LP Chair Bill Redpath Responds to Keynote “Controversy”

Last night, Libertarian Party Chairman, William Redpath, responded to a letter submitted to him by three presidential candidates on behalf of activist Tom Knapp. The letter requested the keynote speaker, Richard Viguerie, be replaced by one of the party’s founders, David Nolan.

It should be noted that earlier in the month, Bill Redpath allegedly conceded to demands made by David Nolan regarding the keynote by splitting the address between LP state candidate Michael Munger and Richard Viguerie.
Nolan was not invited to speak at the 2006 LP Convention in Portland, Oregon and did not attend. Currently, Nolan is scheduled for a one and a half hour exclusive event, “An Evening with David Nolan.”

The letter follows below:

Dear Mr. Kubby, Mr. Phillies & Ms. Ruwart:

I have read your letter below. Due to concerns about Richard Viguerie being the keynote speaker, another keynote speaker has been scheduled—Michael Munger, LP Candidate for Governor of North Carolina in 2008 and Chair of the Political Science Department at Duke University.

The Chair of the Convention Oversight Committee, Bob Sullentrup, and I respectfully decline to disinvite Richard Viguerie as the other keynote speaker.

In my dealings with him over the past two years, it is my strong opinion that Richard Viguerie is a friend of the Libertarian Party. He was a very popular speaker at the LSLA event in Orlando in March 2007. He may have comments from which the Libertarian Party and its members could benefit. Additionally, it would be rude to disinvite him.

I talked with Mr. Viguerie recently, and he has knowledge of the concerns of some members of the LP regarding his speech. I would be quite surprised if he didn’t realize that to use a keynote address as even a subtle “bully pulpit” for a candidate would be inappropriate and unwise.

Thank you.

William Redpath
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.

31 Responses to “LP Chair Bill Redpath Responds to Keynote “Controversy””

  1. Gene Trosper Says:

    Way too much needless drama.

  2. Greg Says:

    Why shouldn’t a Republican fundraiser give the keynote address at the Libertarian National Convention? Makes perfect sense.

  3. David R. Jeffries Says:

    First you ban him from posting/commenting on your site, then you misspell his name. It’s Thomas L. (Tom) Knapp.

  4. Kenny Says:

    Nolan, with all he has achieved for libertarian movement, is far preferable to a recent GOP defector, some would say entryist, like Viguerie. It was rude to delegates to invite Viguerie in the first place.

    Redpath must back up his claims. He must provide comprehensive details on Viguerie’s support for the LP. Is he a paid up member of the LP? Is he a registered libertarian? Which candidates has he publicly endorsed, donated to and actually voted for?

    Without this information, Redpath’s “assurances” are worthless.

  5. g brian Says:

    I for one, have now solidified my vote of OTR (other than Redpath) for LNC chair.

    Redpath is spineless, is weak on supporting libertarianism, and under his watch as chair, is poised to preside over the fewest states on the ballot since 1988, maybe even 1984!

    Very poor performance Bill, and hopefully you can go back to concentrating on ballot access . . . that is if you really know what you’re doing there as well.

  6. Stefan Says:

    Ackward set of events. Yes, David Nolan should play an important role in the party he founded. It should have been organized long time ago to give him a prime speechtime as founder. Very unfortunate set of events the past week especially, but hopefully it will all go well.

  7. disinter Says:

    Why shouldn’t a Republican fundraiser give the keynote address at the Libertarian National Convention? Makes perfect sense.


  8. disinter Says:

    Is anyone opposing the Redpath asshole for chair?

  9. Stefan Says:

    disinter: are you not at the convention? Waiting for Imperato and Milnes (in absentia) to be elected as the unexpected compromise candidates ! :-)

    Two websites: Wonder whether some of the candidate’s websites will provide a live feed of debates. See they have something for humor also planned, which is good, so that all can relax and unite in the end with all more or less satisfied.


  10. Gene Berkman Says:

    To answer Disinter, there are at least two other candidates for National Chair - Ernest Hancock of Arizona, and Ruth Bennett of Washington State.

    According to Dave Nolan, both have signed the Restore2004 petition.

  11. Robert Milnes Says:


  12. disinter Says:

    Ernest Hancock for chair!

  13. Red Phillips Says:

    The candidates signed it on behalf of Tom Knapp? That is a bit of a reach, isn’t it?

  14. Bruce Ryan Says:

    Bill Redpath has taken a polite, and respectful course.

    Bill Redpath is a gentleman, and fine leader of the Libertarian Party.

    Chairman Repath’s well balanced response and the leadership well serves the Libertarian Party and it’s growth.

    Richard V. is a member of the Libertarian Party.

  15. disinter Says:

    My picks for the Libertarian National Convention


  16. Robert Milnes Says:

    disinter, what about veep?

