York County Libertarian Party

Proposed LPUS By-Laws Amendment Seeks to Protect Integrity of Local Party Affiliates

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The Libertarian Party Bylaws Committee has proposed a bylaw amendment to be voted on by the delegates attending the Libertarian Party’s National Convention scheduled for May 3-6, 2012 at the Red Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The proposed amendment reads:

No individual enrolled as a registered voter affiliated with another political party, if he or she has the option of affiliating with the Libertarian Party, shall be eligible to serve as a Party employee, National Committee member, committee member, or delegate, or hold any other position of trust or responsibility within the Party.

York, PA County Chair David Moser, himself on the 2011 fall ballot as a Libertarian candidate, registered Libertarian voter, and self proclaimed “by-the-book libertarian”; was elated when presented with the news of this proposed amendment. He has been quoted as saying:

“It is about time someone listened to Murry(Rothbard) and (Ayn) Rand.” _ Mr. Moser continued: _“One of the very few if not only thing they could ever agree on despite their incompatible personality fields was that the Libertarian Party had started too soon. The reasoning from both was that there was simply to few “core libertarians” that truly believed in and lived daily the principles of both the political philosophy and the platform itself. They both feared, and as time has told with good reason, that without a solid core of such walk-the-line libertarians the party would succumb to the influences of the left-right paradigm. What would(did) happen instead of attracting people to be educated and lead in libertarian principle is people would pick and choose from the platform what already fit within their comfort zone and never truly embrace the philosophy on which the entire party is founded. Ultimately this only serve to detract from the core values and confuse those seeking “true Libertarian”. Again…….40 years of Libertarian Party history only reinforces what these two great libertarian minds predicted.”

Mr. Moser later went on to share another reason that he and other Libertarians in York County and other parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware fully support this clarifying amendment proposal:

“Our founding fathers knew you cannot serve more than one master faithfully. This is why we have limitations in place within the confines of the Constitution of These United States of America(regardless of how anyone might feel as to them currently being enforced) that limit the President of These United States of America to a natural born citizen. So how would it not be serving more than one master to not be registered Libertarian and without affiliation to any other party? Right now there is a person by the name of Tom Stevens that is the founder, current national chair, and 2012 presidential candidate for something called the Objectivist Party. This person ALSO serves on the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania’s(LPPA) executive board, acts as coordinator for Pennsylvania’s Libertarian college groups, is THE LPPA.org forum moderator, and a voting member of the state executive board. Please think about the all the LP members private info, contacts, and influence with the next generation of Libertarians this guy has access and that he is the national chair of another political party. Please someone rational and sane explain to me how that is not a conflict of interest. I don’t even have to quote a hypothetical worse-case-scenario to make my point because this is really happening right now!”

Turns out Mr. Tom Stevens is himself quite outspoken on this proposed amendment and based on the information Mr. Moser has provided it is of no surprise that he is feverishly against the proposal. As quoted from Mr. Stevens blog:

“Under the proposed bylaw amendment, not only will the National LP try to dictate who the State Affiliates may designate as delegates but the amendment could also be interpreted to dictate who may be allowed to be State and Local Officers of that State Affiliate. The last part of the proposed bylaw amendment indicates a person not enrolled locally as “Libertarian” will not be eligible to “hold any other position of trust or responsibility within the Party”. According to the National Libertarian Party Bylaws, “the Party” refers to the “Libertarian Party” and arguably to all its chartered affiliates. As a result, even officers serving in a County Libertarian Party Organization such as the Libertarian Party of Queens County may now be subject to this proposed national rule. Some might claim the bylaw amendment cannot be used in this manner but if it can be used to dictate who may be delegates from a State Affiliate, I see no reason why it cannot be used to claim that certain State or Local LP officers are ineligible to hold their positions.”

