Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Anonymous Comments - Melinda Responds to comment

 This was a comment on a post but I thought since Anonymous went to so much trouble we should promote it to Post.  Ta Da!

Anonymous said:  I can tell from your "history" that you are not actually familiar with a lot of the inside details you are reporting here. For example, I had plenty of copies of the Clark White papers which were available at state LP conventions that I attended. I witnessed a lot of the Kochs, Crane machine, Cato, the firing of Eric O'Keefe and hiring of Honey Lanham (I was physically there in DC when Eric left and still physically there in the office when she took over).

The main focus of the LP DC office in 1980-83 was local activism, which was promoted with training seminars for local volunteers, funding, literature, lists of members and donors including big money names in several state and numerous LP groups I help set up personally. After the Clark campaign, the LP office was working hard to set up LP groups and to support local activists.

Honey and Alicia nearly destroyed the LP through total incompetence, from the disasterous management of the office by Honey and the corrupt and nearly fatal move of the office to Honey's home town in Huston TX. Cato and Ed Crane were already in DC long before this event. Cato moved to DC in 1981, Eric was fired in the spring of 1983.

The Bergland campaign actually refused to work with anyone they thought had been part of the Crane machine and failed on several ballot drives as a result, when a phone call to me would have saved them - they refused to talk to me (although they did let me send a team to get New Jersey on the ballot at the last minute, which we did), but I could have saved several other state ballot drives had they allowed me to help - and I offered repeatedly to help for free. I also helped set up a private fundraiser and raised funds to run the horrible Bergland TV spots - they were always willing to take money.)

Howie Rich donated millions of dollars of his money to the Libertarian movement, he did not profit from it, he took nothing for himself. Ron Paul has used the freedom movement as his bank account, more so than Harry Browne, although these were voluntary transactions by consenting adults, unlike the Scam in the DC office run by con artist Perry Willis and promoted by another con man, David Bergland.

The last time I saw Bill Hunscher and Roger MacBride, they were still interested and open to participating in the LP, we were at a Libertarian Party summer picnic together in 1991 where Roger spoke. 

Melinda Responds: Because you did not give your name you can't honestly claim to speak from first hand experience, Anon.  That said, I will respond.

What happened in DC is irrelevant. It was right under Crane's nose and control. He could also pik which girls to invite into internships and other uses.  

You did not mention the kind of 'training' supplied. Local activism is less political training and more skills for listening and cooperating to solve real problems. It is not glamorous, just needful. My own activism grew out to other causes, most of these were positioned as 'Liberal' as soon as I realized how little the issues which mattered to me the most were accepted as relevant to Libertarianism.

Real activism builds a foundation for local cooperation. I worked with battered women, on the issue of no-fault marriage, with children who were being failed by public schools, I answered the phone for Right-to-Life until they began using legislation to limit choice. I was also active for the ERA, and then in the Peace Movement, which is very different from Anti-War, rest assured.

When I left the LP I joined the Republican Party and became active in the National Federation of Republican Women. Now, that was a change, and a welcome one. I met not one person I could not trust.

I requested copies of the White Papers on several occasions from Chris Hocker at National. I was always promised they would be sent. They never were. I did not assume this was aimed at me personally, but incompetence is no more comforting as an excuse. I did not normally attend state conventions except California. All those kids, you know. Lots of Birthday Parties, cup cakes for school, driving them to lessons, being a Brownie Mom, and doing various newsletters on which they helped out. They were collating before they could read, rest assured.

I also taught Natural Childbirth and gave La Leche instruction. You will be interested to know none of these things are considered matters of choice by every Libertarian, with minor exceptions, I knew. But I later learned having children and being active was scandalous. This struck me as bizarre in a movement which also harbored Ed Crane, but so it was.

Let's remember the lack of cooperation Eric O'Keefe provided to Alicia when she was National Chairman. Let's remember the lies on sharing inquiries, the disinformation standard in Los Angeles on the size of the organization and the number of successful events we put on there, entirely locally funded. (No Koch Money, not a cent) I do not know what you were doing in DC. I focused local but noticed what could not be over looked.

And when people I trust relay stories to me which fit with what I know, I accept them as true until they are proved to be otherwise. I've heard assertions from you but no proof.

Eric O'Keefe was removed because the phone records showed he was not returning Alicia's calls but spending hours on the phone with Crane. But it was clear no one in your group voluntarily cooperated with activists unless they thought those activists were funneling information and resources into the control of the Crane Machine.

Alicia was very well liked and she was honest. Was she perfect? No. Who is? But I do know how she struggled and how frustrated she was with the lack of cooperation from the National Office. Not following her directives was dishonest. Eric was a paid employee, not the CEO. She had every right to fire him.

Crane is dishonest and grasping. A =A. It is so, he wanted money and he got it.

Real freedom grows locally, from every place and part. It must blossom through renewed power within the individual. That is still my goal.

It was watching the whole thing grind down to greed, deceit and manipulation that pushed me into other activism. Those were both fruitful and satisfying. It was also a learning experience which proved to be enormously valuable when Dad asked me take over the work on my Grandfather's legacy. acpillsburyfoundation.org.

I was astonished to realize the values and goals Grandfather lived for were my own. He worked to change minds by showing them our connection to life through photography. His inventions extended human vision. It was working when they burned his studio in 1927. He spent the rest of his life burdened with debt. His brother-in-law, who could not face the struggle committed suicide.

I certainly learned a lot about the lack on conscience and corporate greed.

When did I defend the Berglandista? In fact, I criticized them for their nepotism and dishonesty in fundraising even at the time. But the Internet did not exist then. Isn't it nice we have it now? How much money did you raise?  FEC reports?  If you had asked me I would have told you not to bother. 

Where conversion of political resources, or incompetence, is noticed there should be correction. I did not participate after I saw what was happening.

And if it was not clear Crane would have, again, been in charge of the Ravenal campaign I might have supported Ravenal. I knew Bergland was not an appropriate candidate from the word GO. Neither was Marrou, or Ron Paul, for that matter. I like Ron but he lacked organizational skills and judgement. One of his fired employees, who brought his pot onto the plane when he was flying with Ron, Eric Rittberger Dondaro, should have been fired earlier. But the Crane-Howie Machine hired him immediately to collect signatures. And how about the Endless Book Tour of Harry Brow,n or whats his name, or Bob Barr?

I got to know Hunscher pretty well when he was living in Maine, toward the end of his life. He never mentioned meetings of the kind you related. That is not to say he and Roger did not consider cooperating with the CMachine, just that he did not mention it. But if no action came of those meetings or discussions there would be little reason for him to say anything about them.

Hunscher told me quite a bit about Roger I either did not know or only suspected. None of it shocked me.

Tomorrow is June 1st. We have a short time to change the direction of our world.

How does straight down the middle to the White House sound to you? But for that to happen the LP must move firmly Left with working solutions to the agonizing problems now confronting us. That course changes the paradigm, shattering what people have accepted. It is possible, the sort of odds Revolutionaries faced during the Shays Rebellion. We could lose, but this time it is worth trying.

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