Judicial Committee Ruling Resets LEC, Special Convention to Follow

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JudicialPetition

By Scotty Boman

Link to the January 2023 Michigan Libertarian

All Rights Reserved 2023. Please see the end of this article for fair use guidelines. *

Michigan – On December 19th the Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) Judicial Committee (JC) issued the following statement regarding an appeal by Wayne County Affiliate Chair Andrew Chadderdon:

On November 18th, Mr. Chadderdon submitted an appeal to the Judicial Committee (JC). Mr. Chadderdon (the Appellant) alleged that the body (the Appellees) violated the Libertarian Party of Michigan bylaws by conducting improperly noticed business at the July 9th Candidate Nominating Convention.

All interested parties were given an opportunity to submit argumentation for and against the appeal. The JC reviewed all of the submissions and conducted a hearing on December 9th, allowing all parties to further argue their cases. The submissions, hearing recording, ruling, and concurring opinion can be reviewed in the Judicial Committee (Public Access) folder.

On Tuesday, December 13th, the JC voted to grant Mr. Chadderdon the appeal, on all points. The vote of no confidence, the election of officers, and the election of Congressional district representatives conducted at the Candidate Nominating Convention on July 9th are to be considered out of order as a violation of our bylaws and parliamentary procedures. The Libertarian Executive Committee shall be reverted to its composition as of July 8th, with Mr. Chadderdon assuming the Chair. Any actions taken by the erroneous board which are of a continuing nature are null and void.

Please take the time to review the detailed analysis in the ruling in the Judicial Committee (Public Access) folder. Also please note the concurring opinion provided by JC member, Bob Roddis, Esq.

A link to the documents, where people speaking for and against the appeal, are posted here:
https://michiganlp.org/wp-json/civicrm/v3/url?u=13639&qid=4332060

Some Members express Outrage at Judicial Committee Ruling

District 5 Representative David Canny Commented:

The net result of the JC ruling is that, as a party, we are right back to where we were prior to the July convention; divided on one of the most basic issues to a political party. Do its members have the right to choose their leaders, representatives and party direction or does an unelected chair get to hand pick board members and unilaterally dictate the party agenda.

While the Judicial Committee likely ruled correctly on appeals related to the officer elections and the filling of district representative vacancies over issues of notification it totally disregarded the will of the members and their vote and the precedent established of filling these seats at past conventions in a like manner.

I have two other issues regarding the Judicial Committee.

The first is that the JC ruling on the first element of the appeal, that the convention was a “special convention” went against the opinion of all three certified and highly credential parliamentarians that ruled that the convention was not a special convention. Even the Mises Caucus parliamentarian brought in by Andrew Chadderdon stated that the convention was neither a regular or a special convention but something different and then proceeded to make up rules for the “unicorn” convention.

My second concern is that all three members of the committee were obligated to recuse themselves from ruling on this matter based on:

  • Being members of the Mises Caucus, a caucus that in multiple internal caucus communications referred to the appeal being filed by the caucus. One can not rule on an appeal filed by a group that they belong to and be perceived as unbiased.
  • Notification was a key element of this appeal and one member of the Judicial Committee as Communications Director took it upon himself to refuse to send the no confidence motion notification to members after the Chair said that it would be sent and the Secretary directed the ComDir to do so. This same JC member sent a communication to Mises Caucus members that officers would be elected at the July convention but that communication did not go to the members at large.

A Judicial Committee Member Responds

Judicial Committee Member Connor Nepomuceno had a different take on the ruling:

Before I begin, I would like to point out that LPedia has published a fact based article detailing this chain of events and archiving much of the documentation related to it. Anyone who wants to understand these circumstances should read it and the documentation in full. At the very least, I would hope that the membership reads the Judicial Committee Ruling so that they understand what the Judicial Committee actually said instead of the misrepresentations by Mr. Canny.

