Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Support For The Decriminalization Of Bestiality Is Becoming A Key Issue For Libertarian Leaders

In the early days of the newly emerging Libertarian Philosophical Movement and the formation of the Libertarian Party, there was a fringe group of Libertarians who called for the decriminalization of bestiality. These activists were present at a Libertarian Conference held in New York City in 1969 and around that time, Murray Rothbard claimed a Neo-Randian group called Students of Objectivism for Rational Bestiality existed in the outer reaches of the libertarian movement. These so-called Bestiality Boys promoted what they called Rational Bestiality. Their contention, as I understand it, was that "bestiality is illegal because humans are irrational animals and that, if humans were rational, citizens would not be arrested and jailed for engaging in sexual acts with the animals they own."

While those calling for the decriminalization of bestiality have always been present in the Libertarian Party, this issue was elevated to a whole new level when in 2011 and 2012, two Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates and one Presidential Candidate of the Boston Tea Party, made statements in favor of decriminalizing bestiality.

Carl Person, who was seeking the Libertarian Party's Presidential nomination, was the first to re-address this issue when he wrote:

The victimless crimes are prostitution, bestiality, sodomy, drugs, abortion, and the principles are that we shouldn't be regulating what people do to themselves, and the cost of the regulation should be saved and returned to taxpayers, to reduce taxes, and enable the economy to grow with commerce instead of with prisoners, private jails and private jail guards.

When asked for a clarification with respect to his position in support of legalizing bestiality, Carl Person provided the following statement regarding this issue:  

When I mentioned "bestiality", I was referring to animals, not humans (Note: some statutes prohibiting bestiality include children within the definition.). Bestiality as a victimless crime would center on two elements:  1. "property rights" - limiting the practice to one's own animals or with wild animals (not owned by anyone) and 2. "consent" and/or "non-injury" - if the animal is willing and is not injured in the process. If the animal is already dead, the victimless crime would become a variant of necromancy, and have to be analyzed in a similar fashion. I'm not a practitioner or advocate of bestiality and am only trying to apply Libertarian principles to a seldom discussed victimless crime.

Tiffany Briscoe, the Presidential Candidate of the Boston Tea Party, weighed in on the "bestiality is a victimless crime" issue by sharing her viewpoints on the subject:

Let me be clear. I strongly believe bestiality is anti-natural. But if an individual wants to engage him or herself into such an activity, it is entirely up to this individual. I condemn all anti-bestiality laws, just like I condemn bestiality itself. But this should be a decision taken by the person involved, rather than the government. Strictly on a philosophical standpoint, bestiality is probably consistent with the reasonable theory that rights apply only to humans and not animals or plants.

Sam Sloan, a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination, then placed the issue in the context of marriage, when he issued his campaign platform, which included the following language:

I have no problem with a man or woman marrying multiple partners of any gender. I couldn't care less if a person wanted to marry their cat or dog. It is simply none of the government's business.

Thomas L. Knapp, Publisher of Rational Review ("The Premier Libertarian Web Journal") then commented:

It seems to me that the default libertarian position - absent a persuasive argument for "animal rights," which I do try to keep an open mind for - is that it's a property issue and therefore a victimless crime (unless of course the animal is someone else's property)...If non-human animals do not have rights and are "just property", then the answer the Zero Aggression Principle returns is that bestiality (with one's own property or with permission of the owner of said property) is not aggression, and that prohibiting/punishing bestiality (with one's own property or with the owner of said property) is aggression.

Dallwyn Merck, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, and Vice-Chair of the Downstate Libertarians chapter of Empire State Libertarians, complimented Carl Person for having started the discussion. He wrote:

I applaud Carl Person for speaking up on this controversial issue and for setting forth a philosophical framework to enable us to analyze when and under what circumstances bestiality should be made legal. 

Engaging in bestiality is currently considered a very serious crime in almost all states. In fact, the first person executed in what is now the geographic area known as the United States was Thomas Granger, a 16-year old boy living in Plymouth Colony, who was hung on September 8, 1642 after confessing to "buggery with a mare, a cowe, two goats, divers sheepe, two calves, and a turkey".

Bestiality is far more common than most people realize. After conducting 6000 interviews with participants on their sexual histories, Alfred Kinsey published his findings in 1953, which included the result that 8% of men and 4% of women reported having a sexual experience with an animal at some point in their lives, and 8% of men brought themselves to orgasm with an animal. In Morton Hunt's study (1974), it was reported that 4.9% of men brought themselves to orgasm with animal contact. Male sexual contact was more common among rural farm dwellers than urban men. Intercourse was the most common sexual activity, usually with animals such as calves, sheep, and burros.

Since taboos against human-animal contact have been the norm for centuries, the criminal law has resulted in the arrest and stigmatization of those who have found pleasure while in contact with certain farm animals. Whether it be the shepherd with his sheep or the farm boy with a toothless baby calf, human-animal contact has been going on for thousands of years.

Carl Person has brought this issue out into the open and has started a discussion on the topic. He has done a great service to this nation by addressing this issue head on.

What was not expected is that Carl Person's initial comment calling bestiality a "victimless crime" would be the catalyst for the formation of a modern Zoosexual Rights movement and that the Libertarian Party would be given the credit for this new activism.

Lexxi Stray (the Dog Park Princess), called upon people to support Carl Person and the Libertarian Party because of his stand on this issue:

Carl Person...is in favor of focusing our national resources on REAL issues - and not squandering them chasing "criminals" who aren't hurting anyone else or interfering with other people. He plans to do this by focusing funds on creating jobs as well as by having the police force working to keep people safe, which they cannot do when they are spread thin chasing after people involved in victimless crimes. He is completely right. We spend millions of dollars trying to stop people from bending over for their dog or taking a puff of weed while men beating their wives or people drinking themselves into comas hardly get a second glance. It's time to focus on making change that helps people, not waste more tax money trying to stop people from engaging in actions that don't harm anyone else.

Finally, for the first time in far too long, politics are openly discussing the reality of bestiality - that if the animal is ready and willing there is no harm done by allowing them to satisfy their urges. While the Libertarian Party may be much smaller than either Democrats or Republicans, you can bet those groups keep their eyes on the support levels of different candidates so they know what policies to implement in order to get more support for themselves. 

