We have an electronic mail ballot.
Votes are due to the LNC-Business list by June 23, 2021 at 11:59:59 pm Pacific time.
Motion: To disaffiliate the New Hampshire Libertarian Party organization of which Mr. Pelletier is interim chair based on their violating the Statement of Principles.
THRESHOLD REQUIRED: 3/4 of the entire national committee
I vote No.
There has been a mountain of subjective evidence presented against LPNH, much of which is troubling. This very evening it was apparent that people were angry from the EC meeting. Despite the ever increasing opinions on both sides that have been offered to the LNC I find that the Statement of Principles, although the bedrock of our party, is distinctly difficult to arbitrate because it is written as a philosophical document and not a instructive text. There are many secondary tenants this party has that have been derived from the statement of principles, but they are not actually explicit within the statement itself.
This situation is further exacerbated by the events surrounding the formation of a second political organization in New Hampshire. If that had not happened it would have been easier for us to monitor the situation in New Hampshire and help work with the executive committee that was elected in March of this year. That didn’t happen.
In no way do I see that we should set the precedent of condoning bad actions of rouge actors in any position by determining an outcome most favorable to them. Disaffiliating New Hampshire would do exactly that. It would send the message that affiliates must comply with this body’s interpretation or else they will be replaced. Those advocating for take overs also share in that thought process. Nobody in this party nor our affiliates should have that perspective. That is not how we grow this party.
In Chicago, and to the many responses I authored to the Contact the LNC forms, I stressed one thing: Coalitions. That is how we win elections and grow this party. We need to realize that there are evil people in this world, and, yes, even in this party. Disaffiliating a duly elected board is the stark opposite of that. Find they ways to make it work; the middle ground so to speak. Don’t perform surgery with a machete.
LNC Region 1 Representitive
On Jun 16, 2021, at 6:22 AM, Joshua Smith <joshua...@lp.org> wrote:
As a regional alternate, my vote will likely not be counted. However, so far this term, the LNC has graciously allowed alternates to participate in debate and therefore with my vote of nay, I also wish to enter the following into the record of debate.
First and foremost, I’m not a lawyer and I’ve never played one on TV. Below I present my understanding, opinion, and a proposed strategy for the LNC.
Here is how I understand the current series of events - my proposed strategy and opinion assumes that this series of events is factual and substantially complete. As time will most likely prove that assumption wrong, my opinion and proposal may change to reflect my new understanding.
While most of the names of individuals have been made public through email and social media, I will refrain from using names and will instead use titles/positions. I would like to say this is out of a sense of duty and decorum, but it is mainly out of laziness to not have to double check that each name used is in the public space since I’m also privy to non-public conversations.
- For the LPNH chair which was elected at convention in March - I shall use the term “LPNH Elected Chair”
- For the LPNH vice-chair which was elected at convention in March and subsequently appointed to acting chair by the LPNH Executive Committee (EC) in June - I shall use the term “LPNH Elected Vice-Chair”
1) The messaging attributed to LPNH was/is being criticized/praised for a variety of reasons.
2) An individual was removed from the LPNH by the LPNH EC.
3) The LPNH Elected Chair asked the LNC Chair for a letter stating that the LPNH Elected Chair was the chair of the organization which was the sole NH affiliate of the National Libertarian Party.
4) The LNC Chair provided such a letter.
5) The LPNH Elected Chair removed access for most (all but themself?) from the CiviCRM/WordPress applications that are hosted by the LNC. As far as I know, no action was taken by the LNC volunteers or staff to assist with this action.
6) The LPNH Elected Chair removed access for most (all but themself?) from the LPNH social media accounts.
7) The LPNH Elected Chair created a blog post explaining the actions taken (https://lpnh.org/2021/06/12/change-in-new-hampshire-libertarian-party/) which included a link to the above mentioned LNC chair’s letter (https://lpnh.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2021/06/NH-Letter.pdf).
8) A bunch of people did and said a bunch of things online that were rather unproductive, but it was probably healthy to get some of that all out in the open.
9) The LNC called for three meetings and created a motion to amend the Policy Manual to allow for calling more meetings even faster.
10) The LPNH EC held an emergency meeting. During this meeting they suspended the LPNH Elected Chair thereby making the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair the acting chair of LPNH.
11) At the first of three LNC meetings (the LNC EC meeting on Tuesday 6/15), a motion was presented for vote “The Executive Committee of the LNC continues to recognize the LPNH affiliate that held a convention in March of 2021 and directs the turnover of access to LPNH joint assets in the possession of the LNC to that committee, unless and until such time as the full LNC takes action to disaffiliate that committee in accordance with our bylaws.”
12) That motion failed 3-3-1.
13) The LNC EC meeting ended with no action taken.
14) A motion was put to the LNC through email from the LNC Chair: “To disaffiliate the New Hampshire Libertarian Party organization of which Mr. Pelletier is interim chair based on their violating the Statement of Principles.”
