Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sam Sloan Shafted By The Manhattan LP's "Libertarian Ruling Junta"

What happens to a State Representative elected by the membership of the Manhattan Libertarian Party when he is not a member of and chooses to ignore the advice of the MLP's "Libertarian Ruling Junta"? The answer? He gets shafted, suspended and spirited out the door! That is what happened to Sam Sloan, who was unanimously elected by the membership of the Manhattan Libertarian Party at its Annual Convention held in January, 2010 at the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant located in Manhattan.

In late January, 2010, Sam Sloan announced he would run for the gubernatorial nomination of the Libertarian Party against Warren Redlich and Kristin Davis. When Davis and Sloan were denied the opportunity to communicate with the 400+ eligible voting delegates to encourage them to attend the NYLP Annual Convention and to support their candidacies, Kristin Davis dropped out of the "rigged" process and formed her own party, eventually running for governor as the candidate of the Anti-Prohibition Party. After 27 delegates handed Warren Redlich the Libertarian Party's gubernatorial nomination in an election run by Mark Axinn on the "honor system", Sam Sloan instituted two lawsuits, which were eventually dismissed on technicalities.

Ron Moore - Manhattan LP Chair and Mark Axinn - MLP Secretary/Treasurer consider themselves part of the entrenched leadership of the Manhattan LP and refer to themselves affectionately as the Libertarian Ruling Junta reflecting their perception of themselves as an entrenched anti-democratic force. They requested that Sam Sloan, the elected MLP State Representative, terminate his lawsuits, that he stop criticizing Warren Redlich, and eventually that he resign. Sam Sloan sought advice from Dr. Tom Stevens, the elected State Representative from the Libertarian Party of Queens County. Dr. Stevens told Sam Sloan that he was elected by the membership and that he is answerable only to them. Dr. Stevens reminded Mr. Sloan that the County Committee of the Manhattan Libertarian Party did not select him to be the MLP State Representative and that they could not dictate to him what stands he should take, what words he can speak and certainly cannot force his resignation. Article VI, Section 7 of the MLP bylaws provide a procedure for an "officer" to be impeached for good cause by a 3/4 vote of the County Committee but the State Representative is not an "officer" according to the MLP bylaws and is therefore not subject to this provision. Dr. Stevens advised Mr. Sloan to do as he saw fit and to represent MLP members to the best of his abilities and according to his own judgment.

The County Committee then voted to "suspend" Sam Sloan's membership in the Manhattan Libertarian Party, effective August 11, 2010, as a back-door method of shafting him and removing him from his position as the elected State Representative. In an e-mail to Dr. Stevens, Mark Axinn set forth the grounds for Sam Sloan's suspension.

Mark Axinn said:

He was suspended in part because he refused to resign as State Committee rep. when requested to do so. I believe the by-laws are ambiguous on whether the State rep. can be removed like other officers can be, and that is something we must clean up at the next Convention.

Justification for Sam's removal is crystal clear and, unlike the State Committee action against you, I personally supported it without hesitation. I have helped Sam and defended him against others for a long time and his response was to sue the LPNY and me. He has caused me to spend over $5000 of my own time on his two bullshit lawsuits, which even if the claims therein were true (which they are not) does not justify his use of the State against me, the LPNY and its duly nominated choice for Governor.

I warned Sam about a million times what was happening and he ignored me and flouted my advice, perhaps taking the wrong advice from others and perhaps on his own initiative. That was his decision.

The problem is that Article IV, Section 3 of the MLP bylaws allows only three grounds for the suspension of the membership of an MLP member and Sam Sloan was in violation of none of those provisions. The three grounds are:

1. follows a continued public course of action which they should reasonably know to be contrary to the Objectives and Principles of the MLP as set forth in Articles II and III of these By-Laws;

2. claims to represent the MLP while they should reasonably know they have no such authority; or

3. knowingly, seriously and repeatedly disrupts meetings or activities of the MLP.

Clearly Sam Sloan did not represent the MLP without authority and he certainly did not disrupt any meetings or activities of the MLP so what about following a "continued public course of action" contrary to the Objectives and Principles of the MLP? Well let's look at Articles II and III:

Article II: Objectives

The MLP is a political organization that has as its primary objective the extension of individual freedom to its furthest limits, subject to reasonable prohibitions to prevent the initiation of force and perpetration of fraud. In recognition of the fact that the initiation of force by government has been an instrument for the expropriation of individual rights and freedom, which has in turn caused or enable much unnecessary suffering in human society, the MLP enters the political arena for the avowed purpose of limiting the intervention of government to the prevention or violence against person and property, as well as fraud, and the development and protection of property rights.

Article III: Principles

1. That each individual possesses the inalienable right to life, liberty, justly acquired property and the pursuit of happiness.

2. That no person or institution, public or private, has the right to initiate the use of physical force against another absent the justifications mentioned herein.

3. That all individuals are entitled to choose their own lifestyles, as long as they do not forcibly or unduly impose their values on the property or person of others.

4. That the only moral basis of politics is the development, preservation and protection of individual rights. 

5. That the voluntary and unrestricted exchange of goods and services is fundamental to a peaceful and harmonious society.

Sam Sloan, the elected State Representative for the Manhattan Libertarian Party, clearly did not engage in a "continued public course of action...contrary to the Objectives and Principles of the MLP" and in fact, you could argue that by instituting lawsuits to expose fraud, he was acting in a manner consistent with the Objectives and Principles of the MLP. In addition, his failing to resign when the Libertarian Ruling Junta asked him to provides no grounds for his membership suspension under the MLP bylaws.

Despite these facts, a Suspension Hearing was held. Majoritarian Tyranny voted to Shaft Sloan and by suspending his membership, the County County effectively removed him as the State Representative of the Manhattan LP, appointing in his place Eric Sundwall, a resident of the Capital District LP, who also was serving as the Campaign Manager of Warren Redlich.

Abuse of power should be condemned especially when it takes place in a Libertarian Party organization. Sam Sloan and the membership of the Manhattan Libertarian Party are owed a formal apology for the authoritarian actions taken by the County Committee of the MLP in violation of the provisions of their own By-Laws.

1 comment:

  1. Well, much like Mark, I too did not support your suspension from the LPNY, but Sam really went one too many over the line. I don't really know why, he is obviously intelligent, and had to know that if you push too hard you will get pushed back.
    I respectfully disagree that Sam didn't violate the bylaws. I won't go into detail, but they were clear breaches by almost any standard.
    Notwithstanding, I like Sam's irasible affect, and properly channeled it does bring new life to the LPNY, he being willing say things that others are just too polite or politically correct to say themselves; if he decides to re-join I don't think these ousters are permanent, after a few years a person might lobby to rejoin if they wanted to - of course it would be harder than someone off the street.
    I believe that the shunning of Kristen Davis was unfortunate. Had she been brought into the fold of the LPNY, which was a natural as she genuinely seems to be a true libertarian, I believe we would have achieved the 50K votes we were looking for.
    I am not denigrating Warren Redlich for his efforts, nor am I saying that Kristen should have ecessarily been our gubernatorial candidate. But at least she could have been another candidate running under the LPNY line, that would have been a natural.
    I wish I had been there at the meeting negotiating her involvement in the LPNY; I imagine too hot headedness and egos all around caused the superficial falling out, but was enough to undo the whole association.

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