On June 27, 2010, Dr. Tom Stevens resigned his Life Membership in the Libertarian Party of New York. He remains a member of both the Manhattan Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Party of Queens County, the two largest LP chapters in New York State and continues to serve as the Political Director and Membership Director of the Libertarian Party of Queens County.
The LPNY State Committee suspended the membership of Dr. Stevens in the Libertarian Party of New York on June 6, 2010 and extended the suspension on June 27, 2010 claiming that Dr. Stevens "followed a continued public course of action knowing it to be contrary to the principles and objectives of the LPNY", "claimed to represent the LPNY while knowing that this is not the fact", and "for knowingly, seriously and repeatedly disrupting meeting and activities of the LPNY", which was the language set forth in the LPNY bylaws as the grounds needed for a membership suspension. However, the real reasons behind his membership suspension stem from the positions he has taken in his capacity as State Representative for the Libertarian Party of Queens County.
Some of those positions have included:
1. Exposing the fact that Warren Redlich never had a strategy for giving the LPNY a fighting chance of obtaining 50,000 votes in this year's gubernatorial race, and objecting to Redlich's promise not to spend a dime of his own money on the gubernatorial race because his wife wouldn't allow it while simultaneously making the false claim he intended to petition to compete for the Republican Gubernatorial Nomination;
2. Opposing the efforts of State Committee members who wished to deny Kristin Davis and Sam Sloan, two gubernatorial candidates, the opportunity to send campaign literature to all eligible voting LPNY members in order to encourage them to attend the LPNY State Convention. Denied the opportunity to communicate with eligible voting delegates, Kristin Davis bolted to form her own party and Sam Sloan sued the party for the release of the member list. In the end, Sloan was not successful and Warren Redlich won the gubernatorial nomination with only 27 votes;
3. Raising the issue of possible election fraud that took place at the LPNY State Convention when despite every qualified voting delegate being given an identifying wrist ban, Mark Axinn, current LPNY Chair, placed blank sheets of paper on every table and permitted people to collect other people's ballots and place them into a hat. Stevens publicly objected to this procedure at the LPNY Convention and was told by Mr. Axinn he was running the election on the "honor system";
4. Informing Mark Axinn he witnessed election fraud actually taking place at the LPNY Annual Convention when delegates ineligible to vote voted and eligible voting delegates were witnessed voting more than once;
5. Objecting to the fact that the LPNY State Committee never saw or approved the convention contract, never knew how much money the LPNY was obligated to pay, that payments were made after the fact for unauthorized convention mailings and for making repeated requests to obtain a proper breakdown of the money collected at the State Convention;
6. Demanding an expedited process for the transfer of the Treasury records. Last year, there was a six month delay and two months have already passed since April and the signature cards have not been changed and we don't have a proper accounting of the money in the LPNY's Treasury;
7. Requesting that former Secretary M Carling post 4-5 months of missing State Committee Meeting Minutes and for current Secretary Brian DeMarzo to post the LPNY Convention Minutes and those of the past two State Committee Meetings; and
8. Trying to find out, before Chris Cantwell was nominated for Congress, why he spent 4 months in jail and what the status was of two current felonies that were pending against him for which he faced 4 years in state prison.
The Membership and Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Queens County responded to the Stevens suspension with the following statement that was unanimously adopted without objection:
The Libertarian Party of Queens County:
Condemns the LPNY State Committee for effectively denying the Libertarian Party of Queens County its choice of representative and the right to decide who it wishes to represent it on the LPNY State Committee by it having wrongfully suspended the membership of Dr. Tom Stevens, the LPQC's duly elected State Representative.
Stands behind Dr. Tom Stevens, our duly elected State Representative, whose actions we completely support without hesitation or reservation and who has represented us in a manner that has always made us proud.
Condemns the extremely dysfunctional Libertarian Party of New York, whose politically inexperienced, stagnant leadership and the presence of toxic individuals have been primarily responsible for the party's inability to obtain ballot access over the past nearly 40 years.
