Thursday, December 24, 2009

This has nothing to do with scams. Well, politics is sort of a scam...

Wes Wagner Dec 23 06:31PM -0800 ^

Please forward to as many places as is prudent -- I need so much
forgiveness, and since this is the proper season for it, it is only fitting
I come humbly to beg of it now...

*My open apology to the Libertarian Party of Oregon for destroying it*

A great amount of reflection has led me to conclude that my behavior in
recent years towards the leadership of the Libertarian Party of Oregon has
simply been abhorrent and downright unacceptable. It is my greatest regret
that it has taken me so long to realize what I have done was wrong and that
my actions would set back the party’s progress for years.

I suppose the root of the issue can be traced back to that infernal
Libertarian Party Statement of Principles. The first time I read it I
thought, “Wow … a nonauthoritarian organization that believes in the ethical
treatment of all individuals as sovereign people with inherent rights!” I
was simply too naïve at the time and political inexperienced to realize that
was just a show piece for duping donors and voters to support the party
leadership and send in money and was not actually meant to be adhered to.
Had I not made that absurd first error, perhaps things would not have
happened the way they did.

This, however, was hardly my first interpretive error. No, my childish
transgressions progressed far beyond that. I recall still the moment when I
attended an election night party, primarily for Mr. Cox who was deep into
parlaying his involvement with the libertarian party into what would become
his highly lucrative political career as a republican nobody who couldn’t
even win a metro race after selling out the LPO in the most grand fashion
and then being politically neutered by his new friends.

At that party, I was gifted by the presence of the ever charming then
executive director Mr. Richard Burke. He expressed to me his elation that
such a fine, well-dressed professional person had become more active in the
party and convinced me to throw my hat in to become the Clackamas County
Chairperson. You see this is where I made my next mistake. Apparently this
was supposed to be a gesture… like how in an old lordly court when someone
offers you a place up at the next table. Now as my wife could tell you, I
was raised by wolves, and so no one ever explained to me how this whole
social order thing worked. So as inept as I am, I actually thought that it
was a responsibility and thus behaved as such an ass.

You see, it wasn’t until later I realized that my primary responsibility was
supposed to be to keep the chair warm and play ball and sit up for Mr.
Burke, unlike that smelly dirty hippy Ralph who was nipping around the idea
of taking the position. (Shhh… don’t say anything, but I think he might have
even smoked pot… we can’t have that in our party can we?)

Someone really should have told me what my role was… if you are planning to
put people in the position because they are passive and stupid like me, you
really should give them better instructions. Maybe you could make a printed
manual, in a binder, kind of a handbook of sorts for well managed state
committee members. I wager you could even turn it into workshops, with
boilerplate ideas that have failed 50 times over, but will surely work the
next time. There could even be no fee for attending the conference, but you
could charge me something that is fair for the cost of the printed materials
to help pay off a copier lease or something. After all, we need to keep
using donor money to pay for staff and fancy offices, and we all should
really pull our own weight for our own training materials. Donors don’t want
freeloaders you know. If only I had something like those training courses
though, maybe I would not have disappointed you. Oh, sorry… for a moment
there I stopped taking personal responsibility. Let’s move on.

Over my time as Clackamas County Chairperson, I heard a lot of rumblings
about grievances from party members about alleged unethical personal
treatment by party staffers and “elected” leadership. When I expressed these
concerns to the then executive director, he seemed not at all concerned
about the allegations themselves but rather want to know who was saying
them. Silly me! Apparently all these problems could have just been handled
professionally. Our executive director had a system for handling these
situations. There were so many options. Throwing out their party newsletters
so they wouldn’t show up for meetings. Accidentally removing them from the
membership list or adjusting their membership dates to disenfranchise them.
Making up new rules on the spot like “good standing”. There were just so
many options but I clearly was not creative and clever enough.

Had I simply know that there were these far more professional methods of
creating party unity instead of actually listening to a person and
acknowledging their concerns, perhaps this entire mess could have been
averted.

Of course, if individual board members get out of line, there were ways of
dealing with that too. If say, someone like Phil Schmitt were asking too
many questions … apparently as a professional politician you are supposed to
take each of the board members aside and make up a story, like, “Phil is
just playing political games to try to take over the party.” As a good
board member, apparently you are supposed to just accept this and isolate
him so he will give up and go away. Oh boy, did I ever screw that one up! I
actually talked to him! In retrospect, I am so embarrassed.

But my shame did not end there!