One thing you can do to support bestiality and bring the positive views to light is simply support Carl Person and his fellows either online or in person and, if you plan on voting, vote for some of them come election time. Every vote they get is another sign that bestiality is slowly coming into the minds of the mainstream in a more realistic way - the illogical prejudices of the past are slowly being stripped away so that things may be looked at objectively, and this is one change I am proud to say I will be a part of.

Peter Singer, an animal rights advocate, wrote an article in 2001 entitled "Heaving Petting" offering great insight on the issue of bestiality. It reads, in part, as follows:

Sex with animals is still definitely taboo. If Midas Dekkers, author of Dearest Pet, has got it right, this is not because of its rarity. Dekkers, a Dutch biologist and popular naturalist, has assembled a substantial body of evidence to show that humans have often thought of "love for animals" in ways that go beyond a pat and a hug, or a proper concern for the welfare of members of other species. His book has a wide range of illustrations, going back to a Swedish rock drawing from the Bronze Age of a man fucking a large quadruped of indeterminate species. There is a Greek vase from 520 BC showing a male figure having sex with a stag; a seventeenth-century Indian miniature of a deer mounting a woman; an eighteenth-century European engraving  of an ecstatic nun coupling with a donkey, while other nuns look on, smiling; a nineteenth-century Persian painting of a soldier, also with a donkey; and from the same period, a Japanese drawing of a woman enveloped by a giant octopus who appears to be sucking her cunt, as well as caressing her body with its many limbs. How much of this is fantasy, the King Kong-ish archetypes of an earlier age? In the 1940s, Kinsey asked twenty thousand Americans about their sexual behavior, and found that 8 percent of males and 3.5 percent of females stated that they had, at some time, had a sexual encounter with an animal. Among men living in rural areas, the figure shot up to 50 percent. Dekkers suggests that for young male farm hands, animals provided an outlet for sexual desires that could not be satisfied when girls were less willing to have sex before marriage. Based on twentieth-century court records in Austria where bestiality was regularly prosecuted, rural men are most likely to have vaginal intercourse with cows and calves, less frequently with mares, foals and goats and only rarely with sheep or pigs. They may also take advantage of the sucking reflex of calves to get them to do a blowjob. Women having sex with bulls or rams, on the other hand, seems to be more a matter of myth than reality. For three-quarters of the women who told Kinsey that they had had sexual contact with an animal, the animal involved was a dog, and actual sexual intercourse was rare. More commonly the woman limited themselves to touching and masturbating the animal, or having their genitals licked by it.

The taboo on sex with animals may have originated as part of a broader rejection of non-reproductive sex. But the vehemence with which this prohibition continues to be held, its persistence while other non-reproductive sexual acts have become acceptable, suggests that there is another powerful force at work: our desire to differentiate ourselves, erotically and in every other way, from animals.

Almost a century ago, when Freud had just published his groundbreaking Three Essays on Sexuality, the Viennese writer Otto Soyka published a fiery little volume called Beyond the Boundary of Morals. Never widely known, and now entirely forgotten, it was a polemic directed against the prohibition of "unnatural" sex like bestiality, homosexuality, fetishism and other non-reproductive acts. Soyka saw these prohibitions as futile and misguided attempts to limit the inexhaustible variety of human sexual desire. Only bestiality, he argued, should be illegal, and even then, only in so far as it shows cruelty towards an animal. Soyka's suggestion indicates one good reason why some of the acts described in Dekkers book are clearly wrong, and should remain crimes. Some men use hens as a sexual object, inserting their penis into the cloaca, an all-purpose channel for wastes and for the passage of the egg. This is usually fatal to the hen, and in some cases she will be deliberately decapitated just before ejaculation in order to intensify the convulsions of its sphincter. This is cruelty, clear and simple. (But is it worse for the hen than living for a year or more crowded with four or five other hens in a barren wire cage so small that they can never stretch their wings, and then being stuffed into crates to be taken to the slaughterhouse, strung upside down on a conveyor belt and killed? If not, then it is no worse than what egg producers do to their hens all the time.)

But sex with animals does not always involve cruelty. Who has not been at a social occasion disrupted by the household dog gripping the legs of a visitor and vigorously rubbing its penis against them? The host usually discourages such activities, but in private not everyone objects to being used by his or her dog in this way, and occasionally mutually satisfying activities may develop. Soyka would presumably have thought this within the range of human sexual variety.

At a conference on great apes a few years ago, I spoke to a woman who had visited Camp Leakey, a rehabilitation center for captured orangutans in Borneo run by Birute Galdikas, sometimes referred to as "the Jane Goodall of orangutans" and the world's foremost authority on these great apes. At Camp Leakey, the orangutans are gradually acclimatised to the jungle, and as they get closer to complete independence, they are able to come and go as they please. While walking through the camp with Galdikas, my informant was suddenly seized by a large male orangutan, his intentions made obvious by his erect penis. Fighting off so powerful an animal was not an option, but Galdikas called to her companion not to be concerned, because the orangutan would not harm her, and adding, as further reassurance, that "they have a very small penis." As it happened, the orangutan lost interest before penetration took place, but the aspect of the story that struck me most forcefully was that in the eyes of someone who has lived much of her life with orangutans, to be seen by one of them as an object of sexual interest is not a cause for shock or horror. The potential violence of the orangutan's come-on may have been disturbing, but the fact that it was an orangutan making the advances was not. That may be because Galdikas understands very well that we are animals, indeed more specifically, we are great apes. This does not make sex across the species barrier normal, or natural, whatever those much-misused words mean, but it does imply that it ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings. 

On December 30, 2011, Thomas Granger Day was established. Thomas Granger, a teenager living in Plymouth Colony and charged with bestiality, was executed by hanging on September 8, 1642. On September 8th of each year, those commemorating Thomas Granger Day mourn his death and call for the repeal of all laws criminalizing bestiality.


