Colorado L.P. declines to invite Petersen to state convention, citing his repudiation of Libertarian principles


From the Libertarian Party of Colorado: 
APcccc

Libertarian Party of Colorado: Statement Regarding Austin Petersen and its 2016 State Convention

Questions have recently arisen about the decision of the Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Colorado to refrain from an extending an invitation to Austin Petersen to attend its Presidential debate at its State Convention. This decision was made by the Board in consideration of the following:

1. The Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail (Bylaws of the National Libertarian Party 4.1);

2. The Libertarian Party of Colorado has been voluntarily bound by its affiliation with the National Party that it shall not take any action inconsistent with the Statement of Principles (Bylaws of the National Libertarian Party 6.1);

3. The Constitution of the Libertarian Party of Colorado defines our purpose as to “implement and give voice to libertarian principles, such as those in the Statement of Principles of the national Libertarian Party” (LPCO Constitution II.1) and binds the Party to take no positions inconsistent with the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party (LPCO Constitution III.1);

4. The commitment of the Libertarian Party of Colorado to the Statement of Principles is demonstrated in its requirement that its Board of Directors, state candidates, delegates, and affiliates sign/ratify the Statement of Principles (LPCO Constitution V.2, VIII.4, IX.2; LPCO Bylaws VII.1) and specifically states that supporting candidates which take positions inconsistent with the national Party Statement of Principles is grounds for disaffiliation of county parties (LPCO Constitution IX.3);

5. Candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination Austin Wade Petersen has openly repudiated the non-aggression principle as stated specifically within the Statement of Principles and declared this principle to be “non-libertarian” and intellectually bankrupt using various insults and thus has clearly illustrated that he is philosophically opposed to essential first-principles of the Libertarian Party which the Colorado governing documents hold in primacy as the minimal bar by which everything is measured.

No formal resolution was made other than a decision that it was inappropriate for the State Party to invite a candidate who has openly repudiated and ridiculed the Party’s foundational and absolutely essential Statement of Principles that are held as the highest standard in our voluntary governing documents. Additionally, it was decided that the Board members, acting in their official capacities, would not contact or respond to the Petersen campaign on this issue. There were no objections to this decision.

The Statement of Principles is not optional for the Libertarian Party as defined within both the National and Colorado documents of voluntary association. It is the duty of Party officers to uphold these Principles and as the birthplace of the Libertarian Party, the Board of the Libertarian Party of Colorado made a decision in good faith with the intention of protecting and honoring these Principles.

151 thoughts on “Colorado L.P. declines to invite Petersen to state convention, citing his repudiation of Libertarian principles

  1. Pete Blome

    Austin Petersen repudiated the NAP and said it was Anti-libertarian? I have to read how, where, when, etc. Any help is appreciated…

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    As much as I dislike Petersen, I’m not sure I would agree to this, were it California. He IS a candidate, whether we like him or not.

  3. Jill Pyeatt

    Were all the other candidates invited? By the way, I know of another state who might not invite Petersen, citing that he’s not a member. I am NOT speaking of CA. He has confirmed coming to Los Angeles the first weekend of April.

  4. Andy Craig Post author

    @Jill

    Yeah I dunno about the rules/process/fairness angle of it. I get where they’re coming from, though, and it speaks volumes that they felt comfortable making the decision regardless (without objection, even).

    I mean, hypothetically, if a candidate was planning to show up in Klan robes preaching the virtue of lynch mobs, I think it’s entirely reasonable for a state LP to decline to be associated with them. Not saying Biebersen is that evil, just as to theoretical question.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    Another site claims that this is “the first time that a state Libertarian Party has refused to invite a Presidential candidate who has been recognized by the national party.”

    I’m skeptical of that claim. First of all, it’s not at all clear what “recognized by the national party” even means. Every four years there are arguments at the LNC level about which candidates to list on the LP.org web site and why. And often candidates show up at the national convention who are not taken seriously by many or “recognized by the national party” in any meaningful way, but who manage to reach this or that threshold for e.g. nominating speeches, debate participation, etc.

    I suspect that there were state parties in 2008 that decided not to invite Daniel Imperato to their conventions. There were probably state parties in 2004 that decided not to invite Jeffrey Diket to their conventions. In 1996, there were probably state parties that didn’t invite Charles Collins, or maybe even Irwin Schiff, to their conventions. Yet Schiff and Collins were on the debate stage at the national convention (which would certainly constitute “recognition by the national party”), Diket got speaking time in Atlanta, and I’m pretty sure Imperato at the very least got formally nominated in Denver (IIRC, he received one delegate vote).

    Agree with the logic of the Colorado LP’s position or not, it’s up to them which candidates they invite and why.

  6. Andy Craig Post author

    I agree it’s definitely true, the idea that there’s any kind of precedents or tradition to follow on this is bogus, and it’s ultimately up to LPCO. Even now there aren’t really “LNC-recognized candidates”. There’s a basic criteria for being listed on the website that say it’s anybody who’s 1) eligible 2) has a website to link to. Also file your FEC Form 2, in theory, unless the candidate says they don’t want to. So even that’s not really even a requirement.

    Maybe the LNC should apply a somewhat more restrictive criteria, to get a more realistic and representative list. I tend to think so. But they aren’t really declaring candidates “bona fide” or “recognized” or not. They’re just linking to the website of anybody who has one.

  7. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt
    March 6, 2016 at 20:51

    As much as I dislike Petersen, I’m not sure I would agree to this, were it California. He IS a candidate, whether we like him or not.”

    I’m not a fan of Petersen either, but I share Jill’s concerns here.

  8. George Phillies

    Important Oopsie: There are people on facebook who appear to believe that the LPCO ordered regular LPCO members, as opposed to LPCO Board members in their official capacity — OK, guys, how many Farads is that* — not to contact Austin.

    * Superbly brilliant physics joke here.

  9. Stewart Flood

    There’s obviously a bit of a chemistry issue between the LPCO and Petersen, but fortunately there appears to have been a mole* in the room.

    * Eh? Get it? Chemistry? Mole?

  10. Pete Blome

    Well, I’ve been living under a rock regarding Petersen and the NAP.

    I just listened to an interview by Caryn Ann Harlos. I find arguments that libertarians can be so without the NAP to be specious. Without it we are on exactly the same road to using the force of the state to “make things happen” as the Republicans and Democrats. Before you know it, people are thrown in jail for things that do not involve force or fraud. Libertarians should be about consensus in policy because it is in everyone’s best interest, not being compelled because it is somebodies else’s great idea. Whenever you explicitly or implicitly Ok the use of force by the state beyond the protection of individual rights, your person, or property (and aggression is quite obviously defined as someone being compelled through the force of law or a gun to do something when they are not using force or fraud on others, not the “aggression” necessary to ask a girl out) you are diminishing individual rights, free markets, limited government, or all three. I think I understand where Petersen is coming from, and taxation is also a form of force, but the perfect is the enemy of the good. No human form of government is perfect. Some form will be necessary for mutual defense or to pursue justice or to run our nuclear plants. To argue semantics serves no purpose. Discarding the discipline of the NAP may seem logical, but it will lead only to the same high level of moral relativism where we are now.

    Funny thing is I just went to the Presidential debates in Biloxi Mississippi, and this issue did not come up once among eleven candidates. Go figure…

    Colorado has the right to invite or not invite anyone they choose. Similarly, here in Florida, the ability for the LPF to decide who can be on the ballot as a libertarian needs to be restored in the law. The idea that the state can say anyone with a big enough checkbook can run on the ballot as a libertarian needs to be opposed. Both of these examples are the inherent rights of people associating freely under the First Amendment and peacefully expressing their views.

  11. Stewart Flood

    Come on George, I laughed at your joke!

    Folks, we’ve gone down the rabbit hole in Wonder Land. The only thing that I’ve ever objected to (and that was years ago) was the use of the phrase cult of the omnipotent state. It really is a cult, and there really are people who worship the state and believe it solves all problems.

    The rest of the pre-amble is about your right to live your life as you see fit — without of course harming others. And of course there is a really good part about how the government believes they do have the right to interfere and that all the other parties believe they do. That’s true!

