Hammer of Lies

Should legal action be taken against Stephen Van Dyke for his Hammer of Truth/Liberty Mix projects? Raising $10,000 and then having nothing to show for it—what can be done about it? And what do readers propose?

Also, should a recall attempt be taken against Allen Hacker in his new position with the California Libertarian Party? Discuss and debate…

24 Responses to “Hammer of Lies”

  1. matt Says:

    Probably not, and absolutely not.

  2. globalist_elitist Says:

    Stealing $1 from 10,000 people is just as immoral as stealing $10,000 from one. Shit happens. Businesses fail. But the HoT story seems to be a little more than that. It seems like the money was taken and not even applied to the said cause. And people gave not out of business interest, but as donations.

    Legal action would be pointless. I doubt SVD has $10,000 in non-exempt assets that he could be made to part with. But he should never be forgiven - at least not for a long, long time. All he would have had to do is be up fron and honest about things: “Look, I fucked up. I blew the money and now I can’t find the time to code LibertyMix.” People would have been pissed, but it would have blown over. He has made this way bigger than it needed to be.

    As for Part II: That’s for the LP people of CA to decide. I think it is an outright disgrace that they elected him in the first place.

  3. Kris Overstreet Says:

    Re: SVD: sorry, folks, but you made donations, not investments. I severely doubt there’s any legal position to sue or replevin. Next time, be more careful… or better yet, support people who are doing the best they can on their own resources, who demonstrate that with or without support they’ll do SOMETHING.

    Re: Hacker: what? This is what happens when I go on a password-glitch sabbatical from blogging. What position is this, exactly? I’d personally hoped that Hacker was run out of party leadership on a rail, not ascending through the ranks…

  4. Andy Says:

    “May 11th, 2007 at 8:19 pm
    Re: SVD: sorry, folks, but you made donations, not investments. I severely doubt there’s any legal position to sue or replevin.”

    If the donations were supposed to be used for a specific purpose, and they were not used for that purpose, and if there has been no explanation for where the money went, I’d say that a case for fraud could be made.

    “Re: Hacker: what? This is what happens when I go on a password-glitch sabbatical from blogging. What position is this, exactly? I’d personally hoped that Hacker was run out of party leadership on a rail, not ascending through the ranks…”

    I really don’t see how anyone could have voted for Allen Hacker for any type of leadership or mangerial position.

  5. globalist_elitist Says:

    Andy is right on both accounts.

  6. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Hammer of Lies? Ouch. :)

    Yeah, I don’t think there’s any real legal action that can be taken on this matter… well, maybe there is. But it’s not worth the trouble.

    I really wish SVD would just pop up and explain what the heck happened.

  7. globalist_elitist Says:

    You can always take legal action. In this case, it’s pretty clear that there’s a reasonable argument to be made for the fact that fraud was committed. But the point is: It wouldn’t be worth it. No lawyer would take the case on contingency when the total damages sought were $10k + interest. Even if you also sued for lawyer’s fees. So unless you want to start taking a new round of donations for a legal fund, then this is pointless. Even if you did sue, you would be very unlikely to collect. What are the odds that SVD has $10k in the bank? He lives in Ohio, and the state exemptions there are generous enough that you wouldn’t get very far with anything other than cash. Would you sue to have his bank account attached? To have his wages garnished? Unlikely that a judge would grant those remedies, but even if you he did, it would cost you more to pursue them.

    Final verdict: I sentence SVD to three years of shunning. The sentence will not begin until he shows his face and takes responsibility for his actions. At that point, no one is required to forgive him. He must absorb three years worth of verbal abuse and harassment, and whence point, he shall be exonerated.

  8. Jason Gatties Says:

    Question #1- Don’t care, I was smart enough not to donate

    Question #2- Don’t Care, I live in Michigan with strong LP leadership

  9. Devious David Says:

    You don’t need lawyer to sue someone. The plaintiff can be pro-se, just as the defendant can be. This may or may not be applicable in Louisiana, but then I am unsure if they even have a state bar.

    There could very well be grounds for a suit. It depends on what was offered and whether or not there was an expectation of some good/service being delivered as a condition of “donation”. As an analogy, imagine if you bought a raffle ticket for a car, the proceeds to go to charity. The drawing was held and nobody won because the car was never really being offered for raffle. In this case, the ticket, which constitutes a contract of sorts is reneged upon and a fraud has taken place because the purchaser bought that ticket with the expectation that he may have a chance to win a car.