The account of Thomas Granger as related by William Bradford is as follows:

Ther was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger; he was servant to an honest man of Duxbery, being aboute 16 or 17 years of age. (His father and mother lived at the same time at Sityate.) He was this year detected of buggery (and indicted for the same) with a mare, a cowe, tow goats, five sheep, 2 calves, and a turkey. Horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the historie requires it. He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practise towards the mare. (I forbear perticulers.) Being upon it examined and committed, in the end he not only confest the fact with that beast at that time, but sundrie times before, and at severall times with all the rest of the forenamed in his indictmente; and this his free-confession was not only in private to the magistrates, (though at first he strived to deney it,) but to sundrie, both ministers and others, and afterwards, upon his indictemente, to the whole court and jury; and confirmed it at his execution. And whereas some of the sheep could not so well be knowne by his description of them, others with them were brought before him, and he declared which were they, and which were not. And accordingly he was cast by the jury, and condemned, and after executed about the 8 of Sept 1642. A very sade spectakle it was; for first the mare, and then the cowe, and the rest of the lesser catle, were kild before his face, according to the law, Levit: 20.15 and then he him selfe was executed. The catle were all cast into a great and large pitte that was digged of purposs for them, and no use made of any part of them. 

On December 17, 2012, Kelse Hillery posted an article entitled Bestiality & Libertarianism on the website Beyond The GOP. It was another major call by a Libertarian Intellectual Leader for the Decriminalization of Bestiality. That position paper reads as follows:

Often in gay marriage debates, the question arises: If we allow gay marriage, what next? Bestiality? Conor Friersdorf - who supports gay marriage - thinks this is silly, and claims that because an animal cannot consent to sex with a human, then libertarians should not worry about the ethics of criminalizing bestiality. 

Here is a good reply by Samuel Goldman at The American Conservative, which very effectively refutes Friersdorf's point. Sure, animals don't consent to sex - but nor do they consent to being killed and eaten, or being trapped in a house as pets, and most people don't worry about that. But what does this mean for libertarianism? Goldman believes that "libertarians can offer no principled defense of laws prohibiting bestiality" and that, therefore, the continued existence of bestiality laws "will be because human nature revolts against the implications of libertarianism." 

It seems correct to say that libertarians certainly cannot come up with a principled defense of anti-bestiality laws. At least, I haven't heard one or thought of one. But I do not take that to be at all opposed to human nature. 

There are two issues that Goldman's argument mixes together. First is the question of whether "human nature revolts at the thought of bestiality. I think most people would say yes. But the more important question is whether bestiality should be something that the government punishes through the criminal law. Libertarians would say no, even if they answered yes to the first question. 

And how does human nature revolt against non-punishment? I don't see lots of people clamoring to throw "zoosexuals" in prison. I don't even see them believing that the only just response to man-on-donkey sex is that the man suffer punishment. It's not as though people have a "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" response to bestiality, as they would for, say, theft or murder. More likely, normal people just don't want to deal with others who have sex with animals - which, of course, they would be able to do in a libertarian society.

I'm sure Conor Friersdorf's heart is in the right place. But I don't think he does his cause any good when he tries to argue that really, liberals and libertarians can find a way to criminalize bestiality. To do so blurs the line between social mores and government action, so that they are treated as essentially the same thing, and then allows the opposition to say that your position somehow "shocks the conscience" if it doesn't allow government action to preserve social mores, as though a failure to punish bestiality amounts to support for bestiality itself. 

This is important because statists use this same argument against libertarians not only for bestiality, but also when discussing things like drug use, discrimination, child labor, or prostitution - all of which libertarians want to legalize but do not necessarily condone.

Just because someone believes that something should be legal does not mean that person likes it. What really shocks my conscience is that some people would add to an already over-crowded prison system for something as frivolous as bestiality.

Bestiality has been legal in Germany since 1969 when it was removed from the criminal code. After that, sex with animals was only punishable if the animal was severely injured. However, this gave rise to Erotic Zoos being formed as for-profit businesses both in Germany and in Sweden. As a result, a bestiality ban has now been reinstated in Germany and will also take effect January 1, 2014 in Sweden. These new bans will outlaw Erotic Zoos where individuals pay money to have sex with goats, llamas and other animals. Zoosexual Advocates oppose the reinstatement of the ban. Michael Kiok, a lobbyist for ZETA (Zoophiles Commitment To Tolerance & Enlightment) says there are 100,000 zoophiles in Germany alone and that "mere morals have no place in law."

Does a person have a constitutional right to have sex with an animal he or she owns? Of course, the argument can be made that you have the constitutional right to use and dispose of your property as you see fit. But in Florida, Carlos Romero, owner of a miniature donkey named Doodle claimed the state's new anti-bestiality law deprived him of his "personal liberty and autonomy when it comes to private intimate activities" in violation of his "due process rights" and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Mr. Romero eventually accepted a plea bargain, paid a fine, surrendered his animal and agreed to be placed on probation for one year. Still, he was unrepentant. Defending his actions, he explained that critters "do not seek other pleasures" and their feelings are "100 percent honest" as opposed to "promiscuous" humans, who "stab you in the back, give you diseases (and) lie to you."

Will this issue eventually reach the Supreme Court of the United States? Only time will tell but one thing is certain, the Libertarian Party and some of its leaders have inadvertently sparked a modern Zoosexual Rights Movement and the reaction from others in the Libertarian Party has been explosive, some saying they are prepared to "shoot dead" anyone advocating for the legalization of bestiality. Deep emotions are involved in the debate over the decriminalization of bestiality and it is possible this issue could cause the Libertarian Party to crack wide open.

For more discussions and information on the issue of bestiality, visit: http://fashiontivity.com/fashion-fact/Bestiality and http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2009-08-20/news/those-who-practice-bestiality-say-they-re-part-of-the-next-gay-rights-movement/

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Legalize Prostitution, Says Thomas Robert Stevens, Personal Freedom Party Candidate For NYC Public Advocate

Thomas Robert Stevens, the Personal Freedom Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate, has called for the immediate decriminalization of all sexual service contracts. In a statement issued June 11, 2013, Dr. Stevens said the following:

"Sexual and physical pleasure are desired by men and women alike. Many times consenting adults engage in activities that lead to acts creating that physical pleasure, such as dating, going to clubs, entering into a relationship or even marrying. However, there are times when individuals may seek to get right down to business without having to pay the ancillary transaction costs associated with obtaining that sexual and physical pleasure. If two consenting adults choose to enter into a written or oral contract for the provision of sexual services, they should be able to do so without their being identified as criminals, arrested, fined, jailed and possibly shamed all because some people might consider paying for sexual pleasure immoral. If no one is being harmed by the activity and the people involved seek the transaction, then it should not be any business of the government to try to stop it and tax money should certainly not be spent trying to eradicate this victimless crime.