Condemns the LPNY State Committee for suspending the membership of Dr. Tom Stevens, our duly elected State Representative, on specious and baseless grounds in that Dr. Tom Stevens never followed a continued public course of action knowing it to be contrary to the principles and objectives of the LPNY: never claimed to represent the LPNY while knowing that this is not the fact, and certainly never knowingly, seriously and repeatedly disrupted meetings or activities of the LPNY during his service as State Representative for the Libertarian Party of Queens County nor when he served as State Representative of the Manhattan Libertarian Party or as an At-Large Representative to the LPNY State Committee. Expressing opinions and demanding proper accountability and professionalism on the LPNY's Yahoo Group is what the Libertarian Party of Queens County expected of its duly elected State Representative and we fully and unconditionally stand behind him.
Demands a formal apology from the Libertarian Party of New York for its having suspended the membership of Dr. Tom Stevens, our chosen and elected State Representative, and that even if the LPQC chooses to send a substitute representative to the LPNY State Committee, that individual's primary responsibility will be to seek and obtain a formal apology from the LPNY State Committee that must include an invitation to Dr. Tom Stevens to return to the LPNY State Committee as State Representative for the Libertarian Party of Queens County.
Demands that the LPNY State Committee take formal action against Blay Tarnoff, Gary Donoyan and Chris Cantwell for causing this disruption at the worst possible time for the Libertarian Party of New York, when the statewide petition drive is almost upon us, thus placing their own personal agendas above the interests of the party.
Believes that the unprofessional actions and political inexperience of many on the LPNY State Committee are a literal detriment to the cause of liberty and that the Libertarian Party of Queens County has always considered and still considers Dr. Tom Stevens, its duly elected State Representative, to be an advocate for professionalism who always fulfilled his fiduciary responsibility and who raised issues that needed to be raised and asked questions that needed to be asked, however uncomfortable that made some people feel. That was his duty as LPQC's State Representative and the membership and leadership of the Libertarian Party of Queens County is extremely proud of Dr. Tom Stevens, who we consider to be one of the most principled and effective advocates for liberty in the Libertarian Party on a local, state and national level.
Applauds Dr. Tom Stevens for his service on the LPNY State Committee as our State Representative for which we thank him. Dr. Stevens has been elected and re-elected to serve as State Representative for the Libertarian Party of Queens County and in the past was elected and re-elected to serve as State Representative of the Manhattan Libertarian Party. Nothing in his actions or deeds justifies his membership suspension in the Libertarian Party of New York. The action taken by the LPNY State Committee in suspending his membership is reprehensible and unforgivable and creates a rift between the Libertarian Party of Queens County and the LPNY State Committee that shall not be overcome or placed behind us until a formal apology to Dr. Stevens is issued along with an invitation for him to return to the LPNY State Committee as State Representative for the Libertarian Party of Queens County.
Carl E. Person, LPNY's candidate for Attorney General, responded to the Stevens resignation by saying:
It's a shame that you have been subjected to all of this, and the LP (in all of its component organizations) is the clear loser. You have emerged as the winner, and are now free to devote your time to organizations willing to succeed at their claimed goals instead of pursuing paralytic bureaucratic practices. What do they plan to do for an encore?
Donald Silberger, LPNY Vice-Chair, responded as follows:
The party from which you resigned is in disarray. LP National has evidently tired of our repeated and far-off-the-mark claims that "this time we have an excellent chance to garner 50K votes"... when never once since 1972 have we gotten even half of that total. As it now stands, the LPNY may not even get its candidates on the NY State ballot...the LPNY continues to do the same things, to make the same outrageously optimistic predictions, to set the same senseless goals, to squander opportunities, to squabble and laze, and to repeat the same silly mistakes, season after season. And now they congratulate themselves for their successful vindictiveness; i.e., the party's "defending itself". I've had it! You are one of the most articulate people in the LPNY...Sheer envy? We should have been running you for office -- giving you a forum. Sheesh.
Dr. Tom Stevens will continue his libertarian activism both locally and nationally and will continue to promote libertarian and Objectivist principles through Rising Action and Libertarian Patriots of New York. He welcomes invitations from Libertarian State Parties that allow out-of-state members to join and participate and looks forward to attending future LPUS National Conventions just as he has enjoyed fully participating in the conventions that were held in Atlanta, Portland, Denver and St. Louis.