Jillian Rayfield at Talking Points Memo:
The state chairman of the Libertarians of Kentucky has disavowed statements by the party’s vice chair, that suggest the group is considering running a real Libertarian candidate against Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul.
Chairman Ken Moellman told TPM that those statements were “not an official communication or an official stance.” However, Moellman did insist that Paul’s views are not in line with those of Libertarians’.
The Associated Press reported today that Party Vice Chairman Joshua Koch “said the idea of fielding a candidate has been an ongoing discussion among Libertarian leaders in Kentucky and hasn’t been an issue of contention internally.”
“The reason why we would even consider running somebody in this race,” Koch said,
“is because we’re not going to let Rand determine what a Libertarian stands for. I’m here to say Rand does not have the Libertarian ideology.”
In a phone interview, Moellman said Koch’s statements were “not authorized or condoned by the entire executive committee.”
“We’ve had no one forward to be a candidate,” Moellman said.
The party’s website also points out some other problems with this supposed plan:
We’d need (a) someone to volunteer to run; (b) they’d have to be approved by our executive committee; (c) they’d have to collect over 5000 signatures in less than 3 months; (d) and they’d have to pay the $500 filing fee.
The aim of recent comments to the media, Moellman said, was to “point out that despite what the media and others have said, Rand Paul is not a libertarian.”
A statement on the website clarifies this, citing “a repeal of the PATRIOT Act, closure of Guantanamo Bay, and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” as Libertarian stances that are different from Paul’s. It continues:
Rand Paul is not a libertarian. There are clear differences between the Libertarian Party, including the philosophy upon which is it based, and the philosophy and campaign rhetoric of Rand Paul. While the Libertarian Party shares some stances traditionally associated with the Republican Party, the LP also shares common ground on positions traditionally associated with the Democratic Party, and not always for the same reasons. We are an alternative to the two party system, not constrained by the model that defines both major parties.
Moellman also emphasized that “the Libertarian Party of Kentucky in no way endorses either the campaign of Rand Paul or Jack Conway.”
“We’re kind of dealing with a mess here,” he added. This is “not the attention we’re used to receiving.”