Saturday, December 4, 2010

John Clifton, LPQC Chair, Resigns Manhattan LP Membership In Protest Over Its Treatment Of Stevens & Sloan

John Clifton, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County who previously served three terms as New York Libertarian Party State Chair and was the 2010 NYLP Candidate for United States Senator against Kirsten Gillibrand, announced his resignation as a member of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, effective November 30, 2010, in protest of its treatment of MLP members Sam Sloan and Dr. Tom Stevens.

In a resignation letter to Mark Axinn, New York State Libertarian Party Chair and Manhattan Libertarian Party Secretary/Treasurer, John Clifton wrote:

Upon reflection on the recent statements of Alden Link upon his resignation from the Manhattan Libertarian Party, I have also decided to resign from the MLP effective today, due to disappointment with, among other things, how members of its executive committee handled issues surrounding Sam Sloan's removal from the elected position as their representative to the LPNY state committee, and Tom Stevens' resignation from MLP. These were proud members of MLP, and are proud members of LPQC. I feel that we have treated members of our family badly.

I have heard both sides of each matter, and tend to side with MLP officers on the substance of their complaints about Sam, but feel it was not the call of the executive committee to remove him by an
internal vote, or to support the use of the suspension procedure used by the State Committee to expel him. I specifically advised this past summer that as an elected officer of MLP, under the county bylaws, it would require a convention vote to properly replace him as state rep.

I recommended a special convention be held if they wished to accomplish this quickly, but this option was ignored. Sloan also offered ways to de-escalate the matter that were rejected. The urge to punish and remove Sam appears to have superseded following a process that was within the bylaws, that would accept peace offerings short of punishment, or one that would allow the body to determine the fate of the state rep they elected.

As for Stevens, I am in agreement with a statement he has already widely distributed about the circumstances of his resignation from MLP, and call for the same remedies he identified as needed.

Although some would state it is time to "move on," I would reply that it is always easier to say that from the perspective of the truck driver, after running over pedestrians a mile back. So long as the same dynamic is in place that created the run over, nothing has truly "moved on."

I urge the executive committee to move forward and correct the matter by apologizing to Sam and Tom, and inviting them to rejoin.

Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC Political Director, responded to John Clifton's resignation as follows:

There is no reason why the Libertarian Party of Queens County and the Manhattan Libertarian Party, the first and second largest LP chapters in New York State, respectively, should not be peacefully cooperating in productive ways to advance the cause of liberty. 

Whatever political and personal problems existed between individuals on a statewide level, there were no problems between the Manhattan LP and the Queens LP until the MLP Libertarian Ruling Junta (a.k.a. MLP County Committee) decided to illegally remove Sam Sloan as the MLP's unanimously elected State Representative through the back door of suspending his membership and decided to declare war on the Queens LP by asking its Political Director to resign as an MLP member. 

Both Sam Sloan and Dr. Tom Stevens were proud members of the Manhattan Libertarian Party. Dr. Stevens served multiple times as its elected State Representative. Neither individual took any action against the Manhattan LP, its purposes or objectives. The MLP started this war and it is within their power to end it. Mark Axinn continues to speak about moving on but there can and will be no moving on. No Justice! No Peace!

Alden Link, LPQC Member and the Libertarian Party's candidate for Lt. Governor of New York State in 2010, resigned his membership in the Manhattan Libertarian Party on November 23, 2010.

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