By Thomas R. Eddlem
Convention Sunday has ended, and LAMA has a new state committee, and so does the spin-off group (SLAMA) who held their convention Saturday. Also, yesterday the Libertarian Party’s Judicial Committee held a hearing regarding our appeal to the LNC for recognition as the rightful affiliate.
The basic lesson from last weekend was this: SLAMA appears to have a core activist group of about 30 who attended their convention, or a little more than that, and LAMA appears to have a core activist group of about 60 who attended our convention, or a little more than that. Using the March 2021 LAMA convention as a benchmark, where 38 members attended, LAMA has grown in all the chaos and their spin-off group (SLAMA) has lost some interest.
At the Judicial Committee hearing, SLAMA claimed they’re the real LAMA because the state committee rightfully expelled #47Mass on January 10 for the alleged crime of being associated with the Mises Caucus who would vote against them at the petitioned-for special convention. They expressed the principle that six members (⅔) of the state committee is empowered to expel every single dues-paying member of LAMA, plus the other three state committee members, at a whim with one vote under the LAMA constitutional provision that allows the state committee to expel “a member” with “a vote.”
And this was indeed the principle the #DeathSpiral7 exercised on January 10, expelling 47 members they didn’t even bother to name in their resolution for the crime of backing a petition for a special convention to hold a new state committee election. In other words, the state committee voted to expel about a quarter of the membership and two fellow state members for the sole reason that they wouldn’t vote to re-elect the other seven state committee members at the state convention.
There are a lot of parliamentary procedures involved in the JC matter. But the issue comes down to whether the national party, which disaffiliated LAMA after its Feb. 26 special convention and continued to affiliate with the former state committee leadership (the #DeathSpiral7), wants to continue to reward the open corruption of SLAMA that is worse than the Democrats and the Republicans, or have a Libertarian Party free of corruption and recognize their rightful affiliate.
There was a lot of talk about “reconciliation” at the Judicial Committee meeting last night. I’ve personally been approached over the past few months about conciliation with SLAMA, from at least three of their members. Mind you, not one of these approaches was about formally inviting me personally to join their group; I’m persona non grata. It was an invitation to a process of negotiation that will end in my never being admitted to their group’s membership.
When pitiful Derek Newhall and Tara Desisto say that they have approached #47Mass about joining SLAMA, what they really mean is that if they all beg to be let into their group and pledge not to vote against the leadership at a convention, they might let one or two of us into it.
My response on conciliation with SLAMA is this:
Of the 26 who bothered to vote in their Saturday convention, only 8 voted to welcome the #47Mass into their group.
Moreover, at their convention they reelected every member of the #DeathSpiral7 that didn’t go back over to their old, more comfortable home in the Democratic Party.
That means I’ve now twice been told by a ⅔ margin by their splinter group — first by the #DeathSpiral7 and now by 15 of their members at their little “convention” — that they never want to see Thomas Eddlem in Libertarian Party politics again. And the same goes for the other 46 of the #47Mass.
Any “reconciliation,” as they call it, that begins with a dis-invite to the #47 Mass is a non-starter. #47Mass is by no means an exhaustive list of our activist core, but it’s a healthy chunk. Moreover, 8/9 members of the LAMA state committee are #47Mass. If 15 people really think they can keep 47 people permanently out of the Libertarian Party, I want to know who their weed dealer is.
I would say that if there is to be any reconciliation, it has to begin with a change in their attitude, not ours.
Our policy: No exclusion
On the other hand, our hands are open and out; the SLAMA members are all also our members. We are constitutionally required to honor dues payments to LAMA under the old board up until our Feb. 26 special convention, and all of them will remain members of LAMA in good standing for some time after Reno.
And even though our outstretched hands were slapped away at their Saturday confab, they’re out again.
Even Jeremy Thompson, who led the failed expulsion drive and who is now political director for the Northeastern University College Democrats, remains a member with full rights until he formally notifies us of his resignation or his dues expire.
I note with a bit of pride and great affection for LAMA members that nobody at our convention even proposed suspending the membership of any of the #DeathSpiral7, or the board that’s currently illegally holding our organizational assets hostage.
Even the African-American LAMA member whom Jeremy Thompson called a “coon” on Facebook didn’t call for Thompson’s expulsion. I could be wrong, but I don’t even think it crossed his mind. He mentioned the racial epithet to me casually at the Sunday LAMA convention, without any bitterness, almost laughing it off. It wasn’t that he didn’t recognize it as an explicitly racist remark and incredibly rude (not to mention the height of hypocrisy), it’s that he recognizes implicitly — just like the rest of our smooth-running and unified LAMA — that organizations and individuals both grow by engagement, and they shrink by exclusion.
That’s the vibe in the real LAMA now.
When the #DeathSpiral7 exercised the view they propounded in the JC meeting last night that that they are empowered to vote out all the members who won’t re-elect them, they were wrong under the LAMA constitution. But they judged right when they formed their little splinter group after the special state convention on February 26, because all the #DeathSpiral7 members who sought reelection were elected in the smaller faction. They chose exclusion, and now they’re smaller. We’ve chosen inclusion, and now we’re larger.
And that’s why we’re going to be the affiliate recognized by the national party at the Reno convention in four weeks.