We had a treasurer at that time that was complaining about the party
spiraling down into a quagmire of debt and the financial abuses of the
executive director and how the board wouldn’t listen to her or do anything
about it. Heck, at one point the executive director, clearly a qualified
medical professional, even told me she had herpes and it affected her brain!
What the hell was I thinking? Listening to the crazy ramblings of a
herpes-addled embittered treasurer. Clearly had she told me water was wet I
should have thought it was as parched as the desert sand after such a
revelation about her credibility. But alas, no… I compounded my grievous and
heinous acts against our beloved party by asking even more questions.

This brings up another fine skill that I was supposed to learn but didn’t.
Our glorious misogynist leadership, if anything, tried to teach me how
important it was to cavort with female staffers. This is extremely important
because then they can be pressured to give things to you, like say LPNC
fundraising and donor information, and if they ever turn on you, you can
just claim they are bitter. I failed to learn that one too.

It was all really silly and I was just such a clueless hack who wouldn’t
listen to any of the great advice everyone like Don Smith, Frank Dane, Eric
Winters, Jerry DeFoe, and so many countless others who could have steered me
back to sanity. And all those time those fellow board members told me to not
be so uppity and that we were all supposed to be on the same team… and about
loyalty and everything. You all tried so hard. Oh and a personal shout out
to Mr. David Terry… when you kicked me off the libertarian mailing list, I
know that was just your way of showing tough love. And that time at Sun
River when you stood up and set me straight by reminding me in front of the
entire convention that we can’t let the unwashed masses vote on anything
because they may not vote the right way – well look at the mess we are in
now because I didn’t listen to your sage council and tell them all to go to
hell like the rest of you did.
For the sake of this apology not going on too long, I will skip forward some
in time. Believe me; I am truly sorry about all that stuff in the middle
too. Just take my word for it.

So after we have finally replaced our treasurer with the spouse of the
chairperson things just went swimmingly. We went a long time between
financial reports at state committee meetings, so things must have been
perfect for a while there, but one day Mrs. Mayer seemed particularly
frustrated and told me that she was concerned about the executive director
using the party debit card to buy groceries for his apartment, again.

Well excuse me. Apparently misappropriation of party funds was supposed to
be the tacit acceptance by the board as just compensation due to the large
amounts of party debt owed to the director. Debt that had been accumulated
because fundraising targets had not been met and the ever pressing need to
make increasingly larger expenditures to prove how relevant we all were. I
just was incapable of understanding the subtle complexities of our just
right to violate campaign finance law and that is was prudent and necessary
to put the entire enterprise at risk and that permitting the director to use
the party bank account as his personal slush fund is just how professional
politics is done.

Again… what an ass I was. You see, I actually… oh really this is very
silly. I went out and actually demanded that the books and the financial
reports to the Secretary of State should (oh really this is silly) be
revised and made to reflect reality. Then this crazy guy named Lars Hedbor
started acting up and asking repeatedly on a daily basis why there were so
many personal debit card transactions on the bank account. You know they
told me to shut him up. I suppose since he was in Clackamas County too he
was supposed to be my personal stooge. He wasn’t though and I was just
powerless to do a thing about it because I did not do my job of making sure
my feudal territory was under my complete control. Damn it all… I couldn’t
do anything right.

Well.. I wish I could say that it all ended there. That I learned my lesson
and became the good solid stalwart professional and successful party member
that the leadership thought I had the potential to be. But sadly, I failed.

I was so stubborn and pigheaded that I actually went out and filed a suit
against the party to seek a alternative writ of mandamus to compel the party
officials to obey corporate and state election finance law, and their own
bylaws. At this point, I had clearly gone beyond the pale. Invoking the
judicial process to prevent fraudulent governance is apparently only
something we pay a token nod to… it is not meant to be actually be done! I
really should have listened to the fine rhetorical discourse that followed.
After such a massive amount of ad hominem attacks piled up, clearly any
logical person who was not at all accustomed to succumbing to logical
fallacy would have realized the error of their ways and repented much
sooner.

When I refused to drop the suit, our great party patriot, Aaron Starr,
himself a pillar of finance, volunteered to burn up $10,000 of his personal
funds, no questions asked to ensure that the party books would stay at
proper 350 degree baking temperature. This grand gesture of unquestioned
party loyalty should have been an example to me. Party and political loyalty
above principle, every time, no question! But my cold dark heart was unmoved
by even the most noble and grand gesture of unflinching nationalistic pride.

After all of this, the membership of the Libertarian Party of Oregon felt
the only way I could possibly learn the importance of all these skills
everyone failed to teach me so far was to appoint me Chairperson.

