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.

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