Let me say in very explicit terms: No one is contesting the notion that the membership can remove officers and elect their leadership. However, our bylaws detail the conditions by which they must be conducted, including providing proper notice to all members about the intent to take such action so that all members can exercise their right to participate in such a decision.

Dave Canny asserts that the convention cannot be a special convention because it is “regularly scheduled”, and therefore no notice would be required to add business, which is a claim not supported at all in either the LPMI bylaws or Robert’s Rules of Order, also known as RONR (which is a governing document of the LPMI considered part of the bylaws).  The LPMI bylaws do however specifically state in Article VI Section 1 that “During odd-numbered years, the Party shall hold a regular state convention between April 1 and July 31, performing such business as required herein.”  There are no other statements that would give any support to the claim that a regular convention could occur in an even number year such as 2022.  Additionally, to take the assumption that an even year convention could be a regular convention would render several additional provisions of the bylaws completely absurd and inoperable. For example, the LPMI bylaws call for the terms of party officers in Article III Section 1, and terms of the Judicial Committee in Article V Section 1, to last for 2 years, from the end of one regular convention until the end of the next regular convention.  How could this be the case if a regular convention occurs on both even and odd years?

According to RONR, “The only business that can be transacted at a special meeting is that which has been specified in the call of the meeting.” (RONR 9:15).  The LPMI Bylaws state explicitly in Article VI Section 4.2 that “The Executive Committee shall issue a call to each state convention to all affiliates no later than 60 days prior to the scheduled date of the state convention”.  RONR 25:7 further states that “Rules contained in the bylaws cannot be suspended – no matter how large the vote in favor of doing so or how inconvenient the rule in question may be – unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension….”.  Claims that any number of delegates at any gathering of the party are allowed to violate those rules are simply false, and the actions addressed in the appeal to the JC were reversed accordingly and properly.

Mr. Canny has falsely claimed that he, as a single member of the LEC, had the right to add insufficiently noticed business to the agenda after the deadline for new business. He has attempted to direct party staff outside of his authority. He has done both of these things without even attempting to call a vote of the LEC. In doing these things and more, he has grossly ignored the processes of our board and violated the bylaws repeatedly. He is the one who has in fact made dictatorial edicts without any just authority to do so. In so doing, it is he that has violated the rights of his fellow board members and the party members who couldn’t come to the July Candidate Nominating Convention and participate in unnoticed elections.  All of the rest of his accusations are addressed thoroughly in my Concurring Opinion to the Judicial Committee Ruling.

How the LPM Got Here

The root cause of the dispute was the nearly simultaneous resignation of Chair Tim Yow, and First Vice Chair Ben Boren. Also, they did this shortly before the July Convention.  The LPM Bylaws explicitly say, “The first vice chair shall act as assistant to the chair and shall perform the duties of the chair in his or her absence.” However, they don’t mention what happens if there is no first chair to fill the post. As a result, officers applied Roberts Rules of Order and elevated Second Vice Chair Andrew Chadderdon to Chair. Because of the way Yow and Boren timed their resignations, there was not enough time to notify delegates that the convention would elect officers to fill vacancies. From this point the events that lead to the election of the Libertarian Executive Committee (that served from July 9th to December 19th) took place.

The Man Who Set These Events In Motion Speaks Out

Resigned Chair Tim Yow commented:

I trust this maneuver will cause Andrew Chadderdon, Connor Nepomuceno and the others on the judicial committee to lose to NOTA, at the state and local levels, for years to come. I am looking forward to seeing that happen.

As for the state party, they’ll bounce back. The membership consists of so many young liberty giants who are wise beyond their years who will, without a doubt, do the right thing and turn the party into a better version of its old self, once they permanently bench these bad apples who have put their incompetence and misplaced loyalties on full display. The will of the members should have been honored, not vetoed. If I had been able to attend that last convention, I would be demanding reimbursement from those 4 for my travel expenses incurred on that weekend.