    But this gets twisted around so much that a lot of people now call it a non-aggression principle. It is NOT a non-aggression principle, it is the principle of self-ownership!

    Why are we arguing over whether me exhaling CO2 that goes downwind and enters your lungs is aggression? Why are we arguing over whether if North Korea puts nuclear missiles on rockets and points them at us we might not have the right to defend ourselves? Of course we do! And while it may smell if someone passes gas, are they committing aggression when you breathe it in?

    I’ve listened to and read both sides of the arguments. I believe it is simply name calling by both sides. I believe I own myself and have the right to live my life as I see fit. I believe that Tom Knapp (just picking on you Tom!) has the same right. My understanding is that we both believe we don’t have the right to initiate force against the other to achieve a goal (goal is a really bad choice of words!).

    Some call it non-aggression, while I call it self-ownship. And no, not trying to get Tom to kick in here…he might actually agree with me. 🙂

    And yes, I support the pre-amble. There is nothing in there that says I can’t defend myself if I choose to.

  12. Stewart Flood

    And yes, I’ve used the phrase NAP as well. But that’s just the words in the pledge to uphold the pre-amble, which is SELF-OWNERSHIP!!!

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Nothing I disagree with there, Stewart.

    Whatever name we call it by, Austin explicitly rejects it, even going so far as to record a video on six “reasons” (none of which make any sense to me) to reject it.

    When some guy backs another party until the very moment he announces he wants to be my party’s presidential candidate, and THEN ALSO announces that he thinks my party’s principles are stupid and should be abandoned, I don’t consider him a legit candidate. Not because of ideological considerations, but because partisan politics is a team sport. If you want to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader through the regular season, don’t expect the Seattle Seahawks to hire you as their quarterback for the Super Bowl.

  14. Stewart Flood

    Why don’t we fix the pledge? Make it actually say what we’re supporting?

    I pledge that I believe in and support the principle of self-ownership and the rights of others to own themselves as well, and oppose the concept that government or person can take this right away from you.

    A start?

    Crazy thought?

  15. Stewart Flood

    Sorry…correct that to:

    I certify that I support the principle of self-ownership and the rights of others to own themselves as well, and oppose the concept that any government or person can take this right away from you.

  16. Stewart Flood

    Tom,

    That’s my point. I was sent a link today to an article that he wrote about non-aggression. I agree that it didn’t dispute anything regarding self-ownership and in fact supported the concept.

    I think we have a case of using words that were written before Petersen and many others in the party were even born. Cult? Great term. Makes you laugh and then cringe a bit the first time you read it. Read it again five years later and you agree completely. But it takes understanding why the words are being used and I just don’t believe that the “pledge” we all agree to is actually a pledge in support of self-ownership. It says NOTHING about self-ownership, which is the driving force behind the pre-amble!

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    It’s not the pledge he has a problem with (he seems to buy the ol’ “it was just so the FBI would know we weren’t terrorists” line). It’s the statement of principles.

    And I’m not really interested in arguing about whether the statement of principles is a good or bad thing, because that’s not the angle I come at it from. I see it more along these lines:

    The Republican Party’s platform has a “preamble” that’s not unlike the LP’s “statement of principles” section.

    Now, suppose that until six months ago, I ran a web site, etc. on which I proudly proclaimed “I Stand With Bernie.”

    And suppose I then suddenly stopped Standing With Bernie and announced my candidacy for the GOP’s presidential nomination, while simultaneously announcing that I think the preamble to the GOP’s platform is a bunch of bullshit.

    Do you think I’d get invitations from most state Republican Parties to their big events?

    Do you think I SHOULD get such invitations?

  18. Stewart Flood

    Does saying that mean I refute the pledge? No. I just don’t believe it actually says anything meaningful in relation to what the party stands for.

    We are not the party of non-aggression. We are the party of self-ownership. Does self-ownership imply non-aggression? Yes, in many ways it does. But non-aggression does NOT imply self-ownership. Pledging to oppose the initiation of force is not in any way pledging your support for what the party actually stands for.

    So in this respect I would agree that the term non-aggression principle is a hoax. A fraud. It is the wrong definition of what the party stands for. We believe in self-ownership and that others own them selves as well and have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit. Not as you or I believe they should, but as they believe they should. And the same goes for me.

  19. Stewart Flood

    Our comments crossed paths.

    I get where you are going. I think that in Petersen’s case, with his support for the lesser Paul, it isn’t quite as far outside of libertarian beliefs as Sanders is from republican positions.

    And yes, I think it is really stupid of him to shout out about the statement of principles being wrong.

    I don’t think that I’ve seen every interview he’s done. Did he actually deny the concept of self-ownership, or was he talking about non-agression as a principle? I realize that all of us political junkies should spend our entire lives watching every interview everyone ever does, but I haven’t. 🙂

    Did he refute self-ownership? I’m not trying to say he did or didn’t, I would just like to get a tangible reference to it that I can watch.

  20. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “Now, suppose that until six months ago, I ran a web site, etc. on which I proudly proclaimed ‘I Stand With Bernie.'”

    I would not put supporting Rand Paul in the same category as supporting any of the other candidates seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic or Republican parties.

    Why?

    Because Rand Paul was at least moderately libertarian. I’m sure that Tom will have something negative to say about this, but I agree with that letter from current LP Chairman, Nicholas Sarwark, where he said that Rand Paul was the most pro-liberty candidate in the major party primaries (or something close to that).

    Now I will say that Rand’s campaign was a disappointment to most libertarians, both big “L” and small “l,” compared to the ones his father ran in 2008 and 2012, and this was Rand was not bold enough, and was too wishy-washy, but even with his flaws, he was still better than the other major party candidates in the race. This is why many libertarians who supported his father in 2008 and in 2012 either did not support Rand, or only gave him minimal support.

    Austin Petersen would probably argue that he supported Rand because Rand was the most pro-liberty candidate in the major party primaries, and because a candidate running in a major party primary stands a better chance of winning, or at least having an impact on the race. I would not necessarily fault Austin for this, but on the flip side, it does make Austin look kind of funny to have been so hyped up about Rand when most libertarians were only lukewarm on Rand.

    I have bigger issues with Austin mocking the NAP, which is supposed to be the guiding principle of the party, and I also take issue with Austin for attacking people who point out that people in government frequently lie and engage in conspiracies.

    Question for Tom: You criticized Austin Petersen for his party hopping during this election cycle. Do you have the same problem with John McAfee, since he jumped from the Cyber Party to the Libertarian Party?

  21. Stewart Flood

    I’m going to watch it. I’m a minute or two in and he’s talking about pacifist anarchists. He’s reading someone else’s essay.

  22. Andy

    Here is Larken Rose’s response to Austin Petersen’s “5 Reasons Why I’m not An Anarchist.”

    Larken Rose: Five Bogus Excuses for Opposing Freedom

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I would not put supporting Rand Paul in the same category as supporting any of the other candidates seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic or Republican parties. Why? Because Rand Paul was at least moderately libertarian. I’m sure that Tom will have something negative to say about this”

    I guess that depends on whether or not you consider “bullshit!” to be “something negative.”

    “Question for Tom: You criticized Austin Petersen for his party hopping during this election cycle. Do you have the same problem with John McAfee, since he jumped from the Cyber Party to the Libertarian Party?”

    Nope. I do not consider jumping from a non-existent party to the Libertarian Party to be the same thing as jumping from a 150-year-old anti-libertarian authoritarian party to the Libertarian Party.

  24. Michael H. Wilson

    Stewart Flood writes; “It is NOT a non-aggression principle, it is the principle of self-ownership!” I appreciate that and I agree. I wish people would stop using the phrase non aggression principle because they usually default to the word nap which means something entirely different to most people. A nap is for a 4 year old along with some milk and cookies and old men such as myself. Our message needs to be clear, concise and consistent and using the word nap leaves most people a bit confused and surely is not clear as to what the LP is all about. As for Austin Petersen he is not worth my time.