Well the manners in which I messed that up are something of legend.
Membership increased, people came back who had not been interested in the
party for years that we had worked so hard to get rid of, bills were paid on
time, we ran a positive P&L every month, outreach events cropped up, and
there were even attempts made to push forward constitutional reform that
would make the party more decentralized, federated and focused on individual
leadership.

Fortunately new people showed up fresh from a conservative leadership
conference to stop me from my insanity, so, in the end I and my other fellow
ne’er-do-wells decided to not seek re-election and go hide in shame.

Fortunately after a couple years the party has found its footing again. They
have a treasurer who does not file accurate reports and they spend most
their time involved in political backbiting and having little dinner club
meetings instead of growing candidates and membership.

I take some comfort in that my errors were, to a degree, reversed. It helps
me sleep at least a little at night. I would ask that everyone take a
moment, search your hearts, find that tiny bit of compassion left in you and
consider forgiving me for the great crimes I have committed.

When you have had that moment of reflection, I would also ask that you
consider giving me your support to be Oregon’s next Governor. I can promise
you I have learned absolutely nothing from my experiences, so sending me to
Salem may be a good idea.

Regrets,
Wes Wagner

"Jim Faber" Dec 23 06:47PM -0800 ^

Elegant. Incisive. Poignant. Scathing.



JDF



From: oregon_libertarian_discussion@googlegroups.com
[mailto:oregon_libertarian_discussion@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Wes Wagner
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 6:31 PM
To: Oregon_Libertarian_Discussion
Subject: My open apology to the Libertarian Party of Oregon for destroying it



Please forward to as many places as is prudent -- I need so much forgiveness,
and since this is the proper season for it, it is only fitting I come humbly to
beg of it now...

My open apology to the Libertarian Party of Oregon for destroying it

A great amount of reflection has led me to conclude that my behavior in recent
years towards the leadership of the Libertarian Party of Oregon has simply been
abhorrent and downright unacceptable. It is my greatest regret that it has taken
me so long to realize what I have done was wrong and that my actions would set
back the party’s progress for years.

I suppose the root of the issue can be traced back to that infernal Libertarian
Party Statement of Principles. The first time I read it I thought, “Wow … a
nonauthoritarian organization that believes in the ethical treatment of all
individuals as sovereign people with inherent rights!” I was simply too naïve at
the time and political inexperienced to realize that was just a show piece for
duping donors and voters to support the party leadership and send in money and
was not actually meant to be adhered to. Had I not made that absurd first error,
perhaps things would not have happened the way they did.

This, however, was hardly my first interpretive error. No, my childish
transgressions progressed far beyond that. I recall still the moment when I
attended an election night party, primarily for Mr. Cox who was deep into
parlaying his involvement with the libertarian party into what would become his
highly lucrative political career as a republican nobody who couldn’t even win a
metro race after selling out the LPO in the most grand fashion and then being
politically neutered by his new friends.

At that party, I was gifted by the presence of the ever charming then executive
director Mr. Richard Burke. He expressed to me his elation that such a fine,
well-dressed professional person had become more active in the party and
convinced me to throw my hat in to become the Clackamas County Chairperson. You
see this is where I made my next mistake. Apparently this was supposed to be a
gesture… like how in an old lordly court when someone offers you a place up at
the next table. Now as my wife could tell you, I was raised by wolves, and so no
one ever explained to me how this whole social order thing worked. So as inept
as I am, I actually thought that it was a responsibility and thus behaved as
such an ass.

You see, it wasn’t until later I realized that my primary responsibility was
supposed to be to keep the chair warm and play ball and sit up for Mr. Burke,
unlike that smelly dirty hippy Ralph who was nipping around the idea of taking
the position. (Shhh… don’t say anything, but I think he might have even smoked
pot… we can’t have that in our party can we?)

Someone really should have told me what my role was… if you are planning to put
people in the position because they are passive and stupid like me, you really
should give them better instructions. Maybe you could make a printed manual, in
a binder, kind of a handbook of sorts for well managed state committee members.
I wager you could even turn it into workshops, with boilerplate ideas that have
failed 50 times over, but will surely work the next time. There could even be no
fee for attending the conference, but you could charge me something that is fair
for the cost of the printed materials to help pay off a copier lease or
something. After all, we need to keep using donor money to pay for staff and
fancy offices, and we all should really pull our own weight for our own training
materials. Donors don’t want freeloaders you know. If only I had something like
those training courses though, maybe I would not have disappointed you. Oh,
sorry… for a moment there I stopped taking personal responsibility. Let’s move
on.

