An open letter to the Libertarian National Committee

There’s an ongoing crisis in the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. I will not explain it here. If you know, you know. If you don’t and you care to know, it’s not that hard to find the details.

As I’m from Maine, the LPNH’s business is theirs, although I do have friends who I believe have been wronged, and have opinions on the matter, ultimately it’s their problem, as I do not want it interfering with the relatively better situation we have in the Maine Libertarian Party. Still there are tangential issues involving the Libertarian National Committee that I felt the need to address.

For posterity’s sake, I’m posting this letter after the jump:

Open Letter to the LNC.

I am Shawn Levasseur, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and a member of the national and Maine parties since 1992. Over the years, I’ve held many leadership positions in the Maine party, run for office many times, and am an elected official in my third term on the Knox County Budget Committee and serve as the Budget Committee’s chairman as of this past fall.

Despite my leadership status in the Maine LP, I do not claim to speak for the party, only myself as a concerned member.

Over my decades as a member, I do not recall ever before feeling the need to write to the LNC on whatever controversies are before it, until now. But the hyperbolic conflict I’m witnessing in the LNC discussion lists is disturbing me, and I feel the need to add my two cents.

I do not wish to comment directly on the events in New Hampshire this past week. I do have my opinions, but given my lack of direct knowledge of the details, I have little to add to the discussion useful to the LNC.

I do, however, wish to comment on other matters tangential to this that concern me. Specifically, the vague accusations tossed around or implied about LNC members. This involves my representation regionally and nationally on the LNC, so I feel that it is in order to express my concerns.

Accusations that the LNC Chair was somehow a co-conspirator of the LPNH Chair’s recent actions seem thin on the surface. If I understand correctly, he provided a document stating that Ms. Jarvis was the LPNH Chair, at a time at which that fact was not in dispute. Somehow it’s being implied that such a document was necessary to her subsequent actions. I don’t see how it could have contributed or aided her. If it were issued afterward, I’d understand the concern, but it wasn’t.

Given this, I can only presume that the motives for such accusations are either paranoia or an attempt at removing a rival from the LNC with a disingenuous charge (or given that it comes from several people, both may be in play)

I voted for our current LNC Chair at the national convention. I would be very disappointed at his removal, absent any solid proof of wrong-doing. If such a thing comes to pass, I will be ceasing my long-standing monthly pledge to the national party and no longer contribute, at least until a new LNC is elected at Reno next year.

I’m also disturbed by the call from the LPCT state committee for the recall of our Region 8 representative Tucker Coburn. It comes without any explanation, in a document otherwise about the LPNH situation. Without even the thinnest of accusations to back up the call, I’m worried that this too may be an exploitation of the situation to remove perceived opponents. Given Mr. Coburn’s lack of comment on the matter, I presume it is at least an attempt at admonishing him for not snapping to a judgment preferred by the LPCT committee.

The LPCT has the right to have input regarding its representation on the LNC. But as a member of a fellow New England state party in the region, I have the right to express my concerns about unfounded actions against him.

More importantly, I hope the LNC itself does not act to remove our regional representative. It would be an act against the state parties who chose him. It should be a matter for the state parties of region eight alone.

If there are more concrete accusations about Mr. Henchman or Mr. Coburn, they should be made public before any action against them.

I concede this may all be an expression of unfounded fears. But the ferocity of some LNC members on the LNC discussion list has stirred these fears up. Please do prove me to be wrong in fearing the upcoming LNC actions.

As part of the state committee of the Maine LP, I hope that the LPNH controversy has zero effect on our state’s party, as we enjoy a far more harmonious existence amongst members and leadership.

Discussions amongst the Maine LP’s state committee members show a desire for the party to stay out of the LPNH controversy as much as possible.

To that end, I do not want the LPME dragged into this controversy unnecessarily, and LNC action should be limited to keeping the LPNH situation isolated to New Hampshire as much as possible.