Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sam Sloan Demands Carla Howell Release The Names Of The 5 Libertarian National Committee Members Who Voted In Favor Of Listing Each Of The Other LP Presidential Candidates At LP.ORG

Sam Sloan, an announced Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, who met all the published criteria for being listed on the national party's website at lp.org, was told by Carla Howell, LP Executive Director, on January 24, 2012 that "all presidential candidates must obtain the approval of at least five LNC members to be listed at the lp.org web site".

Currently, the following six candidates are listed as 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates at lp.org:

Roger Gary
R.J. Harris
Gary Johnson
Carl Person
Bill Still
Lee Wrights

Sam Sloan has demanded Carla Howell "release the names of the Libertarian National Committee members who voted for the listing of each of the presidential candidates, the dates on which said votes were cast and proof of the manner in which said votes were cast".

Sam Sloan added:

I have observed such chicanery before where officials in power abuse their authority, ignore bylaw provisions, or outright lie to obtain a result they seek, no matter what means they need to employ to bring about their desired goal. It reminds me of a story I heard about Jim Davidson, who when Chair of the Boston Tea Party, closed the voting on an important motion early by unilaterally announcing he was shifting the time zone from Eastern to Atlantic so as to prevent some National Committee members from casting a vote in a manner not acceptable to him. That particular abuse of power resulted in all the members of four chartered chapters resigning en masse.

This situation is not very different. I met all the criteria for being listed as a 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate and simply because some in the party might not want me listed (and I believe I know who they are), a new barrier was announced to justify my exclusion. Let me be clear. I do not believe the other listed candidates were formally approved in the manner described by Carla Howell. To quote George Phillies of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party, "She has made up a new criterion, one which she is not applying to other candidates".

It is my belief that all Libertarian Party members seeking the Presidential Nomination should be listed on the national website. If they wish to require some objective criteria such as that a candidate be a member of the national LP or have a website with contact information, that is reasonable. However, when the LP starts to take sides in the contest and only lists candidates with "insider" support, they deny Libertarian Party members the opportunity to get the information they need to decide who to support. As for who should be allowed to participate in Presidential Debates at the upcoming Libertarian Party National Convention, I would again set the bar low, perhaps allowing all candidates to participate in an initial debate followed by a requirement that a candidate get 20 delegates to support their candidacy before being permitted to participate in future debates. 

This whole issue is one of philosophy. If you believe in top down control where your Libertarian National Committee members are the guardians of promoting a particular, purified, public imagine, then you have the result. If you support, as I do, an open process, maximum participation, principled positions on issues and bottom-up activism, then I am your man.


  1. Well, the RNC and the DNC have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time.. The LNC SHOULD apply such standards if it wants to be considered one of the political elite.

    I am thinking that this sort of policy will do for the LNC, in 2012, what the Bob Barr Candidacy did for "getting out the Libertarian vote" in 2008...

    Our group has limited resources, and it used to be that one of those resources was INTEGRITY. Having 5 people in charge of who is ALLOWED to run for the Libertarian candidacy does not lend any confidence in the Party of ________.

    Steve Scheetz

    1. I wouldn't say that Bob Barr got out the Libertarian vote in 2008. It's more like he prevented all hardcore libertarians from being to cast a vote for their party.

  2. Executive Director Carla Howell seems comfortable promoting a Republican candidate on the LP website, so it's difficult for me to imagine her personally being restrictive about promoting LP candidates. I suspect she's doing the bidding of the LNC, which is her many-headed boss. Sloan should direct his demand to the chair of the LNC.

    In the interests of accuracy, remember that that the LNC is not deciding who is “allowed to run for the Libertarian candidacy.” Anyone may do that. What they ARE controlling is access to free publicity and the obvious suggestion, despite any posted disclaimer, of preferred status as a candidate. Inaccurate claims make it too easy for an otherwise- legitimate complaint to be dismissed. I assume such complaints need to go through the national Judicial Committee.

  3. In Sam Sloan's comments, I do not see the quotation that the LNC is deciding who is "allowed to run for the Libertarian candidacy". Can you please refer me to that statement.

  4. Maybe the LNC is just another branch of the Republican Party

  5. "all presidential candidates must obtain the approval of at least five LNC members to be listed at the lp.org web site".

    the Libertarian National Committee consists of four officers, five at-large members, and nine regional representatives and alternates

    I'm sorry, but this is bad policy. Any candidate should be able to be seen on the LP website without the "approval" of these people. Libertarians are intelligent people, we will be looking for the best candidate. We don't need "approved" candidates to select from.

    This amounts to the LNC telling us who we are allowed to vote for. if you don't see it that way, then ignore my comments.

    Steve Scheetz

  6. I do not think it is a good policy. I encourage anyone who feels strongly about it to contact the LNC members with their concerns, and to complain through the national Judicial Committee. Improvement requires action.

  7. I mentioned this problem to Hon Chair Mark Hinkle, since I am a candidate for president with the Libertarian Party myself. Hinkle's reply was to point the finger to someone else, and he took no action to rectify the censorship problem. Were I chair, I'd make a link to my name, rather than point fingers - that's team psychology, which I'm TRYING to promote.