Some people believe it is morally wrong to engage in sexual relations outside marriage, to pay someone for a no-strings attached sexual or physical interaction, to participate in group sex, lap dances, stripping, gay sex, non-traditional heterosexual sex and a host of other activities, and those individuals shouldn't engage in those acts if that is their belief. However, having laws that criminalize activities between consenting adults who are causing no harm to anyone, and, in fact, are engaging in behavior utilitarians would recognize as creating net pleasure for all the parties involved, should not be the subject of government scrutiny. Those consenting adults own their own bodies and can do with them as they see fit. It shouldn't be a crime to receive something of value in return for what most people give away for free.

Criminalizing this particular activity is a reflection of legislators trying to incorporate morality into the law and in this case, it is not justified. If the government is concerned about the spread of disease, it shouldn't be because that should be the concern of the individuals participating in the sexual encounter. Men and women who sleep with different partners every night are responsible for their own conduct. The exchange of money or other valuable consideration does not alter who is responsible for one's own activities and for engaging in safe sex. If a pimp takes a percentage of a sex worker's profit under the threat of force, that activity is illegal and the pimp can and should be prosecuted. If a customer assaults a sex worker, or vice-versa, the offender can file criminal charges and those charges will be taken seriously by law enforcement if sexual service contracts were legal. If the issue is human trafficking, forcing people to engage in prostitution against their will and with partners not of their choice is illegal and can be investigated and addressed. If the problem is street solicitation, then legalization will enable willing parties to meet online, or through any number of companies advertising sexual services when corporations are able to form for the newly legal purposes.

The seller of sexual services can charge a flat fee or can offer an itemized list of special services that are available for a fee. The contract can provide for the provider to dress up as a French Maid, a High School Cheerleader, a Fraternity Pledge Master, a Prep School Geek and can cater to whatever a person's fantasies and/or fetishes may be. The encounter may or may not involve sexual acts or physical pleasure but that is up to the parties to decide. New businesses will open, more people will be legally employed and the government will be able to get its nose out of where it doesn't belong.

Unfortunately, the legalization of sexual service contracts are increasingly being opposed for different reasons by both the political right and the political left. However, a correct analysis of the underlying philosophical principles leads to the definitive conclusion that contracts of this nature should not be viewed differently from any other contract involving a trade. The government should not be expending resources and using the law in an effort to suppress activity highly sought after by many individuals who have no moral problem with an explicit exchange of valuable consideration in return for sexual and physical pleasure. In the end, everyone pays for sexual and physical encounters, one way or the other. People should be free to make their own decisions how, and in what manner, they wish to obtain the release and pleasure they seek. The government should have no role in this area and government agents should not be put in the position of acting as Morality Police."

Thomas Robert Stevens obtained the nomination of the Personal Freedom Party to run for New York City Public Advocate at a convention held on May 11, 2013. At that convention, Sam Sloan was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Mayor and Kristin Davis was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Comptroller.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kristin Davis, Libertarian Party Candidate For NYC Comptroller, Says The Legalization & Regulation Of Marijuana Is The Centerpiece Of Her Campaign To Restore New York City's Fiscal Health

Kristin Davis, the Libertarian Party's candidate for New York City Comptroller, said, "the legalization and regulation of marijuana is the centerpiece of my campaign to restore New York City's fiscal health" and that she supports "full legalization".

In a News Release dated June 5, 2013, Ms. Davis said, in part:

As you may have read, both Washington and Colorado recently legalized the sale of marijuana in those states. Now, both states will realize billions of dollars in new state revenues and hundreds of millions in savings from ending the prosecution and incarceration of people for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Isn't it time to do this in New York?

According to Mayor Bloomberg, next year New York City faces a $2.2 billion budget deficit. This is the same Mayor Bloomberg who says medicinal marijuana is a hoax! Thousands of sick or terminally ill people have benefited from marijuana. More and more doctors agree it has some medicinal benefits and may ease pain more safely than drugs like Percocet and Oxycontin.

It's absurd. Alcohol and tobacco are both far more harmful and both are legal, regulated and taxed. In fact, I say marijuana should be LEGALIZED, REGULATED LIKE WINE AND TAXED IN NEW YORK CITY!

Yes, it's time we legalize pot in New York City. The legalization and taxation of marijuana in New York City could not only wipe out this deficit but also create a multi-million dollar surplus.

I am running for New York City Comptroller, the Chief Financial Officer of New York City Government. The legalization and regulation of marijuana is the centerpiece of my campaign to restore New York City's fiscal health. My advocacy comes from an economic perspective and a deep belief in personal freedom even though I, myself have never even smoked "pot". My background is in business and Wall Street.

As a candidate for New York City Comptroller, I favor the legalization, regulation and taxation of Marijuana over tax increases on the working families of New York City. The single best way to solve New York City's financial problems, without raising taxes, is to legalize "pot" and to do it now! 

A vote for me will clearly be read by the media as a vote for legalizing and taxing marijuana in New York. 

Donald Silberger, a long-time activist in the New York Libertarian Party, responded to Kristin Davis' statement by saying:

This woman richly deserves our backing. She's libertarian to the core, and she's canny about how to entice potential voters. Posit yourself publicly as a referendum-in-the-flesh! Yes! Way to go, Kristin Davis!

Kristin Davis obtained the Libertarian Party's nomination for Comptroller at the New York City Nominating Convention held on April 9, 2013 at the New York Irish Center in Long Island City, New York.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Attorney Paul Rossi Resents & Rejects Criticisms Of His Legal Competency Regarding The Dismissal Of The Johnson Campaign's Petition For Costs And Attorney Fees Against The Pennsylvania Republican Party

In a letter to the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania dated June 4, 2013, Paul Rossi, the attorney who helped the party successfully defeat GOP challenges to its submitted nomination papers to get Gary Johnson and its statewide candidates on the ballot in 2012, explained the rationale of Judge Colins in denying the Johnson campaign's petition for costs and attorney fees, and defending the timing of the filed petition.