The Michigan Libertarian reached out to former Resigned Vice Chair Boren, but he had not replied at the time of this posting.

Members Submit Special Convention Petitions in Response to Judicial Committee

On January 3rd a group of party members submitted petitions for special concurrent conventions. One petition called for the filling of vacancies of both Vice Chairs, Treasurer, Representatives for the 2nd, 6th, 8th, 13th, and 14th Districts, as well as any other vacancies that may occur prior to or at the convention.

The other petition called for a vote of “no confidence” and subsequent removal of Andrew Chadderdon from Chairmanship.

On December 26th former LPM Chair and long-time archivist Gregory Stempfle sent out an email with links to the petitions. Others may have sent out other emails, to their contacts, but the author only got one.  In it he gave some background on the dispute.

Who Crafted the Petitions?

According to the email, a group of at least a dozen party activists, some of whom were directly impacted by the JC ruling created the petitions. They decided on a pair of calls for special conventions. One would be to fill officer vacancies and one is to remove the chair.

The authors wrote the petitions in a manner that would allow delegates to attend two conventions on the same day

The email included a link to join or renew ones membership.

The email instructed signers to send images of signed petitions to either of two people: District 10 Representative Joe Brungardt or District 5 Representative David Canny.  Before the JC ruling Joe Brungardt was serving as Chair, having been elected by delegates at the July 9th State Convention.

According to Article VI Conventions Section 3:

The Party shall hold a special convention within 45 days upon the call of the Executive Committee or when petitions are submitted by 10% of the current membership, specifying the purpose for the special convention.

So members should have received a call to convention prior to the time of this article’s posting.  There may, however, be a third special convention.  Because of the bylaws time restrictions, it could not be on the same date.

A Third Petition Targets Circulators of the First Two Petitions for Investigation

A third petition is now in circulation.  It calls for a special convention to address a “motion to appoint an investigatory committee to consider possible misconduct by Dave Canny, Greg Stempfle and Joe Brungardt in the creation of the petition which was ultimately submitted on January 3rd, 2023.”

Chairperson Andrew Chadderdon expressed support for the additional convention saying,

In light of potential misconduct in the creation of the petitions that were circulated for the call for a special convention to fill vacancies and call for a motion of no confidence in the chair, an additional petition is being circulated in the party to call for the creation of an investigatory committee to look further into that conduct and determine if it was improper.  This committee is part of the formal and transparent disciplinary proceedings called for in the LPMI bylaws.

One of the targeted people is District 10 Representative Joe Brungardt. He was elected Chair at the July Convention, but his position was revoked by the Judicial committee Ruling.  He said,

I welcome an investigation and demand a very public apology when my name is cleared.

At the time of publication, nobody has submitted this third petition, and the LEC has not issued the call to convention or set a date and location for it. February 17th is 45 days after Friday January 3rd. Saturday March forth is 60 days after January 3rd.


Because of the ubiquitous nature of this drama, I asked for a break from the policy (originally set up when Bill Hall was Chair) that excludes reports on factional conflicts from the Michigan Libertarian. The current chair did not wish to grant an exception to this policy, so I went ahead and made it a personal blog post.

Note that I only included links to petitions that had already been submitted. I am not writing this article to promote something, but rather reporting on an existential topic.

Please share this with anyone who has an interest with the LPM. Permission to reproduce (as is) with attribution granted.

Permission to quote portions granted, with a link to the original article.

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2 Responses to “Judicial Committee Ruling Resets LEC, Special Convention to Follow”

  1. Judicial Committee Ruling Resets LEC, Special Convention Immanent - Independent Political Report Says:

    […] Permission granted to Independent Political Report by the author. All Rights Reserved 2023. Please see fair use guidelines. here. […]

  2. Judicial Committee Ruling Resets LEC, Special Convention Imminent - Independent Political Report Says:

    […] Permission granted to Independent Political Report by the author. All Rights Reserved 2023. Please see fair use guidelines. here. […]

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