  25. Stewart Flood

    If you listen carefully, he’s saying at the beginning that people using non-aggression as their justification for libertarian beliefs is wrong. I agree. I use self-ownership as justification. Aggression is frequently used to take away self-ownership, but I can see his point regarding using non-aggression as justification for extending libertarian principles being wrong.

    Now he’s saying part way in that private property rights are the fundamental belief. I still say that self-ownership is. That extends to ownership of property, but I’d disagree with it starting with property rights — unless you consider yourself as your own property. Ugh. Too far in the weeds here.

    So while this is a very badly put together video, I take it more as him refuting the arguments of non-aggression as justification for libertarian positions.

    I don’t hear him refuting the statement of principles.

    Yes, this video was probably a very bad idea. It refutes an argument that I’m not sure a lot of libertarians use. I’m not sure what an anarchist would say, but I’m a libertarian not an anarchist. Some people may believe the core belief is non-aggression, and it is obvious that the person who wrote the essay he read from believes all libertarians think that way, but we don’t.

    I agree with Tom that it is difficult to follow what he’s trying to say when he’s reading the essay. And I agree that there’s nothing there that refutes the Statement of Principles. It rambles quite a bit. But after listening to the beginning a few more times, it is very clear to me that he’s not refuting the concept of ownership as the basis of our party’s principles. At least not in this video.

    He seems to be sort of saying what I said in an earlier post, but he jumbles it up in this video in a few places by getting into the weeds of the history and differences between classical liberalism as the basis of modern libertarian philosophy vs the anarchist movement. That would drive most people nuts if this were a campaign issue.

    Ok…listened to the first half four times now and I still don’t hear him refuting the party, just the theory that non-aggression is the core principle as opposed to what is clearly stated in the Statement of Principles, which is self-ownership is the core principle. We denounce aggression, which the government uses against people, but it is still denounced over self-ownership and not just for the sake of denouncing aggression.

    He keeps repeating property rights, but it is actually self-ownership. He’s almost right. Property ownership (rights) require self-ownership. And of course the pre-amble says self-ownership. But your property is part of your self-ownership of how you live your life. I can see the error he’s making.

    I just searched the ByLaws, and there is no use of the words aggression or non-aggression. The Statement of Principles is of course referenced. And the Statement of Principles is self-ownership.

    My take on this is that Petersen is not refuting the Statement of Principles. Listen to it again, especially the first few minutes, and I believe you will find that he is not refuting the Statement of Principles.

    Final comment: his argument is with anarchists, not libertarians. I don’t want to get into the discussion of whether anarchists and libertarians are the same. I don’t believe we are. We have many common interests, but we are not exactly the same. In the current political climate we are certainly not enemies.

  26. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “I guess that depends on whether or not you consider ‘bullshit!’ to be ‘something negative.'”

    So I take it that you did not agree with LP Chairman Nicholas Sarwark’s open letter to Rand Paul, where he thanked him for injecting pro-liberty ideas into the major party primary debates, and where he said that he was the best candidate seeking the Republican nomination for President?

    “Nope. I do not consider jumping from a non-existent party to the Libertarian Party to be the same thing as jumping from a 150-year-old anti-libertarian authoritarian party to the Libertarian Party.”

    The Cyber Party existed to the extent that John McAfee and his inner circle formed it, and they did attempt to get it on the ballot as a vehicle for John McAfee to run for President. Like I said in another thread, I know somebody in the Libertarian Party who talked to McAfee last summer about getting the Cyber Party on the ballot, and this person suggested that McAfee seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination back then. McAfee resisted that idea and continued trying to pursue ballot access as the Cyber Party candidate. He switched to the Libertarian Party only after it became clearly apparent that there was no way in hell that he was going to raise the kind of money that it would take to get him on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC as the Cyber Party candidate, or as in independent.

    If McAfee had found a way to get on the ballot as the Cyber Party candidate or as an independent, he’d be doing that right now and would therefore be running against the eventual Libertarian Party candidate. So I would call what he did party hopping.

  27. Stewart Flood

    I agree with Michael that this is not worth the time. It is a silly discussion, much like the discussion over burning a witch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The arguments on both sides turn out to prove her a witch, simply because she weights the same as a duck — or at least that’s my recollection some 40 years after seeing the movie.

    So why are they rejecting him, when he clearly did not refute self-ownership, and in fact says he believes in it in the video (or at least in calling it property)…

    Does Colorado believe he’s a witch?

  28. Andy

    Stewart Flood said: “Final comment: his argument is with anarchists, not libertarians. I don’t want to get into the discussion of whether anarchists and libertarians are the same. I don’t believe we are.”

    I would say that an anarchist (or perhaps a better word is voluntaryist) is a libertarian who takes libertarianism to its logical conclusion.

    I think that most libertarians who say they are not anachists say so because they do not think that anarchy (or more accurately, no coercive government) is possible, or is not something that is ever likely to happen, so they remain stuck in minarchy mode.

    I am a philosophical anarcho-capitalist / voluntaryist, but I think that people can be minarchists and still be libertarians, although people like Larken Rose would disagree with me on this one.

    I see minarchy as a fall back position, with anarchy as the goal. I favor as smooth a transition to anarchy as possible, although a smooth transition may or may not be possible.

  29. Stewart Flood

    My question to Petersen is this: do you weigh the same as a duck? If you do, clearly you are a witch!

    Can we get out the larger scales for this?

  30. Pingback: Colorado L.P. declines to invite Petersen to state convention, citing his repudiation of Libertarian principles | American Third Party Report

  31. Stewart Flood

    Andy,

    I think that our only disagreement would be on the logical conclusion of libertarianism. Can we completely eliminate government? Some form of society with agreed upon rules would have to be created, otherwise war would quickly break out among “non-aggressive” people Fights over walking/driving over someone else’s land, getting to water, you name it.

    I like your use of the phrase “no coercive government”. But do you mean no government at all or just no government using force. If we were able to get rid of the “govern” part of government, where they “rule” us, I’m not sure what we’d be able to create.

    But that difference between a voluntaryist and a minarchist…well let’s just say that we certainly are not enemies.

    And I think that is the point. We should not be fighting over minarchy vs the total non-government belief (whether called anarchist, anarchist capitalist, voluntaryist, etc).

    So why do we let this issue of non-aggression start internal wars? The general public doesn’t even understand it. True, there was that stupid urban legend about the pledge being to avoid the eyes of the government. Whether it was true or just a rumor, our enemies from the outside use it to try to tear us apart. In this I am not talking about Petersen. I think he’s trying to say that it is a stupid argument.

    Anyway, I’ve sent him a message asking if he weights the same as a duck. 🙂

  32. Michael H. Wilson

    Question if I may ask. The non aggression principle has been around for quite some time but seems to have become an issue or a focus for some people in the last couple of years. Does anyone know when and who kicked this campaign off?

  33. Stewart Flood

    And yes, I texted him. I still have his cell phone number in my phone from almost a decade ago when he was the volunteer coordinator for the LP and I was on the LNC. Like me, he’s still got the same cell number he had back then.

    I wonder if he said “What the F is this?” when it went off. 🙂

  34. Stewart Flood

    That’s an interesting question, Michael. I’m not sure. And I’m not sure it wasn’t outsiders, who want to pick us apart.

    We’re a threat to them if we’re all working together, so maybe it is good for us to thrash this out.

    If we talk about self-ownership, as the Statement of Principles does, I don’t think any of us disagree. The disagreement comes with this term NAP, which is never referenced anywhere in the platform. The word aggression shows up in 1.7 self-defense and 3.1 national defense. In both cases it is referenced as our right to defend against aggression.

  35. Stewart Flood

    Ok…1AM my time. One of my 3D printers just finished a beautiful run of a part I’m working on, but I spent the last few hours online writing stuff and doing party work (candidate recruitment), so I don’t have the next part ready to print.

    Need…more…printers…four is not enough!!!

  36. Andy

    “Stewart Flood
    March 7, 2016 at 00:43

    Andy,

    I think that our only disagreement would be on the logical conclusion of libertarianism. Can we completely eliminate government? Some form of society with agreed upon rules would have to be created, otherwise war would quickly break out among ‘non-aggressive’ people Fights over walking/driving over someone else’s land, getting to water, you name it.

