Chairman Nicholas Sarwark voted no last night on the motion to suspend Arvin Vohra, thus the motion failed.
Sarwark stated that while he found the rhetoric “disgusting”, and he would have fired Vohra would he have been an employee of his, he felt that he should not supersede who the delegates chose.
“I would not overturn the choice of the delegates at convention when there was controversy over statements made by the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees they chose. I will not overt urn the choice of the delegates when there is controversy over statements made by the Vice Chair they chose,” he explained.
The final vote was Caryn Ann Harlos, Daniel Hayes, Elizabeth Van Horn, Jeff Hewitt, Sam Goldstein, Tim Hagan, Whitney Bilyeu, Alicia Mattson, Bill Redpath, Joshua Katz, and Justin O’Donnell for the motion and Arvin Vohra, Jim Lark, Starchild, David Demarest, Ed Marsh and Nicholas Sarwark against the motion.
Arvin Vohra will remain the Vice Chairman until the 2018 convention in New Orleans where polls suggest that he will not be reelected.
Nicholas Sarwark’s full statement can be found below:
I have stayed quiet about this controversy and the ones prior for two reasons. One, I think it’s more effective to say what we support rather than condemn what someone else says; we should drive the message instead of reacting to someone else. Two, I believe in empowering the committee to do the business of the party and don’t want to unduly influence the debate or the vote until all members have had the opportunity to be heard.
When I was in Louisiana for their state convention, a group of us were
talking in the hotel lobby when we were approached by an African-American woman. She said that we seemed unified and she wanted to tell us about a group working to assist women coming out of prison. This woman had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for possession of a small amount of crack cocaine. She had recently been released after serving 19 years and told us about how she didn’t want to get involved in drugs because she had seen her father involved in drugs. She told us that she ended up using because of pain from being sexually assaulted and physically abused, it was a way for her to escape her pain. She told us that she wanted to take the bad thing she did and turn it into something positive and help others.
The state stole money from its citizens to lock a woman in a cage for using
an unapproved substance to deal with her trauma. Everything about this
situation offends me, but most of all the way that the war on drugs stole
her fundamental human dignity and treated her like less of a person.
Rhetoric that refers to groups of people as “murderers” or individuals as a “cancer” who need to be removed is disgusting. We must not dehumanize others or treat people as less than individuals in our fight for liberty. If we do, we will corrupt our gains and become as those we would fight against.
My children go to public school and their teachers and school board members are good people. My family members serve in the military and they are good people. Members of my family have used welfare benefits and they are good people. Every one of the controversial statements that attacked one of those groups has offended me personally and made my job more difficult. I completely disagree with messaging that attacks people instead of positions, that attacks groups instead of treating people as individuals.
When I gave my speech for None of the Above for Chair in Las Vegas in 2012, it was due to the factionalism and infighting I saw on the LNC leading up to that convention. LNC members focused more on trying to oust each other or gain advantage internally than they did on trying to advance the goals of the Libertarian Party. That internal focus resulted in stagnant fundraising, candidate recruitment, and membership numbers.
Since 2014, our committee has been able to move away from the internal
factional fighting and focus on moving the Libertarian Party forward. We are improving fundraising, candidate recruitment, and membership. These recent controversies have regressed us back to internal fighting instead of fighting the two old parties. We need to stop the internal fighting and focus on our real opponents.
Many of the people who have contacted me about this vote have told me that if the Vice Chair worked for them, he would have been fired. If he worked for me, he would have been fired as well. But the Vice Chair is not my subordinate. He, along with every other officer and at-large member of the LNC, serves at the pleasure of the delegates at convention. In just over two months, those delegates at convention will get to vote for all of the officers of the LNC, including the Vice Chair.
I would not overturn the choice of the delegates at convention when there
was controversy over statements made by the Presidential and Vice
Presidential nominees they chose. I will not overt urn the choice of the
delegates when there is controversy over statements made by the Vice Chair they chose.
I have nominated the Vice Chair at convention twice; he has won twice. I will not nominate him in New Orleans. Our strategies have diverged too much for me to support him for another term.
I vote no.
Yours in liberty,