Over my time as Clackamas County Chairperson, I heard a lot of rumblings about
grievances from party members about alleged unethical personal treatment by
party staffers and “elected” leadership. When I expressed these concerns to the
then executive director, he seemed not at all concerned about the allegations
themselves but rather want to know who was saying them. Silly me! Apparently all
these problems could have just been handled professionally. Our executive
director had a system for handling these situations. There were so many options.
Throwing out their party newsletters so they wouldn’t show up for meetings.
Accidentally removing them from the membership list or adjusting their
membership dates to disenfranchise them. Making up new rules on the spot like
“good standing”. There were just so many options but I clearly was not creative
and clever enough.

Had I simply know that there were these far more professional methods of
creating party unity instead of actually listening to a person and acknowledging
their concerns, perhaps this entire mess could have been averted.

Of course, if individual board members get out of line, there were ways of
dealing with that too. If say, someone like Phil Schmitt were asking too many
questions … apparently as a professional politician you are supposed to take
each of the board members aside and make up a story, like, “Phil is just playing
political games to try to take over the party.” As a good board member,
apparently you are supposed to just accept this and isolate him so he will give
up and go away. Oh boy, did I ever screw that one up! I actually talked to him!
In retrospect, I am so embarrassed.

But my shame did not end there!

We had a treasurer at that time that was complaining about the party spiraling
down into a quagmire of debt and the financial abuses of the executive director
and how the board wouldn’t listen to her or do anything about it. Heck, at one
point the executive director, clearly a qualified medical professional, even
told me she had herpes and it affected her brain! What the hell was I thinking?
Listening to the crazy ramblings of a herpes-addled embittered treasurer.
Clearly had she told me water was wet I should have thought it was as parched as
the desert sand after such a revelation about her credibility. But alas, no… I
compounded my grievous and heinous acts against our beloved party by asking even
more questions.

This brings up another fine skill that I was supposed to learn but didn’t. Our
glorious misogynist leadership, if anything, tried to teach me how important it
was to cavort with female staffers. This is extremely important because then
they can be pressured to give things to you, like say LPNC fundraising and donor
information, and if they ever turn on you, you can just claim they are bitter. I
failed to learn that one too.

It was all really silly and I was just such a clueless hack who wouldn’t listen
to any of the great advice everyone like Don Smith, Frank Dane, Eric Winters,
Jerry DeFoe, and so many countless others who could have steered me back to
sanity. And all those time those fellow board members told me to not be so
uppity and that we were all supposed to be on the same team… and about loyalty
and everything. You all tried so hard. Oh and a personal shout out to Mr. David
Terry… when you kicked me off the libertarian mailing list, I know that was just
your way of showing tough love. And that time at Sun River when you stood up and
set me straight by reminding me in front of the entire convention that we can’t
let the unwashed masses vote on anything because they may not vote the right way
– well look at the mess we are in now because I didn’t listen to your sage
council and tell them all to go to hell like the rest of you did.
For the sake of this apology not going on too long, I will skip forward some in
time. Believe me; I am truly sorry about all that stuff in the middle too. Just
take my word for it.

So after we have finally replaced our treasurer with the spouse of the
chairperson things just went swimmingly. We went a long time between financial
reports at state committee meetings, so things must have been perfect for a
while there, but one day Mrs. Mayer seemed particularly frustrated and told me
that she was concerned about the executive director using the party debit card
to buy groceries for his apartment, again.

Well excuse me. Apparently misappropriation of party funds was supposed to be
the tacit acceptance by the board as just compensation due to the large amounts
of party debt owed to the director. Debt that had been accumulated because
fundraising targets had not been met and the ever pressing need to make
increasingly larger expenditures to prove how relevant we all were. I just was
incapable of understanding the subtle complexities of our just right to violate
campaign finance law and that is was prudent and necessary to put the entire
enterprise at risk and that permitting the director to use the party bank
account as his personal slush fund is just how professional politics is done.

Again… what an ass I was. You see, I actually… oh really this is very silly. I
went out and actually demanded that the books and the financial reports to the
Secretary of State should (oh really this is silly) be revised and made to
reflect reality. Then this crazy guy named Lars Hedbor started acting up and
asking repeatedly on a daily basis why there were so many personal debit card
transactions on the bank account. You know they told me to shut him up. I
suppose since he was in Clackamas County too he was supposed to be my personal
stooge. He wasn’t though and I was just powerless to do a thing about it because
I did not do my job of making sure my feudal territory was under my complete
control. Damn it all… I couldn’t do anything right.

Well.. I wish I could say that it all ended there. That I learned my lesson and
became the good solid stalwart professional and successful party member that the
leadership thought I had the potential to be. But sadly, I failed.

