Archive for April 18th, 2009

Tom Knapp for President campaign update

Posted by Tom Knapp at Kn@ppster. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.

It should have been obvious to me that using KN@PPSTER as a presidential campaign site wasn’t going to work, even from the start. That became more clear to me when I began planning campaign events and had to think about how attendees at those events would react after I (hopefully) wowed them in person, with professional literature, etc., then sent them here.

So, time to head back into “real campaign site” territory. It’s skeletal — I’ve just started populating it with some relatively recent articles and haven’t buckled down to getting my position paper suite together yet — but it’s there (and thanks to an in-kind contributor, the header image is great!).

Some updates:

– This weekend, I’ll be attending the Missouri Libertarian Party’s state convention and hosting a hospitality suite Saturday evening at the convention hotel. If you’re attending the convention, or just happen to be in the Jefferson City area, drop in for a drink and some conversation!

– OK, folks, you’re finally going to get a book out of me. Working title: Unnecessary Evils: Handbook for a New American Revolution. I’m already writing away at it and expect to publish it next spring.

Boston Tea Party at Kansas TEA Party

Posted by Jim Davidson at http://www.bostontea.us/node/663. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.

I attended the Tax Day Tea Party in Overland Park, Kansas on Wednesday. It was much fun.

According to the local Fox Snooze affiliate, there were a thousand people there. I did see a helicopter overhead, probably from Channel 9, so someone might even have counted the crowd.

There were all kinds of people there, from Vietnam veterans to Iraq war veterans in age, some very elderly, many young children. There were mostly white people, but the region is pretty pale. I did see a number of Hispanic folks and some other ethnic minorities.

My favorite protester war a pink pig outfit. It was fun to stand near the police and shout, “Look at the pig!” Then point at the one in the pink outfit. -smile-

I was able to pass out about 200 flyers for “Lawrencians for Liberty” including “Campaign for Liberty” and Boston Tea Party contact particulars. I also passed out around 200 flyers for http://www.alongsidenight.com/ the new agorism revolution project.

In Colorado Springs for the von Mises Circle earlier this month I was given by one of the organisers a stack of “Audit the Fed” flyers from the Campaign for Liberty, so I passed those out, too. Then it was off to the street to wave my sign at passing motorists. There was huge enthusiasm from the cars – lots of waving and horn honking and cheering.

My sign said, “No more taxes, No more wars, End the bailouts, End the war on drugs” on one side, and “Go Ron Paul” on the other.

Many people asked about the fliers and one had even read J. Neil Schulman’s book “Alongside Night.” She was excited to hear about the plan to make it into a film.

There were two sets of speeches, both with amplification. For a while, I stood between the two sets of speakers and had one blaring in my left ear, nearly canceling out every word blaring in my right. Many speakers introduced themselves and none stick out in my mind.

A politician was there with an “end the bailouts” petition. Many people signed that, including me, and many signed up at the Kansas City tea party booth, including me. So, I should get more e-mail, and that’s always swell.

There were many police but no violence. Many different messages were presented, and I was amused by quite a few.

If you missed out, and plan to be in the Kansas City area, check out the End the Fed rally coming up later this month.

If you plan to be in Lawrence, we’re doing two “Films for Action.” One is “America: Freedom to Fascism” this coming Sunday the 19th of April at the Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas student union. The other is some “Money Masters” thing, which is critical of the Federal Reserve but, as I recall, promotes the completely idiotic approach of having Congress print money.

You should really get involved. It is the revolution of our time.

Get a shirt or something to declare your affiliation:

Removal of Lee Wrights from Libertarian National Committee appealed to Judicial Committee

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.com. Posted to IPR by Paulie. See previous IPR coverage for background.


Subject: I have received an appeal to an action you have taken in your roles as Secretary and Chair of the Libertarian Party

Chair Redpath and Secretary Sullentrup,

In my capacity as Chief Justice of the Libertarian Party Judicial Committee, I am in receipt of an appeal of your actions suspending Lee Wrights from his position on the National Committee. I am forwarding the appeal and supporting documents to you in 3 additional emails.

Article 8, Section 5 describes the process we will be undertaking. Please send your responses to me and I will distribute them to the other members of the Judicial Committee. The sooner I receive your responses, the sooner we can move through the process, so I thank you for all due speed.

