Sunday, August 4, 2013

Independent Political Report Disparages The Very Third Parties It Seeks To Cover

Independent Political Report, a website that claims to have reported on "Third Parties & Independent Candidates Since 2008", often disparages the very third parties it reports on in "news articles" that are little more than hit pieces designed to place a number of third parties in a bad light. Krzysztof Lesiak, one of the main contributors, is the most egregious offender.

The Personal Freedom Party's New York City Nominating Convention held on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Boulder Creek Steakhouse in College Point, New York nominated Sam Sloan to be its candidate for Mayor of New York City. Mr. Sloan recently spent $22,900.00 on a petition drive to get his slate into the Republican Party Primary for Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate. The Personal Freedom Party petition drive is still ongoing.

In writing an article about this situation, Krzysztof Lesiak, a contributor to Independent Political Report, referred to the Personal Freedom Party as an "essentially nonexistent political party in New York State" "without more than a handful of legitimate members". He said Sam Sloan's nomination took place "at what was termed a nominating convention" and called the party a "frivolous political organization...without state recognition of any kind or anything else". Mr. Lesiak placed the party's name in quotation marks to further denigrate its legitimacy and later in the article referred to it as "a paper organization".

Dr. Tom Stevens, National Chair of the Personal Freedom Party objected to these characterizations. Thane Eichenauer, commenting on the article at the Independent Political Report site, wrote:

I agree with Dr. Tom Stevens in his objection to the description of the Personal Freedom Party (of New York State) as "virtually non-existent", a "frivolous political organization" and a "paper organization."

The Libertarian Party and its candidates (not to mention most third parties in the last 3 decades) have in the past been labelled with similar terms that disparage the passionate, principled and very real efforts that people put into its behalf.

So long as a person is willing to attempt to place a political party and its candidates on the ballot, it should be given fair and dispassionate coverage on IPR or any other media. An aspiring political party may not have a "website, formal organization, bylaws, more than a handful of legitimate members, state recognition of any kind" but so long as it is possible for it to qualify it should not receive coverage of this sort.

"State Recognition"? Come on now, that is what the bureaucratic endeavor is intended to accomplish.

If your contribution to IPR is to write articles that are clearly biased about certain people and their political endeavors, then you have done that and done it well.

Several of the disparaging terms in your article are only true in some people's opinion, some, perhaps most may be true and yet still be clearly biased in their use. How many of the terms are relevant when it comes to discussing, describing and covering the issue of the quest for ballot access for a new political party in New York? I would asset that few to none of the terms are topic relevant. If any of the disparaging terms are relevant as far as ballot access and the legal hurdles involved certainly your article does nothing to point out which are and which are not. Those terms that are potentially not relevant should either be omitted or modified so they are neutral and descriptive and not clearly disparaging.

You then further comment that the "Personal Freedom Party is a bullshit organization that exists in theory only." There are two claims packed into that sentence. I would assert that a person could argue either side of "is the PFP or is not the PFP a bullshit organization?" and have a 50%+ chance of persuading any given audience as to the truth or falsity of the claim. As for "exists in theory only", I would say that as soon as someone hired two paid petitioners that the Personal Freedom Party ceased by any reasonable measure to exist in theory only.

I believe it would be possible to write an article on the effort of Stevens to qualify the PFP for the New York ballot which accurately describes the party and the likelihood of success (or lack thereof) of its ballot access effort without using terms that Stevens or I would object to. What is it that prevents you from doing so? Are you unable or just disinclined? If you are capable of writing an article full of facts such that neither Stevens nor I can dispute the accuracy of then I strongly encourage you to do so.

I live in Arizona and have minimal first hand knowledge of New York state ballot access laws. I haven't met Dr. Tom Stevens. I would prefer to read unbiased new reporting on any political party especially those that claim to wish to advance freedom so as to accurately identify people and groups worth supporting. Your article and comments only muddy the water in this regard due to your mix of what may well be facts and other information which is clearly included because of your personal opinion.

In case there was any doubt about the defamatory intent of Krzysztof Lesiak, who wrote the "news article", in the comments section, he defended himself by saying, "'Doctor' Stevens is a dangerous person to the LP and he needs to be ostracized from it at all costs". Mr. Lesiak also referred to Dr. Tom Stevens as a "deranged moron".

Matthew Kelly, a member of the Personal Freedom Party of New York who was the elected Secretary Pro Tem of the party's New York City Nominating Convention held on May 11, 2013, reacted as follows:

The Personal Freedom Party has been a pro-liberty activist organization in New York State for over three (3) years with many committed members and none of the infighting often present in other political parties and organizations. It is not as the IPR contributor Krzysztof Lesiak said, "essentially nonexistent" nor is it a "frivolous political organization". It is outrageous that a site committed to reporting on the activities of third parties would disparage the reputation of those very parties. Krzysztof Lesiak should be immediately dismissed as a contributor to Independent Political Report. To me, he appears to be nothing more than an immature, pot-smoking pipsqueak who shouldn't be given serious responsibilities.   

Dr. Tom Stevens founded the Personal Freedom Party on June 6, 2010. Its initial focus has been to recruit candidates to run for public office as well as to seek out pro-liberty individuals willing to serve in leadership positions. The Personal Freedom Party Platform (adopted on November 5, 2010) includes support for Legalization of Marijuana, Decriminalization of Prostitution, Legalization of Gambling, Lowering of the Voting Age, Legalization of Gay Marriage, Elimination of Excessive Taxation and Elimination of Excessive Regulation. On November 11, 2010, the Personal Freedom Party adopted the slogan, "Tell Your Children! Fight The Menace! Kill The Devil! Save The Country!" The phrase was used in the song "Reefer Madness" from Reefer Madness: The Musical, which is a musical satire of the 1938 cult movie classic Tell Your Children (now commonly referred to as Reefer Madness).

No comments:

Post a Comment