    I like your use of the phrase ‘no coercive government’. But do you mean no government at all or just no government using force. If we were able to get rid of the ‘govern’ part of government, where they ‘rule’ us, I’m not sure what we’d be able to create.”

    I think that for an anarchist society to be possible, and to last, you’d have to have a majority of the population that accepts libertarian principles, and that rejects the concept of a ruling class, and there would have to be some defense mechanisms in place to deal with those who do not abide by libertarian principles, and to ensure that another coercive government does not emerge.

    There was a time in human history when most people believed in the divine right of kings. Most people on this planet do not believe in the divine right of kings anymore, but most people do believe in the divine right of politicians. Will we ever see a day where a majority of the public know longer believes in the right of politicians to rule over us? I don’t know.

    This is why I support the concept of a libertarian separatist movement. Just in case you missed it here, this is a concept that I came up with which I call The Libertarian Zone. It is a voluntary contract based society, where there is no ruling class, but where the people who live there sign a contract and are responsible for enforcing the terms of the contract. The Libertarian Zone contract is the defense mechanism to help The Libertarian Zone stay libertarian, but it would ultimately be up to each Libertarian Zone contract signer to see that the contract is enforced, because words on a piece of paper do not enforce themselves. I suppose that you could say that The Libertarian Zone would be an example of a non-coercive government, but just to be clear, there’d be no ruling class. Everyone in The Libertarian Zone would be contractually bound by the same set of principles, and if they don’t like it, they could always move out of The Libertarian Zone. Anyway, here is the link to my concept:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/07/andy-jacobs-the-libertarian-zone/

  37. Stewart Flood

    While this sounds very interesting, how would the libertarian zone manage to free itself from an outside entity (ie government) trying to impose external rule, taxes etc.

    Just a thought. Hadn’t read it before, or if I did it was a while ago and I didn’t remember.

    In concept, it sounds nice.

    Anyway…now it is 1:15AM. Have a network I have to fix in the morning, plus drop off a Mac I had to repair over the weekend, and I didn’t even touch the box of my new printer. ARGH!

    To drop a reference to a neat website: the California LP has a really nice convention website. I recommend checking it out at http://lpcevent.com

    Just a plug for my friends in California! It looks like a really nice convention is being arranged. Someone should be promoting this on IPR!

  38. Jill Pyeatt

    Thanks for the plug, Stewart! I’ve got an article ready to go with the new site. All I need is the URL, but the site’s down, for some reason, and I need to wait until it comes up.

  39. Steve Scheetz

    I applaud Colorado for their actions. They have demonstrated that they will NOT sacrifice their core principles in order to gain more votes. Austin Austin Wade Petersen is either not a member of the Libertarian Party, having stated, repeatedly, that he has never signed on to the Non-Aggression Principle, (NAP) a requirement of membership within the party, or he is lying about not signing the NAP, in which case he is in violation of the core principles that are the base foundation for “The Party of Principle”

    Libertarians have been angered over his small group of friends’ and his own flagrant mocking of our principles, stating things like “So the choice becomes, do you want to lose by running a great thinker and administrator who does not get votes? Or back a candidate who is expanding the base of support for the party and energizing people to come out and vote?”

    While the actual choice is: “We could maybe win 5% of the vote by forgetting our core principles, or we could tell the non-Libertarians that we ARE the Party of Principle. There are other parties filled with lying politicians, we are not going to be one of them.”

    At the end of the day, our mission is to educate people.

    Austin Petersen, if he is allowed to be the candidate, will be educating people that one can lie and plagiarize, and the Libertarian Party is so corrupt, their “values” are meaningless.

    Colorado said NO, our values are NOT meaningless.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  40. Andy

    Steve Scheetz said: “While the actual choice is: ‘We could maybe win 5% of the vote by forgetting our core principles, or we could tell the non-Libertarians that we ARE the Party of Principle.'”

    There’s no way in hell that Austin Petersen comes anywhere close to getting 5% of the vote. He’d probably be lucky to get .5% of the vote.

  41. Cody Quirk

    Honestly, I can agree with Austin on a few issues (except his take on the NAP), however my problem with him is his obvious arrogant & divisive attitude, along with his ego.
    Yes, I don’t just judge candidates by what their views and beliefs are, but also by how they talk to and treat others. And even if I agree with you 100% on the issues, yet are a complete pompous asshole that behaves like Kanye West -then you will not get my support, nor my vote.

  42. Shivany Lane

    Posting to subscribe

    Also, please don’t bring John McAfee into this Drama.

    John McAfee has NEVER been political. He decided to run for President for the good of “We The People”.
    He, in true John McAfee fashion, declared he would run under his own party. One that would not have the reputation or history of any of the others. Cyber Party. He honestly did not know all the twists turns and hoops one must jump through to get on the ballot. And to be honest with you, I didn’t realize it was so varied from state to state. I want to thank the Libertarian Party for all the work they have done to make Ballot Access more accessible for all.

    I volunteered to handle the ballot access. I had advised going to the Libertarians since his core values align exactly with yours. John is used to having an idea and then finding the experts who can make it happen. Politics, sadly does not work like businesses. Thankfully, Richard Winger was infinitely patient with me.

  43. Shivany Lane

    Oh yes I forgot, Andy has a “mole” in the party who gives him the “inside baseball”.

    Why won’t you name this mole?

    Some of us were just as surprised as you that John was running for President. Are you just a teeny bit jealous that John has people that are so loyal to him that they will move heaven and earth to make sure his visions become realities? The next time I read about your “mole”, I am going to start looking at who this mole is and believe me, i will find them!! No one likes a fink, we really don’t like people who repeat a fink’s secrets.

  44. Andy


    “Stewart Flood
    March 7, 2016 at 01:19

    While this sounds very interesting, how would the libertarian zone manage to free itself from an outside entity (ie government) trying to impose external rule, taxes etc.

    Just a thought. Hadn’t read it before, or if I did it was a while ago and I didn’t remember.

    In concept, it sounds nice.”

    Good question.

    This would require libertarians forming a majority of the population somewhere, by moving into the same area. Once there, they’d either have to take over the local government, or they’d have to purchase land and set up their own community.

    The Free State Project is attempting to do something like this in New Hampshire, but the problem is that New Hampshire is already populated by lots of non-libertarians, and they have no mechanism for keeping more non-libertarians from moving to the state and therefore diluting the votes and/or influence of the libertarians. Also, they are attempting to “take over” a state with a population of over 1.3 million people, with only 20,000 Free State Project members, most of whom have yet to move to the state. I think that the Free State Projects prospects would be better if the focused on taking over city/town, or a county in New Hampshire, but even then, they’d still be surrounded by non-libertarians, they’d have no way to keep non-libertarians out, and they’d have to contend with state and federal government officials even if they took over the local government. I suppose that there hope is that they can influence a critical mass of the population of New Hampshire to support them, but this sounds far easier said than done to me, so good luck with that.

    So it is quite possible that at this point, the USA is too far gone to the point where it may be better to locate The Libertarian Zone outside of the USA. Where? I don’t know, but one idea would be if libertarians pooled some money together, and went to some poor country, and offered to pay the government officials there a bunch of money for some land with the provision that they sign a document that says that they will not interfere with The Libertarian Zone and that the Libertarian Zone will not interfere with their affairs (it would probably take something like $1 billion or more to pull this off).

    Another option would be to put The Libertarian Zone on a floating platform in the ocean, or maybe if there is an island somewhere that is not claimed by any government (I’m not sure if such a place exists or not).

    The Libertarian Zone contract signers would have to be well armed. Most of the libertarians who take part in the project would likely chose to be armed. Remember, this would be a society with no gun control laws.

    It would take a lot of money to make a project like this happen. Libertarians from around the world would be asked to kick in money. It would help the process if some wealthy libertarians would donate to the project.

