Portland Massacre

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The event referred to as the Portland Massacre was the most notable and controversial action at the 2006 Libertarian National Convention in Portland Oregon.

This effort was the result of efforts by the Libertarian Reform Caucus, founded by Carl Milstead, but not all of those voting to delete planks were on board with the LRC's message, as an alternative motive was to clean house on a platform that some considered to be stale and unwieldy [1].

The 2004 National Platform had 61 planks; the 2006 National Platform had only 15. This was not an unmitigated success for the LRC, however, as a great many of the remaining planks were ones that the LRC firmly wanted removed.


Vote Integrity

In 2018, Caryn Ann Harlos, after hearing Chuck Moulton express concerns about the integrity of the process despite his support for the result, began an investigation into anomalies using whatever data remained which included ballot votes on the platform retention. Her initial notes confirmed several voting errors where definite NAY votes were recorded as AYE (including Samuel Lawrence and Barry Hess) and several others are likely but remain to be confirmed (such as the Platform Committee Chair who openly opposed this moved, George Squyres. Considering that the margin of error for some votes was less than 1% these easily confirmed errors do call into question the validity of the vote. While nothing can be done about it at this time, Ms. Harlos maintains this is an excellent counter to some who try to illegitimately (even if the vote were overwhelmingly and solid) say this represented a fundamental change in Party beliefs, and she wonders that, given the tremendous outcry at this action, there was not an immediate vote audit during the period of time that remedial action could have been taken.

Impact

Radical Caucus

The current Radical Caucus was one of the caucuses to come into existence in response to the Portland Massacre. In 2015 it began work on its own platform that was based on the 2002 National Platform.

Boston Tea Party

Thomas Knapp founded the Boston Tea Party as a response to the gutting of the national platform. The schism didn't end until the dissolution of the BTP in 2012.

References

  1. https://reason.com/2006/07/07/the-portland-plank-massacre-of

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