The LNC Executive Committee is a subset of the entire LNC comprising the officers and the following elected persons: Bill Redpath, Sam Goldstein, and Jim Lark. An EC meeting was held on September 21, 2017 regarding the final approval in filing a brief in the Husted v. APRI case involving purging of Ohio voter rolls. You can read more detail about this in my prior article on the first meeting here. Minutes will be available for this second meeting in a few days.
The full LNC did not get to see this brief before it was filed. Once we could review, I immediately noticed an issue in the introductory paragraph:
My objections from the LNC list:
…the opening paragraphs describes the purpose and founding of the Libertarian Party—
… there is a blatant incorrect fact in the opening paragraphs. The Libertarian Party was not founded to promote the principles of liberty set forth in the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. Our bylaws address this specifically that we exist to promote the principles in our Statement of Principles which mentions neither document. Yes there is a lot of overlap, particularly with the Declaration of Independence, but there is disjunction- particularly in some views of the Constitution. I would say that representing us in that manner violates what our bylaws say about our purpose to wit:
==ARTICLE 2: PURPOSES
The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by: functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements; moving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office; chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities; nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and, entering into public information activities.==
==ARTICLE 3: STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES AND PLATFORM
The Statement of Principles affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail. ==
I object strenuously that characterization.
So, how did this get filed to begin with? Precisely. That is the dispute within the LNC. The EC reviewed this and absolutely missed that in a rushed phone call in which only a few people even had the final draft. The larger LNC body did not get to review at any point. We have lawyers to get the law right but we are responsible to making sure the facts about the Party are right.
It is no secret I think we play fast and loose with the priority that the Statement of Principles is supposed to occupy.
I think even if the EC is the one that approves these things, there is no reason, under cover of executive reason confidentially, that the entire LNC should not have seen this document. The image of the Party is being represented – and how were – say – the interests of Region 1 protected when I could not even see it? Mistakes will happen – I think acknowledgement that it happened is a healthy procedural fix. I am a firm believer in “yep, that shouldn’t have happened.”
I am truly surprised that Sarwark let that through. And it concerns me because another “oops” got through on a document no one on the LNC was able to see last year – the Presidential contract with the eternal secrecy clause that was completely overlooked until I finally was able to see the document and I had to do a Motion to Rescind – something I absolutely did not want to do but I had to or be derelict in my responsibility to my Region. I understand that wordsmithing and decisions sometimes need a smaller group (i.e. the EC) but there is no reason the larger group could not at least give suggestions. It is the same problem with the secrecy on the Bylaws and Platform committees – where they feel it is their small group so having others observe will ruin the process. No it won’t. It will help us caught flaws – and the final decision makers will be more empowered.