I will keep you appraised of our actions.

For Liberty,

Ruth E. Bennett

Chief Justice

Libertarian Party

Judicial Appeal

Jurisdictional Claim. Article 8, Section 5 and Article 9, Section 2c of the Bylaws of the Libertarian Party, give the Judicial Committee the power to hear appeals on the suspension of National Committee members-at-large. I was elected to an At-Large position at our 2008 Denver convention and was recently suspended without the prerequisite vote of the LNC. I am formally appealing this action.

Basis of Appeal On April 14 of this year, I was notified by the Secretary Bob Sullentrup (Exhibit 1 sent in follow-up e-mail) that 1) my membership dues ?lapsed? as of April 7; and 2) I was taken off the LNC as of April 8 because I was no longer a sustaining member as required by Article 8, Section 4 of the bylaws.

My suspension was not the result of a ?for cause? vote by the LNC, as required by Article 8, Section 5 of the bylaws. Instead, it apparently was made by the Secretary and affirmed by Chair Bill Redpath.

Libel and Slander. The advertising process for my replacement began within minutes of notifying me of my suspension (Exhibit 2 sent in follow-up e-mail) and included the Secretary?s notice to me (Exhibit 1). In that notice, the Secretary mentions a statement presumably made by me at the last LNC meeting that I ?would never again give a dime to this Party.? He concluded, based on that statement, that I deliberately withheld my dues. I never made such a statement.

Financial Endangerment of the Libertarian Party. The Secretary?s notice, along with the fabricated statement was sent out to the State Chair?s list asking for nominations for my ?vacated? seat. Consequently, as illustrated below, some individuals believed that I had was rebelling and decided to join me by repudiating their membership as well (http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/04/applicants-sought-for-lnc-vacancy/comment-page-1/#comment-54731):

John // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm
It?s about time a true radical showed some true leadership and told the LP to *&%$ off. What a brilliant move! The Boston Tea Party could do well with men like Lee at the helm.

Outlander // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:55 pm
Lee has always been one of my heroes, but never more than today! The national lp is not worth the money. I just sent an email to the national lp office resigning my membership too. If Lee goes to the boston tea party, I?ll follow.

beetlejuice // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm
Real leaders, like Lee, show the way by their principled actions, not by pontificating about what others should do. Either the LP will take this as a warning and give up trying to be Republican-lite or more long time activists will follow Lee, hopefully over to the BTP, but surely somewhere good in the libertarian movement.

Fearing an exodus of my supporters from the LP, I went on the blogs and explained that this was a clerical snafu; I had never gotten the snail-mail renewal notices because I?ve been moving around a lot lately. I even posted the confirmation notice I received from paying my dues on April 14, the date I was notified of the delinquency. Had I not done this, I fear that the false information conveyed by the Secretary would have resulted in a loss of membership and contributions for the LP.

Summation. I believe that my suspension from the LNC was in violation of our bylaws. The manner in which it was done endangered the Libertarian Party?s membership and financial roster and is still creating division.

Unfortunately, I have no choice but to appeal my suspension. An e-mail vote to overturn the Chair?s ruling or reinstate me takes at least 2 weeks; the bylaws give me one week to appeal.

In addition, I do not wish this precedent to permit a sitting At-Large member to face suspension because their dues are late. LNC members commit a great deal of time and money to serve; it seems illogical and unappreciative to overturn their election by convention delegates because of a late $25 dues payment.

If you require more information from me to facilitate this appeal, please do not hesitate to call (336-403-1036) or write ( rleewrights@gmail.com ).

Submitted respectfully to the chair of the LP National Judicial Committee,

R. Lee Wrights, At-large

Not my post, but me, Ross Levin and Gregg Jocoy on the first installment of IPR radio. If anyone else listens to it, I’d be interested in your take on the issues discussed. Some of the discussion takes place after significant dead air gaps.

Libertarian Party Newsletter California Freedom: Peace and Glasnost

Article published in California Freedom, the monthly newsletter of the Libertarian Party of California, by editor Thomas Sipos; found at his blog, Libertarian Peacenik. Posted to IPR by Paulie.

My editorial, in the April 2009 issue of California Freedom:

When Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet dictator in 1985, he announced a policy of glasnost, which has been translated as “openness.” He meant that Soviet media should freely promote a diversity of opinions, rather than parrot the party line. Party decision-making should be transparent. Criticism of party leaders should be welcome. Citizens’ opinions should be heard, however “negative.”