When Mr. Moser was presented with Mr. Steven’s quote his response to it was as follows:

“I fully Agree! I too see no reason why it cannot be used to claim that certain State or Local LP officers are ineligible to hold their positions.” If anything I strongly support it being used for just such reason and believe that is in fact the intended purpose. When I have brought this person up at state meetings and inquire of our state chair Lou Jasikoff and others as to how this is not a conflict of interest for the Libertarian Party they only defer to Mr. Stevens himself who provides a story about how the national party has said he is allowed and that Lou Jasikoff himself invited him to the LPPA. I only hope the National Party does the right thing with this proposal and that Mr. Stevens and Mr. Jasikoff have the decency to abide by it so we can begin to groom the libertarian core necessary to address the shortfalls of the past and move boldly into the future.”

There is obvious by anyone’s standard a real issue here and it looks to be shaping up to be one of the biggest tackled at the National Party Convention in 2012.

David Moser can be reached: Contact me
York PA Chair

Mr. Tom Stevens can be reached through the LPPA.org forums.

Author:

    1. Who in Delaware supports such a thing? How is operating a LIBERTARIAN party as a top down, hierarchical organization in line with “core libertarian values”? What difference should it make to a freely associating civic organization like a local Libertarian Party affiliate what letter is entered in a State database for a voter registration record when choosing their officers and why does national have any right whatsoever to interfere? What exactly does national do for state affiliates that gives them the right to dictate ANYTHING at all?

    2. .
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      I am the treasurer of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, but I am speaking for myself on this issue.
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      First, Libertarians tend to be, by their very nature, free and independent-thinking people. Trying to find a Libertarian who will agree with the party platform on EVERY issue would be an exercise in futility. For example, one of the founding members of the LPNH does NOT support right-to-work. This is a concept most Libertarians support, but obviously not all. Abortion (reproductive rights) is another issue that divides Libertarians.
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      Second, as we petition for a spot on the 2012 ballot, I asked one of the office holders of another party to sign our petition. This individual happened to be the chair of said party. As a result, this apparently was used as the proverbial “big stick” to beat him with. This person asked for his petition back and we gave it to him. His party demanded his resignation anyway. Granted, he wasn’t asking to be an officer of the LPNH but I think we are opening the door for this kind of abuse.
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      Third and finally, let’s say the LPNH earns party status and we do not have to petition anymore, so when someone comes around asking us to sign a petition for a different party and we sign it, are we going to get grief for “supporting another party” as happened to that other person? If someone is a registered Democrat or Republican (instead of the catch-all ‘undeclared’ in NH) and they want to be active with the LPNH, would they be drummed out of the party?
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      I think you are making a BIG mistake if you do this. Leave it up to the individual state parties to enact by-laws to protect themselves if they think there is a problem.
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      Thank you.
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    3. I just tried to post something and it isn’t there. It doesn’t say “awaiting moderation” or “there was an error.” It is just not there. What else to I need to do?

    4. Your comments have posted and are visible. You bring up a valid point, and we appreciate the input.

    5. It’s a matter of freedom of association.
      Sure, it looks nice. Our PR specialists won’t be in fear of explaining that libertarians actually believe in free association.
      But do we really want to rise to a tyrannical level on this~? We want to be professional looking. But do we really want to look like the big two~?
      In Kentucky, it took decades to get the Commonwealth to agree to list us as L(ibertarian), and two+ additional years to get them to raise the money to teach the computer to spell the word libertarian. And in many counties, the Clerk still is not listing registrants who signed up that way as Libertarian.

      I agree with Will McVay. The little registration symbol is all about public funded and segregated primary electoral processes. Why should we let it govern our internal affairs~? To me, this proposed bylaw is just bowing to the greatness of the big party primary. (Thematic chant: “We’re not worthy~!”)

      The system has been and continues to be skewed against all but biPartisans, with many reasonable options being available, but with minority support. Many cases will continue to present themselves wherein support and participation of our membership with other organizers is valid, rightful, and often not in conflict with our core values.
      Beware of ego-ridden tyrannies within our party structure. Playing the field is not a threat to our principle or our party. If it is, we might as well pack up and go home.

    6. I can agree with some of your statement, but not all of it. You definitely provided food for thought, that’s for sure. I see nothing wrong with affiliations and cooperative agreements driven by clearly defined, uniform goals. If anyone wants to forward Libertarian goals to the degree that you’ve stated, and hold a position of trust, why would they not register libertarian if they were able to?

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