Mr. Rossi also blasted LPPA party members who questioned his legal competence on social media sites, saying, in part:

I resent and reject any criticism from any member of your party that alleges that the motion should have or could have been filed any sooner than it was actually filed. Those individuals merely demonstrate that they lack the legal training sufficient to understand the legal basis and rationale under which the motion was filed with the Court. Furthermore, I would point out that many of these individuals were largely non-existent in August, September and October, and certainly were of no help to complete the post-petition audit sooner than it was able to be completed. I would also respectfully suggest that the legal success that I was able to secure for your party in both the Commonwealth and Supreme Courts in 2012 ought to have entitled me to a phone call from these party members to discuss Judge Colin's decision before they decided to engage in defamatory speech against my representation of a client in which they had no direct interest, nor were privy to the confidential discussion of legal issues and tactics sufficient for them to form an opinion based on facts.

The entirety of the portion of the letter dealing with "The National Campaign's Motion for Costs and Attorney Fees" is as follows:

"As you are aware, the national campaign decided in late 2012 to seek costs and fees from the Pennsylvania Republican Party based on information developed after an extensive (and time consuming) audit of the available work papers generated during the court-ordered review of your 2012 nomination papers. As you are also aware, Judge Colins denied the national campaign's motion. Subsequent media reporting of Judge Colins' decision was scant and abbreviated. As a result, the precise nature of Judge Colins' decision has not been properly presented to your membership. I want to address and clarify a few of the misconceptions that have, apparently, arisen as a result of the poor quality of the media coverage of Judge Colins' decision.

* The decision to seek costs and fees from the GOP was a decision taken by the national campaign committee. My client was the national campaign, not the state party. Accordingly, no officer, or any other member of the state party bears responsibility for the decision or the time table to file the fee petition against the GOP.

* The legal foundation for the fee petition was based on an extensive audit of the available work papers generated during the signature review process. The audit, begun on October 12, 2012, lasted 2 1/2 months and required over 400 hours to complete. The audit encompassed a review and comparison of over 375,000 different data points and uncovered systemic GOP violation of Judge Colins' own order detailing certain conduct expected of both parties during the signature review process. In short, the audit uncovered conclusive evidence that the GOP intentionally manipulated the daily reporting of signature review totals by improperly depressing the total number of valid and unchallenged signatures on a daily basis.

* The GOP's manipulation of early data was clearly done to impose the maximum amount of pressure on Libertarian candidates to withdraw their nomination papers to avoid the explicit GOP threat to seek the imposition of their costs and attorney fees against your party in the event the Court rejected your 2012 nomination papers.

* I volunteered/donated over 400 hours of my time to complete the audit for the national campaign committee. Due to the large amount of data that had to be reviewed and the complete lack of financial resources to hire an accounting firm to do the audit for the campaign committee, I was not able to complete the audit until mid-December, at which point I immediately (i.e. the very next day) filed our petition for costs and fees with Commonwealth Court.

On this point, given the large number of hours that I donated to your party to help establish if there was a proper basis to file a motion for costs and fees against the GOP, I resent and reject any criticism from any member of your party that alleges that the motion should have or could have been filed any sooner than it was actually filed. Those individuals merely demonstrate that they lack the legal training sufficient to understand the legal basis and rationale under which the motion was filed with the Court. Furthermore, I would point out that many of these individuals were largely non-existent in August, September and October, and certainly were of no help to complete the post-petition audit sooner than it was able to be completed. I would also respectfully suggest that the legal success that I was able to secure for your party in both the Commonwealth and Supreme Courts in 2012 ought to have entitled me to a phone call from these party members to discuss Judge Colin's decision before they decided to engage in defamatory speech against my representation of a client in which they had no direct interest, nor were privy to the confidential discussion of legal issues and tactics sufficient for them to form an opinion based on facts.

* Because the GOP's bad-faith conduct was intentionally hidden from both the Libertarian Party and the Court, the systemic nature of the bad-faith conduct was not, and could not have been, discovered except upon completion of the post-petition audit of the many documents generated during the review of your nomination papers. Accordingly, the national campaign could not have filed the motion for costs and fees until after the national campaign had good-faith evidence of the GOP's vexatious conduct which was established only in late-December, 2012.

* The national campaign's motion for costs and attorney fees was filed pursuant to the "discovery rule" of the "doctrine of equitable tolling" which provides that any deadline to file a claim with a court does not begin to run until after the injured party has discovered the legal basis to file a claim.

For instance, if you discover that your neighbor poisoned your well water 5 years ago, the two year deadline to file a lawsuit against your neighbor does not start to run until after you discover the facts necessary to support a lawsuit against your neighbor. The national campaign properly argued that because the GOP intentionally hid their bad-faith conduct from the Libertarian Party, their systemic conduct could not have been reasonably discovered until December 2012, and, therefore, their motion for costs and fees was timely filed with Commonwealth Court. Accordingly, contrary to the AP story, the national campaign did not file their motion in violation of any established deadline.

Furthermore, Rule 2751 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure (the Rules that govern litigation procedure in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court) does not impose a specific deadline to file a motion for costs and/or attorney fees in Commonwealth Court. Instead, the Rules impose a duty on a party seeking the imposition of costs and/or attorney fees against an opposing party to file the motion "before the record is remanded, unless the appellate court, for cause shown, shall otherwise direct." Since the challenge to your nomination papers was filed directly with Commonwealth Court, there was no other court to which the record could be remanded, and therefore, there was no effective deadline imposed by Rile 2751 for the national campaign to file a motion for costs and/or fees in this case.

* Judge Colins also expressly noted in his opinion that Section 5505 of the Pennsylvania Judicial Code (the statutory provision under which we sought attorney fees) does not impose any deadline to file a petition for attorney fees as a sanction for bad-faith conduct. Judge Colins further explained that there is also no case law that imposed any deadline to file a fee petition under Section 5505 of the Judicial Code. Accordingly, the decision by the national campaign committee to file a petition for costs and attorney fees was not made beyond any established statutory deadline.

* In fact, in response to the fee petition, and recognizing the strength of our legal arguments, the GOP made a financial offer to settle the litigation. The decision was made by the national campaign that our legal position was strong enough to reject the GOP's financial offer and to seek the full amount of costs and fees demanded by the petition.