Now my opinion.
While I will not assume the intent of the LNC Chair, I can say that I was contemplating asking someone to put forward a similar motion and I will discuss my intention for such a motion.
Sadly, the LNC finds itself in three distinct roles:
A) As the service provider for the CiviCRM/WordPress applications it can turn off and turn on access to the services provided. In that role, it should only make the services available to those who can prove they are the authorized representative(s) of the sole recognized affiliate for a state.
B) As the entity which can provide documentation that an affiliate is a sole recognized affiliate for a state.
C) As the entity which charters state-level affiliates and can revoke the status of any affiliate party.
Right now, two groups are claiming to be the sole LPNH affiliate. One is the LPNH Elected Chair with documentation from the LNC Chair claiming to be the sole affiliate. The other is the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair with documentation from the LPNH EC that the LPNH Elected Chair has been suspended.
However, according to our bylaws, the LNC can only recognize one entity as the LPNH affiliate. There are a handful of ways to rectify this problem:
a) Charter the LPNH Elected Chair Organization as the LPNH Affiliate
b) Charter the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization as the LPNH Affiliate
c) Charter the LPNH Elected Chair Organization as the LPNH Affiliate and revoke the status of the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization
d) Charter the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization as the LPNH Affiliate and revoke the status of the LPNH Elected Chair Organization
e) Revoke the status the LPNH Elected Chair Organization and the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization
f) Revoke the status the LPNH Elected Chair Organization
g) Revoke the status the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization
h) Fail to revoke the status the LPNH Elected Chair Organization
i) Fail to revoke the status the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization
Of all those options, the last (option i) is the best and here is why:
a) The LPNH Elected Chair Organization has not requested status and therefore our bylaws do not allow us to charter them as the affiliate
b) Merely chartering the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization as the LPNH Affiliate would not fix the issue that two entities are claiming such status
c) The LPNH Elected Chair Organization has not requested status and therefore our bylaws do not allow us to charter them as the affiliate
d) This could work, but a motion with two clauses could be divided and therefore may not result in the intended outcome
e) This is a viable solution, but not desired as it would set everything back by months in New Hampshire
f) This removes the double claim problem, but it doesn’t affirm the remaining entity’s status
g) This removes the double claim problem, but it doesn’t affirm the remaining entity’s status
h) Failing to revoke the status of an affiliate both affirms that they were the existing affiliate and retains that designation… which in turn invalidates the other’s claim
i) Failing to revoke the status of an affiliate both affirms that they were the existing affiliate and retains that designation… which in turn invalidates the other’s claim
Therefore, based on the events presented above and my subsequent opinion that the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization is the true affiliate, I would have put forth the exact same motion as the LNC Chair, and I would have voted Nay on my own motion. I would be prohibited from speaking against my motion, but I'm sure I would have found a clever way to make my intentions known. Because sometimes voting down a motion is a better solution than approving one or more motions.
Once that motion fails, then the LNC can provide documentation to the LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization and the LNC can provide access to the authorized representative(s) from that organization. The LPNH Elected Vice-Chair Organization should also be able to take that documentation to other third parties and show they should be given access to any other resources to which they are entitled.
Finally, I have three pieces of unsolicited advice:
1) I suggest that the LPNH and other affiliates update their policy manuals to state who are the authorized representative(s) to access the LNC-hosted applications, social media, and other 3rd-party services. Such documentation could help in similar future situations.
2) I suggest the LPNH EC and LPNH Elected Chair find a path forward where both groups rescind their actions from the last week. Ideally, the chair’s suspension is lifted and the chair’s proclamations to the status of the party and its elected officials are rescinded. I understand that such forgiveness on either side may not be tenable, but I hope as leaders you can find a way to sell it and show that a state affiliate can fix its own mess if the LNC and others give it time.
3) I suggest the LNC refrain from conducting an investigation. The results of which will not have any impact on healing the rifts in our party. Instead, I suggest we spend that time and energy coming up with focused areas where we all agree and trying some A-B messaging in those areas to see what works.
This is a year we should be celebrating together to recognize the 50 years we have struggled to make a difference and we should be looking forward to the exponential difference we will make in the future. This party is and always will be my home. I hope that all my fellow roommates can find a way to coexist so we can grow and continue to make a difference.
To stretch the metaphor: if you are in my house of liberty, you are not my enemy. I don’t need to agree with every notion you have, and I don’t ask that you agree with all my notions, but we do have to work together. If one of us is bringing around someone who is thinking about becoming a roommate or paying some of our rent, maybe we don’t throw our dirty laundry in their face when they enter the door. Likewise, when some of us are having a party, the rest of us don’t need to call the cops because the noise is too loud.
The Libertarian Party is full of some of the smartest people I know. We can figure this out – together.
Thank you for your time,
Tim “TJ” Ferreira
LNC Region 4 Alternate Representative