  17. Mike Theodore Says:

    Well, with all the hullabaloo of a Ruwart/Milnes ticket, I think we’ll be unstoppable, Robert.

  18. disinter Says:

    disinter, what about veep?

    Who are the candidates?

  19. Mike Theodore Says:

    I know Williams is running and has endorsed Barr. I doubt he has the sense to pick a real VP. i.e. a current frontrunner. I suspect he’ll pick Dan Williams to throw the spotlight back on him. If he wins, of course.

  20. Brad Says:

    I’m glad that Ruwart, Phillies, and Kubby at least challenged the keynote spot of a right-wing movement conservative. The keynote at the Libertarian National Convention should be reserved for a libertarian (and I’m not talking about conservatives that pretend to be libertarians such as Neal Boortz or Glenn Beck). Considering that Viguerie (or one of his friends at the Barr campaign) has banned all of the anti-Barr article posters from Third Party Watch, I don’t think anybody can honestly expect that he won’t use his spot at the keynote to promote his choice for the nomination (Bob Bush-Barr).

  21. Kenny Says:

    “Richard V. is a member of the Libertarian Party.”

    When did he join? Is he a registered Libertarian?

  22. Kenny Says:

    Here is an interesting article, from two years ago, on TPW’s new owner - http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0521-03.htm. It says

    “Richard Viguerie, who was instrumental in cementing the winning coalitions behind Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George W. Bush in 2000, declared that conservatives were “downright fed up” with both the president and Republican-controlled Congress.

    “At the very least, conservatives must stop funding the Republican National Committee and other party groups,” Viguerie wrote in a lengthy essay in The Washington Post Sunday.

    He suggested conservatives “redirect their anger into building a third force,” which he defined as a movement independent of any party, and laying the groundwork for the 2008 election campaign.”

    He considered himself a conservative who wanted to build a movement INDEPENDENT OF ANY PARTY! He had no time for the LP at that time. So he must have changed his mind and joined recently. Why? Ballot access and a new fundraising base are the most likely reasons.

  23. Balph Says:

    Bill Redpath is a tireless worker for liberty and a gentleman. Ergo, he is not a true libertarian. Kick him out!

  24. disinter Says:

    Bill Redpath is a tireless worker for liberty and a gentleman.

    Some delusional folks say the same thing about Bush. That doesn’t make the statement accurate.

  25. Stefan Says:

    WOW LRC scoop on Tucker Carlson confirmed


    Just when you think there already a lot of action, now even more….

  26. MIKE Says:

    after the way tucker embarrassed RP and screwed him over this year, there is no way I would ever vote for Tucker.

  27. Stefan Says:

    yes, I agree. He helped Paul in a certain sense by giving him coverage and saying good things but then also screwed on more than one issue (Dennis Hof, Kirchzik etc.). One wonders whether MSNBC put pressure on him to resign. Anyway, zero chance that he will get the LP nomination and the LP should also never allow him to be considered/on the list: they will make themselves look very cheap and desperate. If Tucker wants to get active, he can visit the convention and see if he can run for congress under the LP ticket (or Ron Paul Republican).

  28. Roscoe Says:

    The Party has to get beyond The David. He deserves full honors for coming up with the LP idea, launching it and helping it through the early years. He is, and will always be, a prominent figure. However, he has been semi-retired from the LP for years so what kind of “keynote” can he give, being somewhat out of touch with LP politics? The delegates need to get charged up. I’d have rather heard someone like Brian Doherty expand and expound on the last sentence in his book:”There is no need for libertarians to thirst maniacally for Instant Action and Instant Victory, and then to fall into bleak dispaid when the Instant Victory is not forthcoming. Reality, and therefore history, is on our side.”

  29. Alex Peak Says:

    Ron Paul would have made a good Keynote speaker.

  30. Kevin Says:

    Richard Vigeurie is not really libertarian,
    or at least, if we evaluate by his history:
    1976—involved with a political party founded by George Wallace.
    1977—raised $1.5m for “Moonie” cult, only 6.3% went for stated cause.
    1979—helped found the socially conservative political action group
    “Moral Majority”

    This, and the use of party resources to favor a particular candidate
    (of course a “bubba” favored by Lew Rockwell and other racists),
    are just milestones in a long road of incompetence, drifting away
    from the core libertarian message, and utter cluelessness on
    foreign policy.

    The jury is still out on Bob Barr. Maybe he will recant his prior
    activities as federal prosecutor in drug cases. Maybe he will
    shake off the influence of Lew Rockwell. Maybe a miracle will

  31. hlm Says:

    Of course this site is defending the far Right Viguerie. He owns it! He paid off Steve Gordon to obtain it. Of course Gordon is also paid by Barr, who is working with Viguerie. What a lucrative and comfy little set up they have for their mutual admiration society.

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