Tuesday, May 7, 2013

LPPA Judicial Committee Blasts The New Voting Disorder In The Post-Stevens Era

The Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania issued a unanimous decision on May 7, 2013 in which, in dicta, it blasted the new current voting disorder brought about through the procedures set up by the Board of Directors at a four and a half hour meeting held on April 13, 2013. During that meeting, chaired by Lawrence James Fryman, the new LPPA State Chair, the Board voted to establish two unmoderated Yahoo Groups: one for general Board Business Discussion where all LPPA members can post (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LPPA_BUS) and a second for motions, debate and voting to which only Board Members and Alternates can post (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LpBoard-Business). The Judicial Committee directed its criticism to this latter group, the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group.

Article V, Section 2 and Article V, Section 5 of the LPPA Bylaws, read together, permits the Transaction of Business Over The Internet. Section 2, reads, in part: The Board of Directors may without meeting together, transact business by mail or telephone, by voting on questions submitted to them by or with the approval of the Chair. Section 5, reads, in part: Any business of the Board of Directors can be conducted over the internet in the same manner as via mail or telephone. Prior to his resignation from the position of State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, Thomas Robert Stevens, now Immediate Past Chair, never chose to transact Board Business over the Internet and never submitted a motion to the Board of Directors by or with his approval. During his term in office, Dr. Stevens chose to have all motions debated and voted on at Board of Directors Meetings held in person or by teleconference, where minutes were always taken and proper parliamentary procedure was always followed.

The Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania issued the following statement regarding current voting disorder on the LpBoard-Business Yahoo Group:

During the last several months, the LPPA Board of Directors has been conducting much of its business via "LpBoard-Business@yahoogroups.com". This is in effect a continuous, round-the-clock board meeting at which motions are made without recognition by the Chair, sometimes without seconds, and at which the Secretary acts as the de facto presiding officer. Board members are apparently expected to monitor this "group" on a regular basis - plowing through a morass of objectionable language and commentary - in order to see whether any actual business motions are pending. Votes are then cast by being posted for other members to see.

At best this is a disorderly, confusing and time-intensive procedure, probably not one contemplated by the applicable bylaw, and one that operates oblivious to the applicable provisions of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (adherence to which is mandated by the Bylaws, Art. XIII).

Dr. Tom Stevens, Immediate Past Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, reacted as follows:

When you have anarchist influence in a private organization, you don't get 'spontaneous order', you get 'spontaneous disorder'. There is nothing un-libertarian about a private organization instituting a Communications Policy and enforcing it on the lists and social media sites it owns. There is nothing un-libertarian about warning individuals who consistently and repeatedly violate that Communications Policy and, in rare instances, to ban those individuals from party-owned lists. 

In most instances, the trouble is caused by a handful of Toxic Libertarians who personally attack others and who are unable to control their exhibitionist tendencies. If those individuals are given free reign to call others "dick-hugging bitches" and similar names, many devoted and committed volunteers will lose interest because they don't want to put up with the "childish behavior" and the "bullshit". They came to promote liberty and when they see a handful of malcontents engaging in personal attacks and destructive behavior, they will leave the group and find other avenues for their activism.

For an organization to thrive, it needs to have a vision and a strong, charismatic leader to inspire others to be an active part of the team. Those with natural leadership abilities and potential will rise to the top. This is the natural order of things. Allowing Toxic Libertarians, violent Anarchists, Vote for Nobody types and Fifth Column Infiltrators unchecked influence will only degrade the capability of a political organization to achieve its goals.    

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

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