a related side note, I’m not certain if the BTP policy of no ES is the right answer, but I applaud them for trying it. Whether they succeed or not remains to be seen.

So, LP Bylaws Committee, here is your mission, should you choose to accept it: Propose a Bylaws change for St. Louis 2010 that makes elected LNC members removable from office only upon a 2/3 LNC vote on a resolution of the LNC to ask the delegates from the last convention to remove the member by a 2/3 delegate vote. The resolution should require a deadline to vote, and the ability to vote in a secure manner.

If the LNC plays that right, it can also serve as a model for secure voting to use elsewhere, like in regular elections, perhaps. That could be a nice political feather for the LP should they wisely choose to go that route.

In the meantime, LNC Chair Bill “Where’s My Gavel?” Redpath better rein in the improper use of, and entrance into, Executive Session. We The Delegates will be watching, especially next month.

One Final Note: All LP members are strongly encouraged to attend the next LNC meeting Dec 6-7 in San Diego. I know that quite a few are coming out for it. I will be there myself.

Delaware LP holds state convention, nominates three candidates

In Activism, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Local Politics, Politics, Press Release, Republican on August 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm

For Immediate Release

Libertarian Party of Delaware holds state convention, nominates three candidates

For further information, contact LPD State Chair Jim Rash

“It’s time for government to stop regulating the American people,” said attorney Tyler Nixon, accepting the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s fusion nomination in the 4th House District (Wilmington), “and time for the American people to start regulating their government.” Nixon, already the Republican candidate for the seat, was one of three individuals nominated by the Libertarians at their annual convention on Saturday in Newark. He identified government transparency, eminent domain abuse, and renewable energy as key campaign themes.

Fusion nominations, legal in Delaware despite an attempt to kill the practice last year, allow candidates to accept the endorsement of two or more parties in the same race.

Nearly two dozen delegates also voted to nominate Mark Anthony Parks of New Castle County as the Libertarian candidate for the US House of Representatives. “Ron Paul’s candidacy energized me,” he said. “His campaign convinced me that people would respond to the message of personal freedom.” Delegate Brad Thomas called Parks “a man who thinks carefully about the government’s impact on the lives and freedoms of everyday citizens.”

“I’m going to wage as vigorous a campaign as my resources will allow,” Parks promised.

Jesse Priester, the GOP candidate in the 23rd House District in Newark also received a fusion nomination from the LPD. “The Libertarian ideal is personal freedom,” Preister said, “and that’s my ideal as well.” He cautioned that effective politicians must work with the system as they find it, however, not as they would like it to be. “That’s why I’m making the establishment of Sunday bus service into Newark one of my issues.”

The convention elected Jim Rash of Milford as State Chair, Paul Thompson of Pike Creek as Vice Chair, and re-elected Brad Thomas of Newark as Secretary-Treasurer.

“We’ve built a strong foundation today for communicating our message of personal freedom and limited government,” Rash told delegates. “From this point forward we need to be a strong presence in policy debates at every level.”

In May, Vice Chair Thompson represented Delaware at the national Libertarian Party convention in Denver, where the party nominated former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr for President. Barr, who broke ranks with the GOP several years ago, has become an advocate of curtailing government intrusions against individual civil liberties and a critic of Bush administration foreign policy.

Criticizing both major party candidates for not protecting the freedoms of American citizens, Barr is polling 3% nationwide, but scores 5-11% in ten “battleground” states, where only a slim margin separates Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Pointing to Ron Paul’s internet-based fundraising, “Libertarians across the state and across the nation will have to depend heavily on new media,” said Steve Newton, publisher of the Delaware Libertarian blog.. “Libertarians in North Carolina and Texas are proving the power of blogs and meet-ups to challenge the major parties.”

Convention delegates also chose Rash, Thompson, and Brian Shields of Seaford as presidential electors.

Established in 1970, the Libertarian Party is the nation’s third-largest political party.

LP refuses LFV press credentials for convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Protest on May 17, 2008 at 12:40 am

Yesterday, I contacted the Libertarian Party in order to get press credentials for one of our contributors. That contributor will be attending the convention, at no cost to the LP, and reporting on it for Last Free Voice. Today, when I had not yet received a response, I called the LP. I explained why I was calling, and was told that they would look for the email and respond.

I received an email response from Andrew Davis, asking me for the contributor’s name, email address, and telephone number, which I immediately provided. Shortly thereafter, I received a second response from Andrew, which stated

I’m very sorry, but after review, we cannot approve your request.

How very strange that one minute all he needs is the contributor’s information, and the next minute, credentials are being denied.

I responded by email, asking Andrew why the request had been denied and pointing out that at least one other blog had already received press credentials. He (not surprisingly) did not respond.

Eventually I called the LP again, at which time I was told by Andrew that, in his opinion, LFV does not get sufficient traffic to be granted press credentials. However, he admitted that they have granted credentials to other blogs (which is something I already knew). In fact, he was kind of rude about it, which only confirmed in my mind that there is far more to that decision than he would have me believe.