* Instead, Judge Colins denied our fee petition based in large part on his determination that because both sides had worked diligently toward resolving the status of contested signatures, the GOP's conduct did not rise to the level of bad faith sufficient to warrant the imposition of costs and fees (a legal determination with which I do not agree). Specifically, the Court explained:

Objectors (the GOP) did challenge over 10,000 signatures that were in fact valid and not the subject of any legal dispute and erroneously contested over 2,000 valid signatures in the initial round of signature review  and  stipulation. Although  the  large  number  of  erroneous challenges  is  disturbing,  it  does  not  by  itself  show  bad  faith  by Objectors where Objectors also affirmatively cooperated to resolve the validity disputes by stipulation and there was a substantial amount of error on both sides.  Candidates submitted over 24,000 signatures that theultimately stipulated  invalidand Candidates’  reviewers  in  the initial round of signature review refused to stipulate to the invalidity of over  6,000  signatures  that  their  attorney  lateagreed  could  be stricken.  While the Court recognizes that Candidates had reason to be willing to strike contested signatures to expedite the resolution of the ballot challenge because they did not need those signatures, it cannot be said that Objectors initial contentions on signature validity were less accurate than Candidates positions or that Objectors initial reviewers acted significantly differently from Candidates initial reviewers.  Given the closeness of the margin of valid signatures here in comparison to the number of signatures required and submitted, coupled with the professionalism and cooperation by Objectors, as well as Candidates, in resolving tens of thousands of signature disputes by stipulation, neither costs nor attorney fees in defending the Petition to Set Aside as a whole are warranted.

In other words, part of the reason that Judge Colins rejected the national campaign's motion for costs and fees was based, in part, on the fact that the Libertarian candidates submitted so many invalid signatures that the scales of justice balanced out such that the GOP's conduct was no worse than that of the Libertarian Party's conduct.

Judge Colins rejected our "equitable tolling" argument in support of the motion's timeliness based on his analysis that because we were aware of certain instances of GOP errors during the signature review that we were on sufficient notice of the GOP's conduct to have filed a fee petition earlier than late-December. In short, Judge Colins determined, in his mind, that we simply should have filed sooner than we did and that the national campaign had "sat" on their claims for too long - a novel standard that flatly ignores the fact that the GOP intentionally hid their conduct from both the Court and the Libertarian Party, and the 2 1/2 months that it took to uncover their bad faith was necessary for the national campaign to ethically file, in good faith, the petition for costs and fees.

At the outset, the national campaign committee understood that it would be very difficult to secure an award of costs and fees against the GOP because Judge Colins had openly complimented, in written opinions, legal counsel for both the Libertarians and the GOP. We had the difficult hurdle of trying to convince Judge Colins to publicly reverse his prior glowing characterizations of both litigation teams involved in the 2012 challenge to your nomination papers.

While the primary goal of the petition for costs and fees was to financially punish the GOP for its conduct during their challenge to your 2012 nomination papers, a secondary goal was to place the GOP on notice that they too can be threatened with the imposition of costs and attorney fees if and when their challenge to your nomination papers fail in the future. This initial salvo against the GOP will be aggressively reinforced the next time they seek to challenge your nomination papers. In fact, the new First Amendment litigation that the Board has authorized is part of a broader litigation strategy to deprive the GOP of easy challenges to your nomination papers and to make it easier for the Libertarians to establish the GOP's bad faith conduct if they insist on making challenges in the future without a proper good faith basis."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Attorney Paul Rossi Strongly Encourages The LPPA To Actively Campaign Against GOP Nominee Vic Stabile For Superior Court Judge

In a letter dated June 4, 2013 to the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, Paul Rossi, the attorney who helped the party successfully defeat GOP challenges to its submitted petitions to get Gary Johnson and its statewide candidates on the ballot in 2012, has strongly encouraged the LPPA to "actively campaign against the election of Mr. Stabile" for the vacant seat on the Superior Court.

In an indictment of the character and impartiality of Vic Stabile, Paul Rossi, a registered Republican, said, "Mr. Stabile is a GOP political hack who lacks the judicial temperament to be a judge on the Superior Court. Furthermore, he will not be an impartial judge. Mr. Stabile will be very biased in favor of any legal position advocated by the GOP."

Paul Rossi's complete statement on the issue was the following:

Vic Stabile is the GOP nominee for the vacant seat on the Superior Court to be decided in the 2013 general election. Vic Stabile was one of the GOP attorneys fighting to remove your candidates from the 2012 general election ballot. In fact, he is the attorney that became very aggressive toward one of your reviewers when he refused to rush through the signature review process; an agitated Mr. Stabile actually puffed out his chest and moved in a physically aggressive manner toward your reviewer. the Court bailiff had to step in to prevent Mr. Stabile from taking any further aggressive actions against your reviewer.

Mr. Stabile is a GOP political hack who lacks the judicial temperament to be a judge on the Superior Court. Furthermore, he will not be an impartial judge. Mr. Stabile will be very biased in favor of any legal position advocated by the GOP.

I would strongly encourage the LPPA to actively campaign against the election of Mr. Stabile in November.

Dr. Tom Stevens, Immediate Past Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, stated:

It is extremely important for the LPPA to field its own Libertarian Party judicial candidate for the vacant seat on the Superior Court that will be filled this year. In that way, our candidate can point out our party's experience in dealing with Vic Stabile and use the opportunity to call for ballot access reform. 

The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania is a political party and we must recruit and run Libertarian Party candidates for public office. The party must work hard to recruit libertarians willing to put in the time, effort and money necessary to get elected. At the very least, the party has the responsibility to field Libertarian Party candidates who can intelligently and persuasively set forth libertarian solutions to the very real problems faced by our state and nation. 

I fear that those anarchist "Vote for Nobody" types who currently hold influence in the party, aided by those who sometimes appear to be acting in the best interests of the Republican Party instead of the Libertarian Party, will make sure the Libertarian Party nominates no one for the vacant seat on the Superior Court, and if they do nominate someone, you can be sure they will not put in the effort to get that candidate on the ballot this November. Heed my warning. Mark my words. I doubt I am wrong. See for yourself in the coming months. 

Dr. Tom Stevens served as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania from April 22, 2012 to April 5, 2013.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Attorney Paul Rossi Warns LPPA Of GOP Operatives Sent To Cause Internal Strife In Advance Of 2014 Gubernatorial Race

In 2012, the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania pulled off what has been called the "Pennsylvania Miracle" when it defeated GOP challenges to its filed petitions seeking to place Gary Johnson and other statewide Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot in November. It took 84 volunteers, 9 weeks of work and a number of Court challenges to obtain this extraordinary victory.