    If The Libertarian Zone got going, I think that it would be a prosperous place for business (kind of like Hong Kong, but more free, and potentially more prosperous), so it could be an economic hub that lots of would be attackers would not be motivated to attack because they may have a vested financial interest in not doing so (they may have business investments there (it would be a great place for manufacturing since there would be no taxes), or perhaps they’d open up a bank account in The Libertarian Zone (Libertarian Zone banks would not share information with any government tax collectors), or maybe they’d want to vacation in The Libertarian Zone (there would be no drug laws, and prostitution and gambling would be legal, plus there would be no taxes on hotels, no taxes on food, and no taxes on anything else, so I think that all of these factors would make The Libertarian Zone a popular destination for tourists)).

    If anyone tried to attack The Libertarian Zone, they’d be attacking a place where most of the people were armed. Libertarian Zone members would likely form militias, and they could hire security companies (all of whom would also be bound by The Libertarian Zone contract, and since there would not be any taxes in The Libertarian Zone, people would pay the security company on a voluntary basis).

    Some Libertarian Zone members may also chose to own tanks, rocket launchers, armed drones, etc…

    Another way that The Libertarian Zone could defend itself is by launching cyber attacks against anyone who attacks or threatens The Libertarian Zone. There are a lot of libertarians who are computer geeks, so I’d imagine that some of them would be capable of coming up with nasty computer viruses.

    The Libertarian Zone would have no “leaders” (just contract signers) and The Libertarian Zone would therefore not interfere in the affairs of nations, so it would not provoke anyone into attacking.

    Would some government or other gang of thugs attack The Libertarian Zone anyway? Perhaps, but they’d be met by armed resistance from a people who are not used to being told what to do, and there would be no government for them to conquer, as they’d have to conquer each individual, which would not be as easy as it sounds.

  45. Andy

    “Shivany Lane
    March 7, 2016 at 02:35

    Oh yes I forgot, Andy has a ‘mole’ in the party who gives him the ‘inside baseball’.”

    I know lots of people who give me lots of information. Don’t forget, I have been involved with this stuff for almost 20 years and I know people all over the country.

    “Why won’t you name this mole?”

    I don’t know if this person wants to be named or not, so I am going to refrain from doing so, at least for now.

    “Some of us were just as surprised as you that John was running for President.”

    I was not surprised because i barely knew who John McAfee was prior to him announcing that he was running for President. I was like, “John who?” Then I was like, “Oh yeah, he was that guy that was interviewed on The Alex Jones Show about cyber security.” That was the only time that I had ever heard of him.

    “Are you just a teeny bit jealous that John has people that are so loyal to him that they will move heaven and earth to make sure his visions become realities?”

    Jealousy has nothing to do with anything. I’m just a long time Libertarian Party member who wants the Libertarian Party to have the best candidate for President possible.

    You seem to act like I have engaged in some kind of personal attacks against McAfee, but this is not my purpose at all. I believe in vetting all of our candidates, particularly when it comes to high profile offices, and President is the highest profile office of all. The Libertarian Party candidate for President acts as a standard bearer for the organization, and I don’t think that this position should be handed out to just anyone. I’ve seen the party get burned by candidates in the past, and I don’t want to see it happen again.

    So if you read my posts on this site, you will see that I am vetting ALL of the candidates for the nomination, not just McAfee.

    “The next time I read about your ‘mole’, I am going to start looking at who this mole is and believe me, i will find them!! No one likes a fink, we really don’t like people who repeat a fink’s secrets.”

    My source who was in talks with McAfee consulted with me because this person knows that I’m an expert on ballot access. This was not about being a “fink,” it was about getting John McAfee on the ballot as the Cyber Party candidate or as an independent, and like I said before, this person even suggested that McAfee run for the Libertarian Party nomination.

    You make this sound like it was some kind of nefarious thing, but this was not the case at all.

  46. William Saturn

    If a fascist came to “vacation” in the Libertarian Zone and began speaking in public in favor of fascism, how would the Libertarian Zone deal with such an individual? What if he began inviting his fellow fascist friends to “vacation” there and they all started peacefully protesting libertarianism throughout the zone?

  47. Ken Moellman

    This decision by LP CO is absolutely horrible. I’m not rooting for any campaign. I’m saying this for the long-term viability of the LP. Once we start applying subjective criteria of “everyone but this guy because we don’t like his platform,” we’re doomed. Legal cases get put in jeopardy. It sets bad precedent internally. It’s a statement of distrust in our membership. It’s just horrible. As one who has been “not invited” to debate as a Libertarian candidate, and as one who has been a campaign manager for those who have been “not invited” to debate, and as the former-Chair of LPKY which is still embroiled in the ever-changing-to-get-the-desired-result inclusion criteria lawsuit from 2014, I find the subjective nature of this “not invited” status extremely offensive. And the release from LPCO “clarifying” why they really don’t like Petersen is even worse.

    We’re better than this.

  48. Andy

    “William Saturn
    March 7, 2016 at 03:11

    If a fascist came to ‘vacation’ in the Libertarian Zone and began speaking in public in favor of fascism, how would the Libertarian Zone deal with such an individual? What if he began inviting his fellow fascist friends to ‘vacation’ there and they all started peacefully protesting libertarianism throughout the zone?”

    Vacationers to The Libertarian Zone would also have to sign Libertarian Zone contracts (there could be a custom contract written specifically for tourists). If they violate the terms of The Libertarian Zone vacation contract they’d face being ejected.

    Having said this, I doubt that simply stating their opinions would be grounds for a contract violation. They would not likely face ejection unless they were actually threatening people or engaging in violence or property destruction.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    As CAH likes to say, wow, just wow.

    A L running for the L prez nomination states philosophical reasons why he doesn’t buy the NAP and he is not invited to speak? CO can of course do this, but it reminds me of a child that covers his/her ears and mutters non-stop as a means to drown out the words of another that he or she doesn’t care for.

    Has AP advocated some horrible thing, like racism or genocide? No. Has he called for war, nationalizing health insurance, or even increasing the minimum wage? No.

    How do we conclude anything else but this is a childish move by CO LP?

  50. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    This is extreme Political Correctness, refusing open dialog. Philosophical Brown Shirts hiding behind a thin “voluntary organization” defense.

  51. George Phillies

    On the other hand from the comments in the link at the top of the article

    “Wes Wagner He is the only candidate attending the fake LPO convention being run by Starr’s flunkies.”

  52. George Phillies

    One might wonder how the Republicans would handle a pro-choice candidate or the Democrats would handle a pro-life candidate.

  53. Shivany Lane

    @George Phillies
    The way the Democrats work, as far as I know, is that regard;ess of your person belief about pro-choice or pro-life, if you are the candidate that the people want then you get the nomination. Pure and Simple. What isn’t so simple is that you do not get to run on your own platform you had during the primaries. In order to get the full endorsement of the party, you run on the party platform as chosen by the people (well these people are the ones at the convention but still it is a crapload of people).
    You can be pro-life and also pro-choice. they are not mutually exclusive except in Republican land. Say I am pro choice, that means I feel a woman has a right to choose. Pro-life may be my own spiritual belief and I would never get an abortion but would not deny anyone else the right to one. It’s just like their religion. People were afraid JFK would take his marching orders from the Pope, just because he was Catholic. It is ignorance.
    Hillary and Bernie agree on many things yet they disagree on how to carry it out. Whoever wins the nomination will adopt whatever the Party Platform is. They have different platforms, just like our candidates, for the primaries. Every thing changes for the General.

    @Andy
    I am so sorry you don’t understand that when someone tells you something in “confidence” that you don’t go publishing on a free forum. If I were the person who gave you the “inside baseball” then I would never, ever trust you again. And BTW. There were very few people who knew that I (for John) was inquiring about Ballot Access. And here I thought Richard Winger was the expert on Ballot Access, you know, because of his blog and everything like being the one who they call to appear on the news shows when the subject comes up. Are you now telling me I should have contacted you first? Is this the thorn in your side? Or do you just think that because you have been active in a party for 20 years you have an entitlement to know all that is going on in that party and you proclaim yourself the party expert?

  54. Robert Capozzi

    My sense is for the last few decades, pro-choice or -life are bright-line litmus tests for the presidential nomination for the Ds and Rs, respectively.

