Sunday, July 11, 2010

LPNY Split Wide Open: Sloan Circulates Rival Statewide Petitions & Hires Paid Petitioners

Sam Sloan, who like Kristin Davis, was denied the opportunity to communicate with eligible voting delegates prior to the State Convention of the Libertarian Party of New York being held, began circulating rival statewide petitions identical in every detail to those being circulated by the LPNY except that it lists Sam Sloan as the Libertarian Party's gubernatorial candidate instead of Warren Redlich, who was nominated at the LPNY State Convention held on April 24, 2010 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Albany New York. Mr. Sloan has hired a number of paid petitioners who are collecting petition signatures for him in a number of Congressional Districts throughout New York State.

It is Sam Sloan's position, which has been confirmed by election law experts at the New York City and New York State Board of Elections, that the Libertarian Party is not a recognized major or minor political party under New York State Election Law and that since all its candidates file Independent Nominating Petitions, that the first candidate petition to be filed for a particular elective office gets the right to use the Libertarian Party name.

Kristin Davis, Sam Sloan and Warren Redlich were the three announced candidates who were seeking the gubernatorial nomination of the Libertarian Party prior to the State Convention being held. Sam Sloan and Kristin Davis wanted to mail their campaign literature to eligible voting delegates in order to encourage them to attend the State Convention to vote for them. However, this opportunity was denied to both Kristin Davis and Sam Sloan. Ms. Davis decided to abandon her efforts to seek the LP nomination while Mr. Sloan decided to sue the Libertarian Party. Warren Redlich was handed the gubernatorial nomination by obtaining only 27 votes.

Kristin Davis, who is now running for governor as the candidate of the Anti-Prohibition Party, is still bitter regarding her experience with the Libertarian Party of New York and there is strong evidence she intends to challenge any petitions filed on Warren Redlich's behalf. In an e-mail dated July 8, 2010 to Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC Political Director and Founder of Empire State Libertarians, Andrew Miller, Director of Communications for the Kristin Davis campaign, wrote the following:

The New York Libertarian Party is a joke. As you know the "party" declined to give a list of potential convention voters to Ms. Davis prior to the meeting of their "club" which enjoys no recognition or status in New York State other than the distinction of never being able to win 50,000 votes because they have nominated candidates with no resources and no public identity. I am certain the petition for the Libertarian Party will be challenged - there is no place on the ballot for a man who advocates sex with under-age children.

On Friday, July 9, 2010, Sam Sloan filed two separate appeals with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The first appeal seeks to overturn the decision of Justice Edmead ruling that Sam Sloan's lawsuit to force the Libertarian Party of New York to turn over to him a list of eligible voting delegates was moot. The second appeal seeks to overturn Justice Edmead's Order dismissing Sam Sloan's lawsuit alleging a fraudulent election process on the grounds that the LPNY convention challenge is subject to a 10-day statute of limitations noted in the Election Law.

Prior to the LPNY State Convention, Sam Sloan obtained an Order from the Supreme Court of the State of New York signed by Justice Edmead ordering Chris Edes, the State Chair, to turn over to him a list of eligible voting delegates. Mr. Edes ignored that Order and when a Hearing was held, Justice Edmead, although stating that Mr. Edes was in contempt of court for ignoring her Order, nevertheless ruled that Sam Sloan's request for relief was moot since the LPNY State Convention had already been held. The basis of Sloan's appeal is that Justice Edmead, as a matter of law, failed to consider how many of the 300-400 LPNY members may have attended the State Convention had Sam Sloan been allowed to mail his campaign literature to them prior to the convention being held.

Sam Sloan's second lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York before Justice Edmead, argued that even though delegates were given a wristband identifying them as eligible to vote and even though Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC State Representative at the time, vehemently and publicly objected to Mark Axinn's decision to ignore the wristbands and to let people vote on the "honor system", the election went forward and resulted in actual fraud taking place during the vote on the gubernatorial nomination. Mr. Sloan has at least two witnesses who saw ineligible people vote, people voting twice, and people pocketing the votes of others as they collected other people's ballots in order to place them into a passing hat. Justice Edmead dismissed this second lawsuit claiming that the Election Law states that a 10-statute of limitations applies to anyone challenging a convention held by a "party committee". It is Mr. Sloan's contention that the Libertarian Party is not a "party committee" under the Election Law of the State of New York and that, therefore, Justice Edmead made an error in law when she found the statute of limitations applicable.

Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC Political Director and Founder of Empire State Libertarians, said:

It was going to be difficult enough to obtain a sufficient number of valid petition signatures to get the Redlich slate on the ballot but now with Kristin Davis likely to challenge the petitions and Sam Sloan circulating a rival statewide petition being carried by many LPNY activists, the task now becomes Herculean, despite the commitment of $25,000.00 from the national LP.

I must say that the Libertarian Party of New York has brought this entire situation upon itself. First, when you make peaceful revolution impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable. Hence, by denying Kristin Davis and Sam Sloan a level playing field to compete for the LPNY gubernatorial nomination, you end up forcing the reactions you have observed. In addition, Carl Person, the LPNY candidate for Attorney General, and I negotiated a proposed settlement of the first Sloan lawsuit where Mr. Sloan agreed to drop all challenges to the alleged corrupt process in return for being named as a replacement gubernatorial nominee should Warren Redlich resign from the race. Mark Axinn, LPNY Chair, refused to consider the compromise because of rules he has in his head about not letting anyone gain an advantage because of their having filed a lawsuit. The result was a second Sloan lawsuit and now the two appeals. In my rule book, I believe in settling when the best interests of the party are served especially if you know that individuals are claiming they witnessed actual fraud take place in the election process that nominated your party's gubernatorial nominee.

I believe Sam Sloan and Kristin Davis have raised issues that needed to be raised. I have been commenting on what I considered to be a biased process from December, 2009 right on through to the LPNY State Convention held on April 24, 2010. I have no idea what the outcome of this situation will be except that I will say that it could have been avoided.

Sam Sloan is the State Representative of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, and Dr. Tom Stevens is the Political Director of the Libertarian Party of Queens County. Dr. Stevens is also the Founder of Libertarian Patriots of New York and Empire State Libertarians.

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