Richard Winger of Ballot Access News described this victory as follows:

Tom Stevens led the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party to the greatest ballot access victory in the state party's history. The Pennsylvania Libertarian Party's 2012 ballot access victory was the first time any statewide minor party or independent candidate for statewide office has ever defeated a challenge backed by one of the two major parties.

Immediately after the November election, Dr. Tom Stevens, LPPA State Chair at the time, began a push to recruit at least 40 candidates to run for elective office in 2013 and as many, or more, to run in 2014. He also began a candidate search to find the strongest possible gubernatorial candidate to run in 2014. These efforts were widely reported. Many new County Organizations were organized and membership in the state party almost doubled in the months that followed. Then came unrelenting personal attacks against Dr. Stevens by former Republican Party members who came to the LP under suspicious circumstances and who joined efforts with others who didn't gather petition signatures in 2012, didn't volunteer one day to help in the petition defense against the GOP challenge, didn't support Gary Johnson for President or the other statewide LP candidates and a number of whom actually encouraged people to Vote For Nobody. These daily personal attacks were disseminated widely resulting in much internal strife within the party. Many LPPA members resigned or left the party completely and others were simply disgusted.

Dr. Stevens shouted from the mountaintops he had received confirmation from GOP sources that the Corbett Campaign and the GOP had made a decision to send GOP operatives into the LPPA to degrade its ability to obtain sufficient petition signatures to place a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot in 2014. Those operatives had two goals. Take down Tom Stevens, viewed by many as the Iron Man who rallied the troops in defense of the GOP petition challenge in 2012, and to cause enough internal strife so the party would be so weakened it would not be able to gather enough valid petition signatures to place a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot in 2014. The discord created had its predictable effect and many good people left. The unity of the party was destroyed.

Paul Rossi, the attorney who represented the Libertarian Party in the defense of its petitions against the GOP challenge in 2012, sent a letter dated June 4, 2013 to the members of the Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. That letter covers many topics but Section IV entitled GOP Campaign To Disrupt "Third Party" Gubernatorial Aspirations backed up much of what Dr. Tom Stevens, former LPPA State Chair, had warned about. That section, in its entirety, reads as follows:

Trusted Republican operatives have reported that the Corbett campaign is engaged in an ongoing and current effort to discourage the Libertarian and Constitution parties from supporting gubernatorial candidates in 2014.

In May of 2012, the Corbett campaign commissioned an internal poll to gauge the damage the firing and subsequent death of Joe Paterno caused to Corbett’s re-election effort. According to my friends in the Republican establishment, the poll commissioned by the Corbett campaign convinced Corbett’s top campaign managers that Corbett cannot win re-election if a Libertarian candidate (and to a lesser extent, a Constitution candidate) is placed on the 2014 general election ballot.

Obviously, turnout of your voter registration base for a Libertarian candidate does not threaten Tom Corbett with electoral ruin. In any normal year, the GOP would consider a Libertarian candidate a mere nuisance in a statewide election contest. However, the Corbett campaign is very worried that the GOP base in both Central Pennsylvania and Happy Valley is sufficiently angry over Paterno’s firing that they may be willing to cast votes against Corbett by voting for a Libertarian candidate. Certain GOP voters who are unlikely to vote for a Left-Wing Democratic ghoul are, nevertheless, sufficiently angry at Corbett to vote Libertarian in 2014. Furthermore, owing to the GOP’s recent failure to successfully challenge your nomination papers, the Corbett campaign seems more willing to take immediate pro-active measures to interfere with your ability and/or willingness to support a 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

Moving forward, you should be on alert and guard yourselves against unknown individuals who seek to implicate themselves into Libertarian politics who may have a hidden agenda contrary to the interests of Pennsylvania Libertarians. The Corbett campaign is very sophisticated and well-funded - they have staffers to spare to conjure political mischief. The Corbett campaign has at its disposal a quiver of dirty tactics that could be brought to bear against your party. Please be vigilant.

Matthew Kelly, Membership Committee Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, commented on Rossi's warning as follows:
"Anyone who has been active in the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania during the past six (6) months, is well aware of who has worked hard to recruit new members and candidates, to organize new county organizations, to work on promoting a libertarian agenda in public policy and who has spend every hour of their waking time tearing down the party, attacking people personally, and undermining the reputation of hard-working libertarians who have volunteered years of their life to promote the Libertarian Party. Unfortunately, the slash-and-burn agenda of those committed to causing long term harm to the LPPA is not at first obvious to the politically unseasoned, many of whom have been newly recruited to the LPPA.

Roy Minet, who along with Dr. Tom Stevens and John Karr, were called Libertarian Ballot Access Heroes by LP News, is running for State Chair at the LPPA Annual Convention scheduled to be held on June 8, 2013 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I fully endorse Roy Minet for State Chair and feel he is the best person left to clean out the party of those who seek to undermine our mission. Unfortunately, in light of developing circumstances including who is hosting the convention, running the convention and credentialing delegates as well as the large number of party members who have publicly announced they will not be attending the convention, it may be too late to prevent the takeover by those who Rossi describes as those who may have a hidden agenda contrary to the interests of Pennsylvania Libertarians."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Applause! Applause! Review of Les Miserables at Cultural Arts Playhouse by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of Les Miserables performed at the Cultural Arts Playhouse was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 3 (2013) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Les Miserables
Cultural Arts Playhouse (625 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY)
Reviewed 6/1/13

Les Miserables is a musical based on the novel of the same name by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo. The book was first published in 1862 and is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. The musical has music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, book by Alain Bouhlil and Claude-Michel Schonberg with an English language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer. The original Broadway production opened on March 12, 1987 and ran until May 18, 2003, closing after 6,680 performances. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. 

This crowd-pleasing production of Les Miserables features a very talented cast and gives you more than your money's worth. I highly recommend it. Mike Newman's strong performance as Javert was the anchor of this production for the Law & Order side while Jordan Korgood did an extraordinary job playing Gavroche, the streetwise urchin who speaks for the poor and dies on the barricade helping the revolutionaries.  A fun fact is that in the novel, Gavroche is actually the abandoned son of the Thenardiers though this is not mentioned in the musical.  Monsieur & Madam Thenardier are thieves who run a small inn. They were bringing up Cosette until Jean Valjean rescues her. I was blown away with the performance of Madelin Dezego as Madam Thenardier. She has a powerful stage presence and is very charismatic. Both Ms. Dezego and Dan Ferrante, who played Jean Valjean, were understudies but you couldn't tell that watching them perform.