    GJ and Pataki (to a lesser extent) would be 2 ex’s where that those candidacies were DOA.

  55. Steve Scheetz

    Robert Capozzi, “A L running for the L prez nomination states philosophical reasons why he doesn’t buy the NAP and he is not invited to speak?”

    AWP has lied about his credentials repeatedly in order to further his political goals against the NAP
    “The Non-Aggression principle is a social contract… but I didn’t sign it, and neither did the enemies of liberty.” – – Austin Petersen

    The Statement above makes him something other than a Libertarian running for the nomination from the Libertarian Party. (How can one be a member of the party if he did not satisfy the conditions of membership?)

    Then, after being called out on it, he admitted, just last night, that he signed the pledge.
    Which, of course, he has been lying about in his rhetoric in violation of the LP core principles.

    Today, I read, from you: “This is extreme Political Correctness, refusing open dialog. Philosophical Brown Shirts hiding behind a thin “voluntary organization” defense.”

    Proving Godwin’s Law correct is a very poor excuse for an argument. Maybe if you had mentioned the fact that Austin Petersen, who has been called out for lying to everyone, and approached the argument from a more principled standpoint, like Ken Moellman did, I would have taken your remarks more seriously. However, your mischaracterization of what Colorado did makes you look like one of Austin Petersen’s Facebook trolls who argue for the sake of arguing.

    While I disagree with Ken Moellman in what he said, I can respect his position and even agree with one of his points.

    “We’re better than this.”

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  56. steve m

    ” Additionally, it was decided that the Board members, acting in their official capacities, would not contact or respond to the Petersen campaign on this issue.”

    The Colorado Libertarian Party Board is playing favoritism and in doing so is using their authority to influence whom the candidate will be.

    If the Colorado LP Board doesn’t trust its own members why should its members trust this Board?

    I believe it is always a mistake for any branch of the Libertarian Party to take a paternalistic protective approach with respect to its members.

  57. LG-NV

    Justfor the record for which I barely ever speak up anymore due to inner party bullshit…’HERE WE GO , HERE WE GO HERE WE GO AGAIN” …I think the purity tests launched by both wings have always been and always will be a mistake and our #1 obstacle to success.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    SS, whether AP is a “liar” or just being honest about what he believes is a great question. While I don’t support him (or anyone at this point), and while I think he makes a mistake for his prez nomination efforts by taking on the obvious weakness of the NAP as the unfortunate deontological rule that was imposed on the LP by 89 20-somethings more than 4 decades ago , there clearly are many L (big and small) who are not NAPsters, so in that sense I find the dialog of some value.

    It just strikes me as WAY uncool to not invite him to the LPCO, particularly when other states have. If they REALLY wanted to chide him for his blatant plumbline violations, why not invite him and pillory him there for his heretical views?

    LPCO is making AP into a philosophical martyr. Generally, that’s considered poor politics.

    Sorry if you take offense to my term “philosophical brown shirts.” It should be obvious that it’s a colorful way to put this childish power play to exclude an interesting-if-sometimes-immature candidate who apparently has garnered support from other big-L Ls in other states and probably CO.

    They are violating the Capozzi Rule: Don’t be uncool. 😉

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It just strikes me as WAY uncool to not invite him to the LPCO, particularly when other states have. If they REALLY wanted to chide him for his blatant plumbline violations, why not invite him and pillory him there for his heretical views?”

    You might want to read the actual resolutions, Bob.

    It’s not about “chding him for his blatant plumbline violations.”

    It’s about someone arguing, and the LPCO’s board accepting the argument, that inviting him would violate both the Colorado LP and LNC bylaws.

  60. Stewart Flood

    This is all BS. I just checked to see who else they had invited and can’t find any reference to any presidential candidates attending, or any event in which they would be speaking.

    The convention is in FOUR DAYS.

    A little late for grandstanding, isn’t it?

    Either this is a late leak of a secret decision made a while ago, or they are the most irresponsible board in the party by waiting until the last minute. Invitations should be extended a long time before an event, so my guess is that they have kept their witch hunt a secret for a while.

    So the question is: when was this trial conducted, and why was Petersen not given an opportunity to address their allegations?

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    What trial? What allegations?

    In my experience, state parties have conventions and they either have a convention committee or the executive committee plan those convention and decide which candidates, if any, to invite to speak or debate.

    Is your experience different?

  62. Robert Capozzi

    LPCO: No formal resolution was made other than a decision that it was inappropriate for the State Party to invite a candidate who has openly repudiated and ridiculed the Party’s foundational and absolutely essential Statement of Principles that are held as the highest standard in our voluntary governing documents.

    tk: …inviting him would violate both the Colorado LP and LNC bylaws.

    me: Gots to call bullshit on this one, TK. LPCO uses the operative word “inappropriate,” not that it would be a “violation” to “invite” an acknowledged, bona fide candidate. Maybe it would be a “violation” to NOMINATE the Heretic Peterson.

    Think about this, though. If merely INVITING the Great Young Heretic was a “violation,” then how would THAT be policed? Some sort of JC action indicting the LPCO for knowingly inviting a Heretic to participate in a state convention? The CO JC would — what — overrule the state committee? Ban them for life? Puh-lease!

    My God, this is beyond the Theater of the Absurd! This one makes OR’s drama look good by comparison!

  63. Jill Pyeatt

    “My God, this is beyond the Theater of the Absurd! This one makes OR’s drama look good by comparison!”

    Overreact much, Capozzi?

    Though I might have made another choice, the LP CO was certainly within their rights to do this, just as the Texas LP has the right to only invite 5 candidates to debate. I also don’t think there was any malicious intent here.

    The Oregon drama, however, has involved many players over a prolonged period of time, has cost at least half a million in legal fees and, in my view, definitely has malicious intent by at least a few of the players.

    Petersen should “man up” and accept this is a result of his own behavior.

  64. Avens O'Brien

    Jill said above: “As much as I dislike Petersen, I’m not sure I would agree to this, were it California. He IS a candidate, whether we like him or not.”

    I agree here. Granted, I write for TLR, but Petersen is not my choice in the race, I just hold no grudges against him (for the record, I haven’t made up my mind about which LP candidate to support, and wish to ask serious questions of the top 3 (Johnson, McAfee, Petersen) to determine which should be the nominee – which also involves determining what the actual goal is (winning an election, getting 5%, getting more attention to the LP — lots of opportunities and the candidates may each be better at one or the other).

    Petersen is a candidate for the nomination who is polling in the top 3. He’s shown serious interest and is putting time, energy and effort into seeking this nomination. I disagree with him on the NAP and on other things, but I’d rather have him come to conventions where he’s questioned and debated, rather than shut out of these conventions, where he gets to make click-bait news out of every bit of drama like he’s done so readily before.

    Honestly, I think one of our state parties should ask someone like Larken Rose to come in and debate Petersen (he’ll also remind us all that voting LP is folly as well, but hey, at least it’ll be interesting).

  65. Andy

    The LP of Colorado should have invited Austin Peterson to the debate, and then chided the heck out of him for his position on the NAP.

  66. Andy

    Avens, why do you only want to ask Johnson, McAfee, and Peterson questions? What about Darryl Perry? What about other candidates?

  67. Avens O'Brien

    “Avens, why do you only want to ask Johnson, McAfee, and Peterson questions? What about Darryl Perry? What about other candidates?”

    Because I have reviewed the roster of candidates and I am deciding between the three of them (I’ve disqualified the others from my vote for various reasons, though I keep an eye on them in case they do something to make me change my mind). By all means, everybody else should consider all of them if they wish to. I just have questions for the three I’m particularly undecided about.

    I actually am including Perry in a piece I’m writing on the topic this week – I know him personally and am a fan, but not as the LP nominee. I have my reasons, which I’ll be exploring further in my piece, but have to do with end goals… I’ll happily link you to it.

  68. Avens O'Brien

    “The LP of Colorado should have invited Austin Peterson to the debate, and then chided the heck out of him for his position on the NAP.”

