Today, I resigned from the Libertarian Party

Today, I resigned from the Libertarian Party. That does not mean I am no longer a Libertarian. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I didn’t leave the Libertarian Party. the Libertarian Party left me.

I joined the Tidewater Libertarian Party in January of 2001 shortly after it was formed. I remain a member of that organization but I have resigned from the National and State Party.  The Tidewater Libertarain Party was stripped of its affiliate status and replaced locally with the Libertarian Party of Hampton Roads. The main reason I write this is that I don’t want anyone to think I would have anything to do with that treacherous and intolerant organization.

The TLP works with Liberty minded citizens of other parties when we have common interests and that was unacceptable to the current leadership of the State party. There just aren’t enough dedicated Libertarians to affect change without cooperation with other parties where our interests align.  But the current leadership is more interested in being the weirdos in the corner of the bar who make everyone else uncomfortable than in getting things done.

The text of my resignation appears below.

March 23, 2022

Libertarian National Committee, Inc. (LNC)

1444 Duke Street

Alexandria, VA 22314-3403

Dear Committee Members,

Please find enclosed my renewal forms, I do not need them. After 21 years as a party activist, I will not be continuing in the Libertarian Party at the State or National level. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, it is right and proper that the reasons for dissolving a long-standing relationship should be disclosed.

In order to do that, you need to know a little about who I am. I joined the Libertarian Party shortly after the Tidewater Libertarian Party(TLP) was established in January 2001. Since then, I have served as Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer of that affiliate as well as 4th District State representative to the State Central Committee. I ran for the 14th District Senate seat in 2005, getting 29% of the vote against the Republican incumbent, a popular former high school principal against whom the Democrats were never able to pull more than 14%. I have represented the Libertarian Party to multiple university forums as well as the Virginia General Assembly Eminent Domain working group and the Chesapeake City Council. The Virginian Pilot has published 24 of my guest editorials addressing various topics of economics and governance from the Libertarian perspective. So, I am not a casual attendee of meetings, I am an activist who has given 20 years’ service to the party.

For years, there has been an exclusionist element in the Libertarian Party of Virginia{LPVA) and, after a failed attempt to take over the TLP, that element led to the disaffiliation of the Tidewater Libertarian Party and its replacement by the Libertarian Party of Hampton Roads(LPHR) as the local affiliate. The premise for stripping the TLP of its affiliation was the failure to provide timely paperwork to the LPVA. The Secretary of the TLP at the time the paperwork was due was James St, John, who is the current Chair of the usurping Libertarian Party of Hampton Roads. Yes, that is correct, the person who was responsible for filing the paperwork was the same one who used that paperwork failure as a technicality for stripping the TLP of affiliation.

Of course, that was just the technical pretense, the actual reason that the LPVA SCC selectively applied that paperwork failure to disaffiliate the TLP was that we actively seek out and work with liberty minded people of other parties where we have common interests. Of course, everyone in the LP says that, including the usurping LPHR, but, in reality, you can’t just call out to them when you need them, you need to respect them when you don’t. So, we regularly have guest speakers (first and third Saturday of each month) and they are often experts on an issue who are members of another party, and during election campaigns, we allow candidates or their campaigns to address our meetings for 2 minutes to state their case. Many of these politicians fail, but some succeed and remember who was there for them at the beginning, among them, the current Governor of Virginia.

These relationships we build serve us well. As an example, I will point out one issue which the TLP was active on from the beginning, that being the abuse of eminent domain for redevelopment purposes. One of our early guest speakers was attorney Joseph Waldo, an expert on eminent domain. The TLP was activist on the issue before and after the Kelo decision that brought the issue to national attention, including submitting an Amicus brief, which the court accepted, and over the years organizing rallies for an auto salvage yard whose location was coveted for a parking lot by Coca Cola. And a crab landing dock that developers wanted to take because in interfered with the view from houses they were building. Later, we were able to call on other organizations from the Tea Party, gun rights groups, small businessmen and neighborhood associations to rally over 1000 people(and all three television stations) in support of Central Radio, a defense contractor, whose location was desired by the real estate partner of Old Dominion University for developing apartments and a strip mall. You can’t do that without building relationships before you need them.

The initial General Assembly Working Group on eminent domain was organized by Thelma Drake, a Republican, who announced her first run for the General Assembly at a TLP meeting. The TLP sent a delegation of four, to address the Working Group including myself and our General Council, the late Steve Merrill. Note that eminent domain reform was opposed by every city and county in Virginia and that neither the LPVA nor any other affiliate sent speakers. We were the only ones there to speak on the issue as a matter of principle rather than as an aggrieved party in a current litigation.

When Mrs. Drake moved on to the US Congress from the 2nd district in Virginia, eminent domain legislation was carried forward in the VA Senate by Republican Ken Cuccinelli and in the House of Delegates by Democrat Johnny Joannou, both frequent speakers on legislative matters at TLP meetings. Both were instrumental in getting the legislation passed, and it was signed into law by Gov Bob McDonnell, my frequent TLP breakfast companion when he was Commonwealth’s Attorney from VA Beach. None of these are libertarians but they were there when we needed them and our opinions had their respect.

I can say with certainty that absent a decade of relentless activism by the TLP, and the relationships we built, eminent domain reform would not have passed in Virginia.

The Tidewater Libertarian Party has a record of accomplishment no other affiliate can match, but how we accomplish that offended those who think Liberty can be advanced by sitting alone in a corner and calling everyone outside their circle fascists.

The LPVA, with the support of the national LP, has created such a toxic environment that I cannot continue to be a part of it. I will continue to advocate for Liberty along with the TLP acting independently of the State and National organizations, but until they thoroughly fail and we pick up the pieces, we will have to go our separate ways.

But keep in mind that if you can drive away a dedicated activist like myself with your cancel culture ideological puritanism, how do you expect to recruit people of good will to grow the party into something effective on a national scale?

Goodbye,

Wm. Donald Tabor Jr DDS

2447 Johnstown Rd

Chesapeake, VA 23322

757 575-4494

7 thoughts on “Today, I resigned from the Libertarian Party

  1. Well put and I am sorry you felt it necessary to take this action. I do hope you find a TRUE political home in the very near future.

    As an aside, may I suggest you remove your home address from the letter posted here? Some people are kind of sick and they may not like you very much (I like you; we just disagree … A LOT!)

    Like

  2. RE: “The main reason I write this is that I don’t want anyone to think I would have anything to do with that treacherous and intolerant organization.”

    How unfortunate.

    Treachery and intolerance seem to be common everywhere these days.

    Like

  3. I will say this. It is interesting that you have to resign from a political party. I know you were part of the local establishment and what you are doing I believe is akin to Ronna McDaniel or Tom Perez resigning from their posts in the GOP and Democratic parties, respectively.

    Like

  4. Libertaire sans frontières

    There is merit to multiple parties like the parliamentary systems. Compromise and deal making for lesser parties provides a modicum of power at those levels. That is, citizens who don’t fit comfortably in Democratic or Republican castles can at least be heard.

    Until then, your voice is hard to hear through the noise.

    Liked by 2 people

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