Coincidentally, LFV happens to be one of the very few blogs which regularly does real journalism on libertarian issues. Of course, part of that real journalism included exposing Bob Barr’s support of many pro-war, pro-torture Republican candidates while sitting on the LNC; as well as the fact that his PAC spends almost all its money on “expenses”, with only a very small percentage being donated to candidates.

Did the LP deny credentials because we don’t get enough traffic, as Andrew claimed; or did they deny credentials in an attempt to control and/or punish us after we exposed Bob Barr?

I know what I believe. You can come to your own conclusions.

UPDATE:  I have done my own research, and in only minutes discovered that Last Free Voice is hands-down the most popular site on the internet for covering the Libertarian Convention, appearing multiple times in the top ten Google search results for “Libertarian Convention”, as well as being featured repeatedly on WordPress for covering both the Libertarian Convention, as well as the Libertarian Party.  That being the case, our potential audience is in the millions on any given day.

You’ll have to come up with a better excuse, Andrew, since the one you gave does not even begin to hold water.

Ride and accommodation sharing at the LP Convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on May 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm

CarpoolingI have started a forum topic for discussion of the LP Convention on the beta website, for delegates who need to share rides and/or accommodations in order to attend the convention, as well as those willing to help fellow delegates in need of that kind of assistance.

I have broken it down into two categories: one for transportation, and one for accommodations, as well as a category for general convention discussion.  If you need help with both transportation and accommodations, I would suggest you post on both categories, since you may need to get that help from two sources.

You will of course need to register before you can post, just like with any forum.

Christine Smith openly insults male LP opponents during radio interview

In Barry Hess, Christine Smith, Crazy Claims, Fraud, George Phillies, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Politics, Shine on you crazy diamond, Steve Kubby on March 15, 2008 at 3:02 am

Christine Smith looking presidential, LOLI will readily admit that I am not a fan of Christine Smith; in fact, I have been quite harsh in my criticisms of her and her campaign. Honestly, I felt a little bad about it …. until now. I realize now that I probably wasn’t harsh enough.

She was recently interviewed by WTAN-AM1340. Here is a short excerpt from Third Party Watch:

I’ll highlight the portions which might be controversial, debatable or otherwise of interest.

“I’m the leading candidate by all the ways we can measure it.”

I’ll note that winning one non-binding primary (but losing others) doesn’t mean all that much—especially when losing to someone who isn’t even on the ballot. Here is one measurable standard which indicates that Smith is currently in 4th place among convention delegates—if one doesn’t count NOTA, which is currently outpolling Smith, too.

“These are people who are seeking the LP nomination, but the majority are far from being libertarian.” […]“Almost everyone running, with just probably a couple of exceptions, are not libertarian. They are men doing it, I guess, for their egos.”

I’m not sure what definition of libertarian she’s using, but most of the candidates certainly have libertarian and/or Libertarian credentials. Among the list of 14 LP presidential candidates, there are certainly some whose libertarian / Libertarian credentials could be questioned. However, if there are only “a couple” of libertarians running, I wondering which of these people she’s accusing of being non-libertarian: Steve Kubby, George Phillies, Bob Jackson, Jim Burns, Barry Hess, Daniel Williams.

Stephen Gordon at Third Party Watch summed up the interview this way:

Smith was quick thinking, quick talking and well spoken throughout the interview. She displayed a fair amount of confidence—but I’m sure some listeners will suggest that her level of confidence borders on hype.

You can read the entire article on Third Party Watch here.

You can listen to the interview for yourself here.

When I read that she thinks libertarian men are running to feed their egos, I thought, wow. Just, wow. That is incredibly insulting, especially when she is running against men whose libertarian credentials cannot be seriously questioned, and those men include more than “a couple” of candidates who are well-educated and have a great deal of libertarian activism experience. As far as I can tell, Christine doesn’t even have any formal education beyond high school, she has never run for any public office or even an internal LP office, and she is brand-new to the libertarian movement.  Her views have changed even since she announced her candidacy, and are likely to change even more since she is new to the movement.

Given her complete lack of qualifications to represent the Libertarian Party (much less to run the entire country), what makes her think she should be president, if not her own overinflated ego?

My impression is that Christine thinks she is far more popular and important than she really is, which is not at all surprising since she seems to live in a world that the rest of us can’t see. Between her “Peace Prize”, which is in reality nothing but a weirdly-worded certificate given to women from other women, and her “Outstanding American Award” which came from a known con man who was convicted of committing a massive $39 million fraud (and who seems to still be defrauding people, since a gentleman repeatedly discussed on my blog that the same man had stolen 125K from him, and that there is a criminal investigation into the matter), I have to laugh.

It’s a nervous laugh though, because if she gets the LP nomination (which is a serious long shot given that “None Of The Above” regularly polls better than she does), she will prove to be a complete embarrassment to libertarians everywhere, once the mainstream media starts checking into her various lofty claims and comparing them to the reality.

Yes, it may seem that I’m being very hard on her, and I am. The woman is running for President of the United States, not local dog catcher. Since she is female, she has largely escaped the level of criticism the male candidates have faced. However, if we aren’t diligent in investigating and exposing our own presidential candidates prior to the convention, we will almost certainly end up utterly humiliated when the mainstream media does that for us after the convention.