    THIS THIS THIS

  69. David Colborne

    If only Austin was banned from the debate – that would actually make sense. Unfortunately, based on a long-running argument I’m having with one of LPCO’s Board members in the LP Radical caucus, he’s not, in fact, banned – they’ve just declined to extend an invitation. Apparently, if you’re running for President (or at least promise you are), you can just show up to the LPCO convention and they’ll hook you up with a podium and a mic, even if your name is Austin Petersen. They’re just “inviting” select candidates to participate to encourage them to show up or… something.

    Personally, I encourage as many libertarians as possible to announce they’re running for President solely for the purpose of showing up to LPCO’s debate, making an utter hash of the whole thing, and then announcing after the debate’s over that, effectively immediately, they are “suspending their campaign”. Perhaps if 50 Libertarians or so show up and demand mic time, the LPCO Board will realize that hamhanded half-measures that they have no intention of sticking by are counterproductive and will move on to more constructive pursuits, like wiping their waste orifices with the paper they drafted this proposal on.

  70. Robert Capozzi

    jp: Overreact much, Capozzi?

    me: I’d say I am overreacting for effect, as I find this move by the LPCO a WILD overreaction. I have a hard time imagining how the players involved came to the conclusion that this non-invite and formal proclamation was a good use of their time.

    jp: Though I might have made another choice, the LP CO was certainly within their rights to do this, …I also don’t think there was any malicious intent here.

    me: I agree that it’s their prerogative as a volunteer organization. But it certainly looks malicious to me, in the sense that they are so anti-AP-as-nominee that they decided to make this extraordinary step.

    jp: The Oregon drama, however, has involved many players over a prolonged period of time, has cost at least half a million in legal fees and, in my view, definitely has malicious intent by at least a few of the players.

    me: Yes, this is my point. OR’s drama is understandable. CO’s ain’t.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Is it really too much to ask for you to actually read the whole resolution before “calling bullshit” on me citing its plain text?

    me: Now I’ve read it 3x. Inviting is not nominating. Different things.

    It’s interesting that the commentariat pretty much all agree this was an uncool move on LPCO’s part.

    Even, ultimately, TLK: “…I would invite Austin along with other candidates. ”

    The contortions this LPCO statement reflects are exasperatingly puzzling.

  72. George Phillies

    Austin:
    Did you have to pay these guys in Colorado to give you all this publicity, or did Caryn give it to you for free?
    George

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Still haven’t read it, huh? Here, I’ll make it easier for you:

    “The Libertarian Party of Colorado has been voluntarily bound by its affiliation with the National Party that it shall not take any action inconsistent with the Statement of Principles …. The Constitution of the Libertarian Party of Colorado … binds the Party to take no positions inconsistent with the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party.”

    It may be your opinion that inviting Austin Petersen to attend their convention as a candidate for president is not “an action/position inconsistent with the Statement of Principles.”

    It’s obviously their claim that inviting Austin Petersen to attend their convention as a candidate for president IS such an action/position.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    tk quoting LPCO leadership: “…binds the Party to take no positions inconsistent with the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party.”

    me: Right. Peterson’s Penny Plan is not inconsistent in that it’s a lessarchist plan, moving in the right direction. That’s his “position.” He also happens to believe the PREMISE of the NAP is flawed and unworkable. Similarly, many/most of the platform planks are similarly not statements of the NAP, that is, abolition of a state function.

    As a lessarchist myself, I believe my views are not “inconsistent” with the SoP. They are consistent. I just don’t buy into the SoP and NAP as a workable construct to measure L activism.

  75. SteveC

    That “cult of the omnipotent state” still makes me cringe, a couple of decades later. The Free State Project’s Statement of Intent is a practical libertarian definition suitable for a political organization: “I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of the individual rights to life, liberty, and property.”
    https://freestateproject.org/store/product/fsp-statement-intent-magnet
    Admittedly, unlike the NAP it is not an attempt at a fundamental principle, but it makes a wonderful, uncontroversial greatest common denominator.

  76. langa

    A L running for the L prez nomination states philosophical reasons why he doesn’t buy the NAP and he is not invited to speak? CO can of course do this, but it reminds me of a child that covers his/her ears and mutters non-stop as a means to drown out the words of another that he or she doesn’t care for.

    A very poor analogy. A much better one would be to someone who throws a party, and invites all of their coworkers, except one. For example, if the person hosting the party were gay, he might choose not to invite the coworker who insists on lecturing him about his “evil” lifestyle. Or if the person hosting the party were highly religious, he might choose not to invite his atheist coworker who constantly tells him how “stupid” his religion is. In short, libertarians are supposed to believe in freedom of association, and that includes the freedom to choose not to associate with someone. LPCO is exercising that right.

    Having said all that, I’m not a big fan of this decision. When it comes to people saying stupid shit, I’m almost always in favor of letting them talk, and then (if necessary) pointing out just how wrong they are. In Petersen’s case, that shouldn’t be at all difficult, as he is not a very skilled debater, and he’s trying to defend a position that only a very small portion of his audience agree with. That’s a losing combination.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    L: In short, libertarians are supposed to believe in freedom of association, and that includes the freedom to choose not to associate with someone. LPCO is exercising that right.

    me: Ever clever, Langa, except that LPCO’s leadership and membership are STILL associated with AP, in that they are associated with the LNC, and AP is slotted to be a contender at the national convention. Their saying AP has the cooties for his heretical views and his not being invited to LPCO changes that fact not one bit.

    L: [AP is] not a very skilled debater,

    me: Did you see him on Stossel’s show with the NR editor? Mostly — even anarchists in this commentariat — admitted he did at least a pretty good job, which was this asymptotic anarchist’s take as well. He’s quicker on his feet than GJ, I’d say, based on that one performance.

    L: and he’s trying to defend a position that only a very small portion of his audience agree with.

    me: Your quantitative assessment is based on what data, please? It’s one thing for plumbliners to claim, sorry, non-plumbliners, but the SoP is undiluted NAPsterism, accept your second-class status in the LP, or start your own party. It’s another to claim that the vast majority of big-L Ls cling to plumblinery like glue.

  78. langa

    …LPCO’s leadership and membership are STILL associated with AP, in that they are associated with the LNC, and AP is slotted to be a contender at the national convention.

    So what? Freedom of association is not an “all or nothing” proposition. You can choose to associate with people in some contexts, but not in others.

    He’s quicker on his feet than GJ, I’d say, based on that one performance.

    I didn’t see the show you’re referencing, but I did see him in the Biloxi debate, and I wasn’t impressed. Yes, he’s a better debater than Johnson, but that’s just damning him with faint praise. Petersen’s arguments lack substance. They are a mixture of attitude and bravado, with a healthy dose of cliches thrown in for good measure. He comes off like a Gen X version of Wayne Allyn Root or Donald Trump.

    It’s one thing for plumbliners to claim … the SoP is undiluted NAPsterism … It’s another to claim that the vast majority of big-L Ls cling to plumblinery like glue.

    Straw man. I said nothing about “plumblinery” (whatever that means). I simply pointed out that most LP members do not support a wholesale rejection of the NAP. In fact, I can’t remember another LP candidate who didn’t at least pay lip service to the NAP. Granted, many of them interpret the concept more loosely than I would prefer. But that’s a far different thing than Petersen’s blatant contempt for the NAP. He openly mocks and ridicules the idea. Even Barr/Root never did that. If they had, they would have had about the same chance of getting the nomination that Petersen has — namely, zero.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    L: You can choose to associate with people in some contexts, but not in others.

    me: I’ve stipulated that the LPCO have the power to do what they did. My point is it’s a really unwise move on so many levels. That they are making look like they are doing it because it violates the LP’s rules is not credible. They don’t care for AP and his overt questioning of the utility of the NAP. That’s fair and fine. Rather than let their membership make their OWN assessment of AP, they pretend to “protect” them and the institution by publicly non-inviting him.

    Romper room move.

    L: I can’t remember another LP candidate who didn’t at least pay lip service to the NAP

    me: Might be true, but I certainly don’t recall the last 2 ever bringing the NAP up during their campaigns. I don’t recall Ed Clark bringing it up, either. Bergland I do recall making frequent reference to the NAP. Ron Paul in 88…not off hand.