    Of course, in order for this to have any worth, you would probably have to rely upon saved information, whether it be cached pages and/or emails to prove the case. The burden of proof lies upon the plaintiff. Obviously there are witnesses that could be called upon that might be able to help. They would have to provide pretty clear testimony in their depositions that indicated what was offered which they were defrauded of.

    It is also conceivable that an overly aggressive, ambitious Giuliani/Nifong-style prosecutor might be roused into action in this case. Probably not the most libertarian action to take and not highly likely either.

    As per GE, It would serve SVD well just to come up and say ANYTHING at all, really. Even offering, perhaps, a link to the project’s code up to anyone that might be willing to finish it. Something, anything. In any case, the money and trouble involved in pursuing this matter don’t justify the effort, unless you are really bored and want a project badly.

  10. Devious David Says:

    BTW, the one thing that has piqued my interest is why these posts are starting to pop up. Also, I am unable to tell whom the originator is.

  11. Andy Says:

    “It wouldn’t be worth it. No lawyer would take the case on contingency when the total damages sought were $10k + interest. Even if you also sued for lawyer’s fees. So unless you want to start taking a new round of donations for a legal fund, then this is pointless.”

    I wonder if any of the people who donated to that $10,000 were lawyers.

  12. globalist_elitist Says:

    So they could sue for the $10-50 tbey’re owed? I thought consrvatives were against ‘class action”? Shunning is the only appropriate punishment for a crime like this.

  13. Joey Dauben Says:

    “BTW, the one thing that has piqued my interest is why these posts are starting to pop up. Also, I am unable to tell whom the originator is.”

    I am the originator of this post, because I want to keep it fresh in people’s minds. In fact, I want to keep it so fresh in people’s minds - like the 4% for $400,000 in the Texas CD-10 race last year - so that the people responsible for fraud are not advancing in any race, position of leadership, etc.

    What role does SVD play in the LP anyway? (if any)

  14. timothy west Says:

    none. he had a popular blog. I personally cant understand why he screwed HoT over for a bunch of magic beans - he already had the best LP blog out there.

  15. globalist_elitist Says:

    Joey - You just made a thread about this less than a week ago, though. Let’s keep it down to once a month.

    Why has no one blogged about the fact that Bloomberg has launched a campaign site?

  16. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I was just doing that. Bah!

    Spoiler Alert! :)

  17. Nigel Watt Says:

    How about we just never let SVD get any of our money ever again?

    As for Hacker - I question the wisdom of the elector’s choice in recreational drugs. Seriously, guys, what the hell?

  18. Devious David Says:

    Well, they do do a lot of drugs in California. But let’s face it - who else can raise $400k for a Congressional race?

  19. globalist_elitist Says:

    I can think of the names of two people who will NOT ever again be able to raise $400,000 for anything. Their initials are M.B. and A.H.

  20. Allen Hacker Says:

    Joey Dauben:

    I was not elected to a new position in LPC.

    There is no process for electoral recall in LPC.

    Fraud? Proof? Put up or shut up.

    Every time one of you posts one of these devoid-of-facts trolls, the only thing you keep alive is ongoing proof that whatever blog you’re abusing has lost its credibility.

    0

  21. Dan Says:

    Allen is awesome. SUPER AWESOME He is the most awesomest messiah EVER

    If you folks really want to mess with him. You would investigate the fraud. Compile some information, find a DA, and give it to him/her.

    Fraud is theft by deceit. There is nothing anti-libertarian about investigating or punishing fraud.

    I wonder if people who donated and lived in the same state as hacker could file small claims cases (50$ court costs which you can include in your claim).

    Even if you lost, you could at least meet the messiah. I always wanted to meet a messiah.

  22. Stuart Richards Says:

    I doubt you could collect.

    But in any case, I beat SVD to the punch. Oughtta check it out.

  23. Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » LibertyUp is here. Says:

    [...] First off, I’ve been trying to rebuild a Hammer of Truth-like community at Last Free Voice. Judging by the currency of the issue, I’d say we need it. This has basically been done openly, and the results are coming in. We’ve had plenty of success in getting the ball rolling and my honest opinion is that we’ll be back at HoT peak levels by this time next year. [...]

  24. Gadsden member Says:

    SVD has a new message up at LibertyMix and at HammerOfTruth. I had noticed that the masthead had changed at HoT earlier this year (March?) but hadn’t pointed that out, and figured he hadn’t abandoned it, it was just taking much longer than he had planned, or personal circumstances had interferred.

    SVD did have a good remake of Badnarik’s 2004 presidential campaign website. I’m still optimistic that LibertyMix /HoTwill prove to be a worthy libertarian DailyKos competitor, if not even better.

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