Michael Marmann and Ashley Nicasto, the King & Queen of the Cultural Arts Playhouse, play Marius Pontmercy and Cosette, respectively. Both live up to their reputation as highly talented rising stars. Jesse Pimpanella was stronger than I remember him in the role of Enjolras. Hilary Weinerman as Eponine and Sarah Berger as Fantine both put in solid performances. Jared Grossman, who usually plays bit parts, was able to shine in the role of Feuilly.  Similarly, Joseph "Jojo" Minasi made a significant contribution to the show as Joly. All the remaining actors were talented and impressive. None disappoint.

In explaining his ambitions for Les Miserables to his Italian publisher, Victor Hugo said, in part: "Social problems go beyond frontiers. Humankind's wounds, those huge sores that litter the world, do not stop at the blue and red lines drawn on maps. Wherever men go in ignorance or despair, wherever women sell themselves for bread, wherever children lack a book to learn from or a warm hearth, Les Miserables knocks at the door and says: 'open up, I am here for you'."

Don't miss this production of Les Miserables at the Cultural Arts Playhouse. You can find out more information at http://www.culturalartsplayhouse.com 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Credentialing Chaos Forces State Chair To Appoint Ad-Hoc Committee In Advance Of LPPA State Convention

The Business Meeting of the Annual Convention of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania is scheduled to take place at the Harrisburg Hilton on Saturday, June 8, 2013 with credentialing to begin the night before. Since James Babb of Montgomery County took over as "Convention Facilitator", a veil of secrecy has fallen on every aspect of the convention planning and credentialing process. Calls by Roy Minet, a candidate for LPPA State Chair, for information on who has registered for the convention and how their voting status will be determined has fallen on deaf ears with no response by anyone serving on the newly appointed Convention Committee.

This secrecy, fear of a rigged convention and Credentialing Chaos, forced Jim Fryman, LPPA State Chair, to appoint an Ad-Hoc Committee on May 31, 2013 to try to identify who will have been a member of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania for less or more than 180 days, as well as to check who is a registered Libertarian Party member, a prerequisite to being able to vote. Mr. Fryman wrote:

I am appointing an ad hoc credential committee of Marc Connuck, John Karr, and our secretary Ken Krawchuk, to determine a list of 180 day plus members and a separate list of less than 180 day members. This will enable us to start the convention knowing how many of each we have and avoid any squabbles. Please let me know if the three of you are able to accept this responsibility.

Ken Krawchuk, the elected LPPA Secretary who according to the Convention Rules must "certify the delegates at the beginning of the Convention", responded as follows:

Let's not confuse me with someone who knows what's going on. I have no idea who's a member, who's updating the database, where new and renewing memberships are going, who's processing them, or the validity of the info I do have.

With only 6 days left before the Annual Convention, Roy Minet, a candidate for LPPA State Chair, echoed similar concerns about the complete lack of attention that has been paid to determining who may and may not vote at the upcoming Annual Convention. Mr. Minet sent an e-mail on June 1, 2013 to James Babb (Convention Facilitator), Jim Fryman (State Chair), Patti Fryman (Treasurer), Betsy Summers (Eastern Vice-Chair), Ken Krawchuk (Secretary), John Karr (Election Committee Chair) and Marc Connuck (Membership Database Manager), in which he wrote:

Apparently, our records are not perfect. We were recently ready to unceremoniously write off Greg Teufel as Legal Committee Chair on the basis that his LPPA membership had lapsed over a year ago. That turned out to be very wrong and a surprise to Greg. He produced evidence that his membership had been paid through the end of 2012. He told me that he has renewed his membership for 2013, plans to remain active and wishes to continue as Legal Chair. 

It would seem like a good idea for the Credentials Committee (Ken, Marc, John) to determine the status of those registered for the June 8 convention and post the three lists of names (delegates who satisfy the 180-day rule, potential delegates if the rule is waived and non-delegates) on LpBoard-Business. That way, anyone who thinks they have been put into the wrong category can get it resolved ahead of time. We really don't want confusion, contention and delays at the convention, and the Judicial Committee has already been overworked this year!

Matthew Kelly, Membership Committee Chair, commented as follows:

Since Dr. Tom Stevens resigned as LPPA State Chair on April 5, 2013, no one has contacted me with respect to the Credentialing Plan we had in place to make certain our records were accurate and that only qualified LPPA members would be permitted to vote at the upcoming Annual Convention. The entire convention planning process was taken over by James Babb, "Convention Facilitator", and the Montgomery Libertarian Party County Committee, that is now "hosting" the Annual Convention in Dauphin County, where an existing local LP group already exists. The State Chair, the Membership Committee Chair, and the Convention Committee have been pushed aside, ignored and have not been consulted with respect to any aspect of the convention planning and credentialing process.

The Credentialing Plan we had in place was agreed to by me in my capacity as Membership Committee Chair and as the last appointed Acting Secretary, by Marc Connuck, Membership Database Manager working under my committee's direction, John Karr, Election Committee Chair, Tyler Kobel, Convention Committee Chair, and Dr. Tom Stevens, LPPA State Chair.

Shortly after January 1, 2013, Marc Connuck was instructed to identify those LPPA Members who would be eligible to vote if the 180-day voting requirement was waived and those who would be eligible to vote if it was not waived. The entire list then was to be sent over to John Karr, Election Committee Chair, to look in the Voter Registration Database and identify those LPPA members who were registered Libertarian (a requirement to vote) and those who were not. The list was to be published and sent to all LPPA members 30 days in advance of the convention so anyone contesting the accuracy of the information would have an opportunity to do so. Colored wrist bands were to be used to differentiate between the different classes of voting members and attendees.

The fact that we are less than a week away from the Annual Convention and no one knows who is eligible to vote is an extraordinary act of gross negligence on the part of the Board of Directors, Convention Organizers, the current Secretary, and the newly appointed members of the Convention Committee. Actions taken at the Business Meeting of the Annual Convention and the legitimacy of the election of new officers have all be thrown into question if it cannot be accurately determined who has the right to vote.

The Annual Convention of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania is scheduled to take place on June 7-8, 2013 at the Harrisburg Hilton located at 1 North 2nd Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101.