Bill Redpath & Aaron Starr's attempt to kick Lee Wrights off the LNC (Was: Bob Sullentrup's attempt...)


  Thank you for forwarding this letter. I just got back from the Libertarian Party of California state convention over the weekend and am just catching up on emails of the past few days. While the information below doesn't in my mind make your handling of the situation right, it does strongly suggest that persons other than yourself -- namely LP Chair Bill Redpath and LP Treasurer Aaron Starr -- were the main instigators here, and that Acting LP Executive Director Robert Kraus also played a significant role. If Redpath's account is correct, all three of them knew about the pending expiration of Lee Wrights' membership before you did. I also note for the record that to my knowledge none of them have responded to my April 16 message to all the LNC members (below), as you now have. (In fairness to Robert Kraus, I failed to copy him on that letter, so he didn't necessarily see it unless it was forwarded to him.)

  Bill Redpath justifies his decision not to pick up the phone and call Lee Wrights about his membership by saying that Lee has been rude to him in the past and so he didn't owe him any courtesy in return. But if you as party chair intend to interpret party bylaws as requiring you to immediately kick off the Libertarian National Committee anyone who is late on a membership payment, I think informing someone who stands to be thus affected that his membership is due, goes beyond mere "courtesy!" And of course it wasn't only the chair who didn't bother to let the LNC member concerned know about the situation with his membership. Aaron Starr and Robert Kraus evidently had the same information that Redpath did, and neither of them bothered to notify Lee Wrights either.

  All LNC members should demand an answer to this question -- Why was this list of the membership expiration dates of LNC members, *produced by a paid LP staff member presumably working on the clock,* not given to ALL the members of the Libertarian National Committee at the time it was produced? After all, it concerned *their* membership records!

  Contrary to what Bill Redpath asserts below, the LP bylaws ( do NOT, in my opinion and that of numerous others, "plainly read" that an LNC member whose membership dues lapse is automatically off the committee.

  The requirement for LNC members to be sustaining members of the party appears in Article 8, Section 4:

"A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party, and shall not be the candidate of any party except the Party or an affiliate."

  The very next line of the bylaws, Article 8, Section 5, states:

"The National Committee MAY, FOR CAUSE, [emphasis added] suspend any member-at-large by a vote of 2/3 of the entire National Committee. The suspended member-at-large may challenge the suspension by an appeal in writing to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of notice of suspension. Failure to appeal within seven days shall confirm the suspension and bar any later challenge or appeal."

  The sequence of these provisions strongly suggests that the conditions mentioned in Section 4 -- an LNC member failing to maintain a sustaining membership in the national LP, or being the candidate of another political party -- are the "for cause" conditions referred to in Section 5. According to that section, an LNC member MAY (not "shall") be removed by the committee, and only IF there is appropriate cause, and then ONLY BY A VOTE OF THE COMMITTEE.

  Nowhere in the bylaws does it say that an LNC member whose dues have lapsed must, or even *can*, be automatically removed by the Chair or the Secretary, for any reason!
  Bill Redpath doesn't admit to wanting radical libertarians off the LNC, although he admits he isn't an "LP Radical" (it isn't clear whether by that he means a member of the Radical Caucus, a philosophical radical, or both), but he also doesn't deny that he wanted to see Lee removed from the LNC, and he previously gave support to the effort to remove radical Libertarian Angela Keaton from the body.

  Reading between the lines of his statement below, it rather looks to me like at least a couple anti-radical LNC members conspired, with a highly dubious interpretation of the bylaws as their inspiration, and with the help of the party's Executive Director, to prepare a secret list of LNC members' membership expiration dates, and not to reveal that bylaws interpretation, its implications, or the list of membership expiration dates, to anyone on the opposing LNC faction until such time as the information could be used as a political weapon against Lee or any other undesirable on the LNC who might inadvertently let his or her membership lapse.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))