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Our Interview with Brian Phillips (Part II)

Presented below is part 2 of our interview with Brian Phillips, the embattled chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party.

To read part 1 of this interview, click here.

Third Party Watch: An emergency meeting was recently held to, supposedly, remove you from office. Are you still currently the chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party?

Brian Phillips: The NJLP is governed by its own bylaws which incorporate within it Roberts Rules of Order. Those rules are not only to protect that the will of the majority is carried out, with respect for the rights of the minority, but also to protect the rights of all members. Those rules were not followed in the meeting held for my removal as NJLP Chairman.

Roberts Rules of Order provide many stipulations for a special general membership meeting. For the meeting to be valid all those provisions must be adhered to. One provision states that a notice must be given, paid for at the organization’s expense, which states the time, date, place and specified agenda for the special meeting.

The specified agenda for the special general membership meeting specified that the only item on the agenda was to consider motion to remove me as NJLP Chairman. The notice sent out to NJLP members was poisonous in that it was paid for by individuals, not the NJLP, and went beyond mere notification. The notice was simply a call to members to show up and vote to remove me in that it laid out a false case advocating the same. This is like getting a notice for jury duty which lays out in detail the case for the prosecution and requests you to simply show up and vote to convict. The failure the follow the provisions for impartial notification alone invalidated the meeting.

Upon a vote to remove me as NJLP Chairman the meeting went beyond its specified agenda and proceeded to elect interim officers. Once again this invalidates all proceedings. The special general meeting cannot ignore its own bylaws and the provisions of Roberts Rules of Order. When these rules are violated there are consequences.

In short, I regard myself as the only validly elected Chairman of the NJLP. I also contend that when the NJLP Steering Committe called the general meeting they did so at a meeting in which they lacked any presiding officer. Prior to the meeting held I advised my many supporters not to attend the same and to boycott the proceedings. They did so. A vote by 40 attendees to remove me as NJLP chairman is barely 10% of the membership. It is my contention that the members have not yet spoken on this matter.

Third Party Watch: In addition to your post as party chairman you were also a candidate for State Representative this year. Are you continuing with that campaign?

Brian Phillips: Not only was I a candidate for the New Jersey Assembly but I served as the 2005 Campaign Support Team chairman. In this role I helped recruited and worked with nearly 40 other candidates.

I will not be a candidate for the New Jersey Assembly as a member of the NJLP. At present I am ashamed to be associated with the present NJLP leadership. If you play in a pigpen you will not smell like a rose. If the NJLP can not investigate and resolve problems and scandals within its own house then why should voters trust them in the statehouse?

Sadly, I am not the only NJLP member who will not be running as an Assembly candidate this year. By destroying our Assembly campaign the NJLP will miss out on an unique opportunity to became a major political party under current state law. In my state, a party becomes major when its slate for the Assembly or state Senate secures at least 10% of the vote.

Third Party Watch: With two opposing groups now claiming the party’s top positions, the NJLP has been split. Would your faction ever consider leaving the Libertarian Party if the national organization doesn’t eventually recognize your group as the legitimate leadership?

Brian Phillips: I don’t know how to answer that yet. I guess all things are possible. Meanwhile, I remain a member of the NJLP and the national Libertarian Party.

I have been shocked in the manner in which I was treated. I was amazed at how many approached me and urged me to cover-up “for the good of the party.” When I refused to do so I was attacked on New Jersey “libertarian forums” and was banned from replying. The attacks were incredible and included attacking my past paleocon beliefs, my conversion to Libertarianism and even my religious belief was attacked. True Libertarians should have been sick to see these smear tactics employed and loudly spoken out against them. The silence was deafening.

Abe Lincoln is quoted as saying: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.” Not all New Jersey Libertarians have been fooled and not all of them are politically brainless.

What will happen in the weeks and months ahead is for them to determine. There are many ways to express oneself and one option is to do so with your feet.

One Response to “Our Interview with Brian Phillips (Part II)”

  1. Douglas E. Says:

    It seems like the national party is to blame for not processing the dues. Whoever is in charge of this should resign immediately. Also, why couldn’t the party just have called the Washington HQ and demand an answer on this from the powers that be? The whole mess could have been prevented.

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