Posts Tagged ‘Ruwart’

Mr. Chair,

I have long been an admirer of yours for all that you have given to the LP.  I honor your contributions and always will, in spite of what I write today.  Because I do respect what you have done for the LP, this e-mail is one of the most difficult pieces that I have ever had to write.

I believe that you have made a grave error in the matter of Mr. Lee Wrights by not asking the LNC for the 2/3 vote required to unseat an At-Large Member “for cause.”  Your decision to do so has unnecessarily angered members and created division in a time when we need unity the most. Hours of time that could have been spent going after renewals and new members has instead been spent in an effort to replace or reinstate an activist who has also given much to the cause of liberty.

After all is said and done, you have taken this course of action because you believe that Mr. Wrights has been “rude.”  Although you admit that you haven’t seen the APRC posts, you’ve taken someone else’s word that he has been “uncivil.”  I am a member of the APRC and have read every one of Mr. Wrights posts.  I can’t recall a single one that was “uncivil.”  Blunt, maybe.  Straightforward certainly. “Uncivil”?  No.  If you wish, I will forward each and every post that Mr. Wrights has made so that you can make your own assessment rather than taking someone else’s word for it.

“Rude” is when you swear at someone at the top of your lungs, with liberal use of expletives and the “f” word.  “Uncivil” is when your wife is pleading in the background for you to stop—and still you continue.  “Rude” is when you give a long-term friend this treatment in your capacity as National Chair when they, in their capacity of campaign manager for a presidential candidate, inquire about a defamatory press release.  “Uncivil” is when you lose your temper and are totally out of control.  Indeed, at that level I would call the behavior “abusive.”

By now you probably recognize yourself, in your capacity of National Chair, verbally abusing my campaign manager, Mr. Wrights, in a telephone conversation that took place in late May, 2008.  After that conversation, Mr. Wrights came to me in shock. “I can’t believe I’ve just lost a good friend over this,” he told me.  His distress was so extreme that I made him repeat as much of the conversation as he could remember so that I could help him come to terms with it.  I too was shocked and hurt. After all, you were really angry at me and simply lit into Mr. Wrights, who was acting as my representative.

Perhaps I should have lodged a formal complaint about your bad behavior.  I can tell you that it was not a pleasant feeling walking into the Denver convention knowing that it’s Chair was not at all neutral, but highly prejudiced against me.  It was especially difficult because of my admiration and respect for all that you’ve contributed to the LP over the years.

Yes, you apologized to Mr. Wrights a week or so after this incident. Mr. Wrights generously forgave you and quite literally welcomed you back as his friend with open arms. It never even occurred to Mr. Wrights to hold a grudge; he loves you too much for that.

Too bad for Mr. Wrights and the Libertarian Party that you don’t feel the same way.

You readily accepted Mr. Wrights’ forgiveness for your abusiveness.  You then have the nerve to call HIM “uncivil” and write:  “For him (Mr. Wrights) to expect courtesy while treating others so badly is hypocritical.”  I’m sorry to have to point this out, Mr. Chair, but that’s like the pot calling the kettle black.

In the meantime, you have turned a deaf ear when certain members of staff and others on this Board have treated both Mr. Wrights and myself with disdain.  Mr. Wrights made a formal complaint to you on this list; you never answered him.  I pointed out the problem to you in a more confidential setting; you promised action, but never let me know if such action had been taken.  It once again seems that your comments about courtesy are “rules for thee, but not for me.”

If you have issues with Mr. Wrights behavior, or what he publishes, the proper course is to speak to him about it. Disregarding the will of the delegates and violating the bylaws are not proper courses of action for your complaint.

As you justly point out, the Chair should not be expected to remind LNC members of their renewal status.  In this particular case, however, you were honor-bound to do so because of your own past bad behavior as National Chair and the forgiveness extended to you by Mr. Wrights.  Had you extended the same courtesy to Mr. Wrights that he extended to you, we would now be building the Party instead of tearing it down.

I invite you to demonstrate your integrity and compensate Mr. Wrights by publically voting “yes” on the motion to reinstate him.   He has quite literally paid his dues.  It’s time for you to pay yours.


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