I was so stubborn and pigheaded that I actually went out and filed a suit
against the party to seek a alternative writ of mandamus to compel the party
officials to obey corporate and state election finance law, and their own
bylaws. At this point, I had clearly gone beyond the pale. Invoking the judicial
process to prevent fraudulent governance is apparently only something we pay a
token nod to… it is not meant to be actually be done! I really should have
listened to the fine rhetorical discourse that followed. After such a massive
amount of ad hominem attacks piled up, clearly any logical person who was not at
all accustomed to succumbing to logical fallacy would have realized the error of
their ways and repented much sooner.

When I refused to drop the suit, our great party patriot, Aaron Starr, himself a
pillar of finance, volunteered to burn up $10,000 of his personal funds, no
questions asked to ensure that the party books would stay at proper 350 degree
baking temperature. This grand gesture of unquestioned party loyalty should have
been an example to me. Party and political loyalty above principle, every time,
no question! But my cold dark heart was unmoved by even the most noble and grand
gesture of unflinching nationalistic pride.
After all of this, the membership of the Libertarian Party of Oregon felt the
only way I could possibly learn the importance of all these skills everyone
failed to teach me so far was to appoint me Chairperson.

Well the manners in which I messed that up are something of legend. Membership
increased, people came back who had not been interested in the party for years
that we had worked so hard to get rid of, bills were paid on time, we ran a
positive P&L every month, outreach events cropped up, and there were even
attempts made to push forward constitutional reform that would make the party
more decentralized, federated and focused on individual leadership.

Fortunately new people showed up fresh from a conservative leadership conference
to stop me from my insanity, so, in the end I and my other fellow ne’er-do-wells
decided to not seek re-election and go hide in shame.

Fortunately after a couple years the party has found its footing again. They
have a treasurer who does not file accurate reports and they spend most their
time involved in political backbiting and having little dinner club meetings
instead of growing candidates and membership.

I take some comfort in that my errors were, to a degree, reversed. It helps me
sleep at least a little at night. I would ask that everyone take a moment,
search your hearts, find that tiny bit of compassion left in you and consider
forgiving me for the great crimes I have committed.

When you have had that moment of reflection, I would also ask that you consider
giving me your support to be Oregon’s next Governor. I can promise you I have
learned absolutely nothing from my experiences, so sending me to Salem may be a
good idea.

Regrets,
Wes Wagner



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dan fitzgerald Dec 24 01:20AM -0500 ^

A few weeks ago, you sent out some sort of thing about what you wanted
a candidate to address. "Well, then run yourself", I thought. So, if
you mean it, rather than a juvenile, smarmy, self-righteous,
self-serving screed that leaves out more than half of the story, I'll
offer an olive branch: start running a campaign that unites & builds
the liberty movement in Oregon, and I'll write generous checks.
Continue on the path of celebrating your own illusory coolness, and I
won't.


Ron Dec 24 05:22AM -0800 ^

Dan, I believe you to be well-meaning and truthful.
I wish I could afford to financially support Wes
the way you say that you can.

I hope you do.

I know Wes to be an ethical man-of-action,
although the self-righteousness is sometimes is bit overbearing,
it is certainly well-earned.

In his 'apology' he really made it too much about him,
but, ultimatety, he has not lied or even stretched the truth.

When I came to the LPO, we were a small, thriving, energized, and growing
group of activists.
By the time the Republican Nobody found a political ally in the Executive
Employee, and
leeched onto the LPO, we always had a full room at every Convention.
Now, Officers outnumber the rest of the attending membership.

Through the political manipulations and the culture of lies of the so-called
Mainstream Liberty Caucus, and the Executive Employee, and others,
this Party was divided and conquered, and laid to waste and debt.

Good people were chased away and now the LPO is left to be run by a small
group of a few incompetent and petty fools who continue to break state law,
and their own bylaws,
in order to facilitate repeated acts of theft and abuse by the Executive
Employee,
and others.

I cannot bear to rejoin LPO, or even the bobbarrian-led national party,
and I am now a non-affiliated voter,
but I will always support real libertarians seeking Liberty,
and honoring the inherent Rights of all Individuals.

Wes has the drive and the focus to lead the LPO, as he has,
and I believe that he can do the same as a libertarian Candidate.

~R

(Btw, best wishes this season to you and yours)








--
Rondo 541-350-5571

Festivus ...for the jest of us.
(December 23)

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16 comments:

  1. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.............................................

    ReplyDelete
  2. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.............................................

    ReplyDelete
  3. 若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。 ..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  4. Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post. ........................................

    ReplyDelete
  5. 天下沒有走不通的路,沒有克服不了的困難,沒有打不敗的敵人。........................................

    ReplyDelete