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t discuss America’s foreign interventions. I should only print material that “all libertarians agree on,” otherwise I’m being “divisive.” I shouldn’t cover LNC meetings, or disagreements and embarrassments, or debate and discussion. I should only print “positive” stories. Doing otherwise violates CF‘s Mission Statement.

Yes, CF has a MS. Here it is:

CF is the official publication of the LPC. Its purpose is to promote and enhance the political success of the party. To accomplish this it provides an informative and entertaining blend of political news, analysis, features and advertising for its members. Its content focuses on: 1. California events, rather than national; 2, Externally oriented politics, not internal debate; 3. Our successes, rather than our disappointments; 4 Libertarian analysis of political positions enjoying support from the mainstream of California voters; 5. Practical guidance on winning elections and changing public policy.”

At the 2007 LPC convention, I asked Elizabeth Brierly about the MS’s origins. She told me that Bruce Cohen had asked her to draft a MS to guide future editors. Elizabeth prepared a first draft, which went round robin between herself, Bruce, and Aaron Starr, with the two gentlemen offering changes until the MS met their specifications.

ExCom approved the MS on August 20, 2005.

Like a Constitution, a MS must be interpreted. To say that CF‘s content “focuses on” X rather than Y can mean either that X articles/LTEs should predominate over Y articles/LTEs (the free speech-oriented interpretation); or that X should exclude Y (the restrictive interpretation).

It’s been suggested that my coverage of LNC activities violates the rule against “internal debate.” Why? Perhaps because it’s an “internal” (party business) rather than “external” (election campaign) matter.

But if we interpret “focus” so restrictively, CF could not promote or cover party conventions. Conventions are “internal.” Yet I assume that, even post-MS, CF always covered libertarian conventions, state and national.

Clearly, there is no absolutist ban on covering “internal” matters.

Perhaps the problem is with “debate”? I may cover “internal” matters, but not debate about internal matters. Actions by party leaders may be reported, but not questioned.

No, I can’t believe that’s what the 2005 ExCom intended, despite some party leaders distaste for glasnost. (One reason the LNC persecuted Angela Keaton was for her live blogging the September 2008 LNC meeting to the membership.)

I interpret the MS’s phrase “focuses on” to mean that X material should predominate over Y (comprising a majority of CF‘s content), but not exclude Y. Certainly, antiwar is a position “enjoying support from the mainstream of California voters.”

I would like to print more about county LP events and election campaigns, but I’m getting few submissions. I assume we’re in a post-election year doldrum. If you want to read about “California events,” then write it. I can’t publish what I don’t get.

Finally, I was told that CF should not print discussion or debate about contentious party issues, because those are properly left to the conventions. The problem is, many members aren’t aware of internal controversies unless they’re reported. If they don’t know, they may not attend the convention. This creates the risk that party business will be ceded to well-organized minority factions.

I have changed the tone of CF from two years ago. I hope I’ve brought glasnost to it. Transparency about party matters, and openness to debate, may bring “divisiveness” and “negativity.” But it would be ironic if a libertarian publication had less glasnost than the late Soviet Union.

* We’re All Demopublicans Now

On March 9, Donny Ferguson, LNC Director of Communications, sent out a mass email, writing: “the most important principle is winning” and “There is nothing more noble and principled than winning an election” and “winning elections is the most important libertarian principle there is.” These sentences were boldfaced and underlined to emphasize his theme.

Winning is also the Demopublicans’ most cherished principle; all other principles are negotiable. Seems the LNC has just equated Demopublicans with Libertarians.

Susan Hogarth reprints Ferguson’s article, with her reply.

* Libertarian Muslims

In every war, The Other is demonized. I’ve never confused Russians with Communists, or Germans with Nazis, yet always, some self-styled patriots will conflate the actions of some with an entire race, religion, or ethnicity.

It needs repeating: most Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists. Some are libertarians. Their website: Minaret.org.

* Independent Political Report

A critic accuses me of insisting on the last word. He’s miffed that I replied to one of his articles.

He’s also wrong. Many of my editorials are sprinkled with urls. Rather than have the last word, I often give you “heads up” on key issues, then send you off to research further.

