Saturday, June 26, 2021

LPNH state conflict takes down LP national Chair

The unraveling of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire - New Hampshire Bulletin - Annmarie Timmins:

June 22, 2021 - "The war within the state’s Libertarian Party ... played out on Twitter, Facebook, and even on a nationally known podcast. It spurred allegations of data theft and prompted the party chair to secretly register a dueling Libertarian Party with the Secretary of State’s Office. It also led to the resignation Friday of Joe Bishop-Henchman, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. The national party’s regional representative for New Hampshire has also stepped down.... 

"The unraveling of the party is so complicated, several party members responded similarly when asked to explain it: 'How much time have you got?'.... This is an abridged version.

"The pandemic lockdowns ordered by Gov. Chris Sununu last year led a number of Republicans to file liberty-minded legislation seeking to restrain the governor’s emergency powers.... To some New Hampshire Libertarians, the state party did too little to oppose restrictions and champion that liberty-focused legislation. The lockdowns revealed a similar dispute over messaging that has been dividing Libertarians nationally for a few years, said Ben Richards, party member and state organizer of a subgroup within the party called the Mises Caucus.... 

"'The Libertarian Party, according to many people, has been very weak and tepid for many, many years,' Richards said. 'We want to bring the Ron Paul revolution ... to the party.' Richards said that kind of enthusiasm from the Mises Caucus has grown party membership in New Hampshire.... 'They barely had 100 members in the entire party at the state convention in March,' Richards said. 'We’ve brought in close to 30 in just the last few months, and it’s growing'.... Membership is now at about 160 people.

"During the state’s March convention, three members from each viewpoint were elected to the executive committee. Both sides have since accused the other of failing to work together. The committee had become so factionalized by June that Jarvis registered what she considered to be the new official Libertarian party with the state. She wrote new bylaws and membership rules [including a new membership oath - gd]

"Jarvis did not return a request for an interview. During questioning by national party leadership in mid-June, Jarvis said toxic messaging and efforts by other committee members to take complete control of the party led her to quietly register a new Libertarian Party. She said she believed she had the go-ahead from Bishop-Henchman because he had written her a letter recognizing her as the head of the official state party. She also acknowledged removing party property from its Manchester storage shed, and locking the rest of the state party’s executive committee out of its website and social media accounts.

"Nolan Pelletier, then the vice chair of the committee, ... filed a police report for the items missing from the storage shed, and Richards started an online fundraiser to pay for what they expected would be a drawn-out fight to reclaim their property and online access. Jarvis has since returned the items and access to the online accounts, Pelletier said. Richards said he has refunded the donations to the defense fund.

"What had been a state-level squabble led to national implications late last week when the national party leadership had to decide which of the two Libertarian parties to recognize as its affiliate. The vote played out over two days on a publicly available email thread that at times became petty.... The vote to 'disaffiliate' the long-standing state party did not go as Jarvis had hoped. She has not submitted a resignation letter, Pelletier said, but she had said she’d resign if she lost. 

"Pelletier is now acting [state] chair. He’s turned his attention to PorcFest and the party’s goal of registering loads of new members and thinks this flap may be a draw."

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