READ THIS IMPORTANT EMAIL THAT WAS SENT OUT TEN DAYS AGO.
I just got it from a friend that is in one of the Gary Johnson groups.
It goes into why the LP may have trouble putting Ron Paul on their ballot. Once again we should continue to lobby Ron Paul, even if he doesn’t end up contacting the LP. Or even if when he does contact them they turn him down for reasons that are touched on in this email.
Link to PDF of the email: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/79496119/NealeEmail.pdf
From: “Geoffrey Neale” Date: September 1, 2012 9:53:22 AM PDT To: <lnc-discuss@…> Subject: [Lnc-discuss] Ron Paul on the LP ticket Reply-To: lnc-discuss@…
Many supporters of Ron Paul have asked what it would take to get Ron Paul included on the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket. The scenario envisioned by inquirers is either Ron Paul taking the Presidential slot, with Gary Johnson dropping to the VP slot; or Ron Paul replacing Jim Gray in the VP slot.
Either scenario requires certain things to happen, and many have serious implications for the LP Ticket:
First, we have no indication that Ron Paul is interested in or would be willing to pursue such a path. Without such an indication, this really remains an intellectual exercise.
The second consideration is found in our Bylaws regarding the role of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) in relation to our Presidential ticket. Article 14 Section 4 states: “The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.” In short, the LNC does not have the authority under our Bylaws to change the ticket unless “for cause”. No matter how strong an argument is made about the benefits of such a change to our vote totals, our delegates have set strict and strong limits upon our authority.
If ”cause” was found for the removal of a candidate, we are bound to follow the procedure outlined in Article 14 Section 5, which states: “A candidate’s nomination may be suspended by a
3/4 vote of the entire membership of the National Committee at a meeting. That candidate’s nomination shall then be declared null and void unless the suspended candidate appeals the suspension to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of notification of suspension. The resolution of suspension must state the specific reasons for suspension and must be signed by each
member of the National Committee agreeing thereto. The Judicial Committee shall meet and act on this appeal within 30 days and before the election.” Since the LNC has 18 members, it will take 14 votes to remove a candidate for cause. Depending upon whether or not a physical meeting would be required, and this is subject to interpretation, we either need to schedule and organize a meeting at which 14 members can attend and will vote for removal, or conduct a mail ballot, which allows for ten days of voting. Since we have a necessary amount of time to conduct a meeting for such a purpose, which would be unlikely to be less than ten days, and the candidate has seven days to appeal, and our Judicial Committee has thirty days to make a ruling, it could conceivably take up to 47 days to actually remove a candidate.
However, if either Gary Johnson or Jim Gray withdrew their nomination, then I believe it is up to the LNC to determine a replacement, but even this belief is debatable. There is no explicit provision in our Bylaws for the LNC to do so, and it could reasonably be argued that only the delegates in a convention can do so, except that argument creates conflicts with another section of the Bylaws (see next paragraph). This is a ruling that the Chair would most probably have to make, but there is no guarantee that the LNC would uphold the ruling of the Chair in this regard. Additionally, ourBylaws allow for the membership as a whole to challenge any decision of the LNC and direct the challenge to the Judicial Committee. This is uncharted territory for us, and I cannot predict the outcome should this issue ever arise. Of course, the selection of one or more replacement candidates would still require either a meeting or mail ballot, which takes time.
Since the LNC does not have the authority, it seems obvious that the delegates in a convention would have the authority to do so. However, our Bylaws also are very explicit that there can only be one “Regular Convention” in a single calendar year, and that the selection of the Presidential Ticket can only occur in a “Regular Convention”.
In short, I see no way for the LNC to replace either Gary Johnson or Jim Gray, unless one or both withdraws from the race, and even that would lead us to debatable actions.
There is one other consideration that must be weighed: ballot access. If we were to change our ticket at the earliest opportunity, it is very likely that we will lose ballot access in a number of states. It might be possible to initiate legal challenges in some of these states, but the cost and outcome are indeterminable. Some of the ballot access implications are:
Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington do not permit stand-ins, and the period for qualifying is over.
The deadline for changing our filing is over in Iowa and Ohio. The deadline for changing our filing in Illinois is September 7th.
In Alabama, if we change the Presidential candidate, we would need to start petitioning again, but would have less than a week to complete the petitioning.
Texas has a “sore-loser” law, and Ron Paul cannot be on the ballot as a Libertarian.
I certainly can sympathize with the supporters of Ron Paul, and their hopes for being able to vote for Ron in November, but I think the feasibility of the LP being able to do so is difficult, and could be very costly to our Presidential Ticket results, due to the loss of ballot access in so many states. Even a large gain of Ron Paul supporters could be offset by the absence of our ticket on a large number of state ballots.
What I can say with certainty is that there will be a Presidential ticket on the ballot that supporters of Ron Paul can choose to vote for, and I urge each and every Ron Paul supporter to support the Libertarian Party ticket in November.
Yours in Liberty, Geoffrey Neale Chair Libertarian Party _______________________________________________ Lnc-discuss mailing list