I often refer you to Independent Political Report.

This is the current “hot spot” for discussions (and flame wars) about the LP. Party leaders post here. LNC meetings are posted — while in progress. The site is uncensored, unmoderated, and easy to post to. Anonymously, if you wish.

Glasnost indeed!

* Rob Power Resigns

Rob Power resigned from ExCom at the conclusion of their March meeting. He writes that he “went to Long Beach with every intention of resigning” and he “merely signed” his resignation letter at the meeting’s conclusion. He adds, “I’m going to be writing a detailed explanation of why I decided to resign.”

Power’s term was to expire in 2010. Now there’ll be an additional At-Large seat to fill at the Visalia convention.

* Late March Issue

The March CF went out late. I finished it in February, but I have no say when issues are printed or go online. Even so, I’m sorry the Riverside LP meeting notice ran late. I advise future LP event notices to be submitted way in advance.

* Libertarian Peacenik

If you can’t get enough of my long, rambling, “antiwar obsessive” editorials, visit me at: Libertarian Peacenik.

Peace. Glasnost.

Brian’s response. Actually, he posted it himself, which goes against IPR rules, so I had to switch in my name.

Libertarian Party of California Executive Committee member (and IPR reporter) Brian Holtz has published the following reply to the editorials in the last three issues of the LPCA newsletter California Freedom. The annual LPCA convention is April 24-26 in Visalia.

Tom Sipos was very careful in January to invest LPCA newsletter space in a picture of multi-decade LP activist/leader Aaron Starr with a Hitler mustache, but CF readers saw absolutely nothing there about the eight most serious charges against Sipos’s hero Angela Keaton (to each of which I give a paragraph at http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/2008/12/apology-angela-should-offer.html). Now Sipos claims he was practicing “glasnost” and “transparency” in his “reporting” about e.g. an LNC meeting he didn’t even attend (though held only a couple hours from where he lives). My own blog posting about the San Diego meeting (http://libertarianintelligence.com/2008/12/lnc-tightens-belt-defuses-keaton-bomb.html) was much more balanced and accurate than Sipos’s editorial, and I wasn’t even using LPCA paper/postage or drawing an LPCA paycheck.

Nobody has told Sipos he “shouldn’t discuss America’s foreign interventions”. During Bruce Cohen’s two-year tenure, CF ran five pieces featuring opposition to intervention, and zero pieces in defense of libervention in general or the Iraq invasion in particular. Sipos in his first three issues ran six anti-intervention pieces, and the two opposing pieces he ran were accompanied by two instant Sipos rebuttals — thus totaling 8 antiwar pieces in those 3 issues. His pace has continued unabated since then, and he has proudly said that this internally controversial subject will continue to be his editorial focus.

Nobody has Told Sipos he should “only print material that ‘all libertarians agree on'” or that “party leaders may not be questioned”. It’s even sillier to pretend that advice against emphasizing party schisms is somehow a ban on covering normal party business like conventions. These are all straw men crafted by somebody who never has to worry about the same-page instant-rebuttal that in CF he reserves for himself — sometimes taking even more space than what he is answering. (Don’t be surprised that if this message appears in CF it is accompanied by yet another same-page Sipos rebuttal of some sort. That’s the sort of “last word” I said he reserves for himself, and no other recent CF editor has assumed such same-issue rebutting privileges.)

Sipos selectively takes one sentence out of context from one of an entire series of LPHQ communications, and pronounces Donny Ferguson a “Demopublican”. Donny Ferguson is in fact a dedicated and talented young political operative who could be even more personally successful if he weren’t so principled and selective in his employment. Read the entire paragraph that Sipos butchers in order to smear Donny:

“Here’s the beautiful thing about having political power. It’s a zero-sum game. If you’re in office, even if you don’t have the votes to repeal anything, the high-tax Democrat or the deficit-spending Republican aren’t there to vote for more government. There is nothing more noble and principled than winning an election.”

Thus while Donny is in fact saying that the most principled thing is to stop Demopublican growers of government, Sipos wants you to think that Donny himself is no better than a Demopublican.

Mr. Sipos, let us not assassinate this lad further. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Well, those are all my libertarian posts at IPR today. I did a bunch more on other parties. The fun part is the comments; check ’em out by going to the links for each article. And maybe leave some here too, while you are at it…

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