Tuesday, June 15, 2021

An Open Letter to the Libertarian National Committee (from an Email to Joshua Smith)


Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to you in your capacity as an at-large member of the Libertarian National Committee. I'm also posting this letter to my personal blog, and hope that you will pass it on to the LNC via their business list.

Why am I writing to you specifically? Because we are factional / ideological opponents, and it seems to me that the statement I'm about to make is strengthened by sending it through someone I would not normally be expected to share much "common ground" with. Here's that statement:

It is my considered opinion that the Libertarian National Committee's legitimate affiliate in New Hampshire is the organization currently headed by interim chair Nolan Pelletier, rather than the new organization headed by Jilletta Jarvis.

It is also my considered opinion that properly identifying the legitimate affiliate and treating it, rather than some other organization, as the legitimate affiliate is the only action which the LNC is entitled to take in the matter. Everything else is either an internal Libertarian Party of New Hampshire dispute, or a dispute between the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire and another organization now using that name.

Vis a vis that dispute, here's why I must conclude that the Pelletier organization, rather than the Jarvis organization, is the legitimate affiliate:

Ms. Jarvis relied on LPNH bylaws Section IV(F)(2) -- "The Chair shall have the power to appoint persons to leadership roles within the State Party, subject to the confirmation of the Executive Committee, and may make immediate temporary appointments without confirmation if required to carry out tasks that require urgency" -- as justification for accepting the "constructive resignations" of the entire LPNH executive committee and all other party committees and their members, save herself.

That bylaws provision leaves a lot of room for skulduggery, and hopefully it will be amended in the future to more carefully outline the chair's powers (if nothing else, perhaps the Judicial Committee should be exempted from non-confirmed appointments so that there's someone to appeal abuse of it to).

But, even assuming that Ms. Jarvis had the power to do what she did with respect to the LPNH's committees, she did not have the power to dissolve the affiliate, replace it with an entirely new organization, and have that new organization automatically inherit the LNC affiliation which belonged to the old organization.

In announcing new "interim" bylaws and new membership requirements which were not approved by the LPNH membership in convention, Ms. Jarvis clearly established a new organization separate and distinct from the old one.

That new organization is not the LNC's New Hampshire affiliate, and cannot become the LNC's New Hampshire affiliate without a full vote of the LNC to 1) disaffiliate the Pelletier organization and 2) affiliate the Jarvis organization. Absent the first of those two actions on the LNC's part, the Pelletier organization remains the legitimate affiliate.

I've been a member of LPNH since 2016, and have served as a New Hampshire delegate to the Libertarian National Convention, although I don't think my dues are current. I'll be visiting New Hampshire for the first time later this month.  I hope that the LNC has resolved this matter in favor of the legitimate affiliate before I arrive there, and that I find an LPNH in the process of healing its divisions.

Best regards,
Tom Knapp


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