  80. Matt Cholko

    Capozzi, what does asymptotic anarchist mean?

    As to the LPCO/AP issue, this just seems like some stupid grandstanding to me. He’s a candidate for the nomination with at least a moderate level of support. He says some stupid shit, yes. But, he’s certainly in the better half of the field, when that’s determined by the amount of stupid shit that they say. I think its a fair bet that a few of them don’t even know what the NAP is, but they’re not singled out. Why call AP out like this, if not grandstanding?

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  82. Mike K

    I commend the LP CO for standing on principle, and have urged the state EC here in FL to act in the same way.

    Anyone who refers to the founding principles of an organization as “childish” has no place in that organization.

  83. Andy

    Shivany Lane said: “@Andy
    I am so sorry you don’t understand that when someone tells you something in ‘confidence’ that you don’t go publishing on a free forum. If I were the person who gave you the ‘inside baseball’ then I would never, ever trust you again.”

    No such agreement was made.

    John McAfee was looking to get on the ballot. He talked to somebody, who then talked to me. Stuff like this happens frequently.

    ” And BTW. There were very few people who knew that I (for John) was inquiring about Ballot Access. And here I thought Richard Winger was the expert on Ballot Access, you know, because of his blog and everything like being the one who they call to appear on the news shows when the subject comes up.”

    Richard Winger is an expert on ballot access when it comes to knowledge about court rulings and the law, but he’s not an expert when it comes to actually executing the ballot access drive. I am an expert when it comes to actually doing the ballot access drive (and I know a good bit about the various laws/requirements as well).

    “Are you now telling me I should have contacted you first?”

    Well, you could have, but none of you probably knew to get in touch with me, however, your campaign did talk to somebody who knows me, and this person consulted with me during the time period.

    “Is this the thorn in your side?”

    I really don’t give a rat’s ass about this.

    “Or do you just think that because you have been active in a party for 20 years you have an entitlement to know all that is going on in that party and you proclaim yourself the party expert?”

    I’m an active Libertarian Party activist, and I like to keep up with what is happening. I am not just “proclaiming” myself as a ballot access expert, I think that I’ve earned this from working on numerous ballot access drives in 33 states over the last 16 years.

    It seems to me that your greatest interest is in promoting John McAfee. If not for John McAfee, you would not even be here. My greatest interest are promoting the cause of liberty, and what is good for the Libertarian Party.

    I think that it is very relevant to potential LP National Convention delegates what John McAfee’s political background is, and that he was trying to get on the ballot under his own party label and only switched to the Libertarian Party AFTER it became apparent that he was not going to be able to get on the ballot nationally as the Cyber Party candidate.

    Could McAfee be a good candidate for the Libertarian Party in spite of this? Maybe, or maybe not.

    You seem to think that a NEWBIE to the Libertarian Party like John McAfee should just waltz into our party and that those of us who have been with the party for years should just unquestionably give him our party’s nomination for the highest profile office, and you seem to take offense to anyone questioning this.

    My questions about McAfee aren’t because I don’t like him, but rather because I question ALL of the candidates. If you read through the posts here you’ll see that I have made critical comments about every candidate in the race, not just McAfee.

    You probably are not aware of this, but our party has been burned by candidates in the past. I’d like to try to avoid being burned in the future.

    All candidates should be vetted before being nominated. If you can’t handle the vetting process, perhaps you are too thin skinned to be involved in politics.

  84. Robert Capozzi

    mc: Capozzi, what does asymptotic anarchist mean?

    me: The term I use to describe my political philosophy is “theoretical asymptotic anarchist/appled lessarchist.” That means I believe it would be wise to put civil society on a path toward lesser and lesser government over time, approaching statelessness but never quite getting there.

    To be fair, I could imagine that it might be wise to adopt statelessness at some point, but it’s my sense that that decision would be be made somewhere way down the line when (and if) the state was a minor irritant in our lives.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    mk: Anyone who refers to the founding principles of an organization as “childish” has no place in that organization.

    me: OK, so let’s test that. The US Constitution had a founding principle that slavery was A-OK. Later, a growing number of citizens said no, slavery is not OK, worse than childish. A founding principle was challenged.

    Does this mean that the slavery-critiquers should have had “no place” in the US?

  86. Stewart Flood

    I received an unsolicited email this morning from Mr Reid, an [alleged libertarian] candidate for president. Quite a number of other state chairs also received this message, which includes the same reference to Mr Reid’s proposed platform to entirely REPLACE the party’s current platform and ENTIRELY ELIMINATE the Statement of Principles that he has included in prior unsolicited email.

    In the body of the message, there is an exchange between Mr Reid and Mr Scheetz, copied below, exposing Mr Scheetz’ intent to remove at least one candidate from the LPPA’s convention:

    “Apparently, we are moving the time of the break out session.. it will be from 3-6 instead of 2-5, I am hoping this will help both John and Gary On a side note, I am sending notice to everyone. I NEED to have proof of party membership and NAP pledge from all candidates, IN ADDITION, I need everyone to register for the convention so that we have everyone’s information on hand.. (Board member request, not mine…) Anyway, I need the NAP and Party membership stuff because I am about to go after Austin Petersen in a big way.. My goal is to make him crawl back under whatever rock he crawled out from under over in Missouri…. That dude is toxic to the party and I believe it is up to everyone to shut him down.. (everyone not the candidates… Candidates should not have to say anything about a non-party member trying to usurp some type of standing…)

    So all of you know, John, Gary, and Darryl were contacted via Facebook. It is weird. I have been communicating through e-mail with you three but facebook with them.. LOL I don’t know why that is funny, but it is to me… Anyway, get back to me as soon as possible, and I will continue to work on removing Austin Petersen from the list of candidates….

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

    It is obvious that Mr Scheetz is conspiring to remove a candidate that he believes (without solid evidence) opposes the Statement of Principles, while simultaneously supporting a candidate who has openly stated that he wants to replace the entire platform — including the Statement of Principles!

    Mr Scheetz, can you please explain this action? Regardless of whether Mr Petersen supports or opposes the platform (which he said during last night’s debate he supports), why are you supporting Mr Reid, who is an opponent of the Statement of Principles?

    I’m not concerned with any comments about Mr Petersen. This question is Just about Mr Reid. Why are you including him in your debate, when based on the SAME CRITERIA you are attempting to exclude Mr Petersen?

    Your response?

  87. Stewart Flood

    This conspiracy, as well as Mr Reid’s delusional desire to replace the entire platform, probably deserve an article by themselves. The email, sent by Mr Reid to a number of state chairs, is easily verifiable.

  88. Jill Pyeatt

    I received the letter, and just forwarded it to the IPR writers.

    I have a couple very busy days today and tomorrow, so I won’t have time to post an article about this.

    Stewart, this is Mr. Reid’s way of communicating. I’ve received at least half a dozen long, rambling letters like this. I am surprised that he’s pointing out that he wants to replace our entire platform, although many of us know that.

    Does he want to be univited to debates?

  89. Pete Blome

    From my article “Blatantly Subjective Biloxi” written 4 March:

    Derrick Reid is in an intensely different category. When I asked him what his occupation was he blurted a laundry list of occupations including being an engineer, a patent attorney, and living on the skids. He speaks fervently in conversation, almost feverishly. He claims to have analyzed the social economic structure of the nation, and come up with the solutions to our ills. He said at one point in the debate “I am astonished at the lack of economic understanding on this stage,” and continued with how it would be folly to actually advocate a balanced budget without clearly explaining why. In private conversation he touched on the power of the Federal Reserve, but I am not exactly sure he is against it. Among his quotes for the evening are “If you cannot win in your run for President you cannot change things for liberty.” “Incremental change to make a difference doesn’t work because we are talking about a step function in politics,” and “If nominated, I guarantee victory.” However his most infamous statement from the debates was that he was not only for the death penalty, but he thought 10 year olds should witness public executions, a comment that actually brought boos from the audience. He is from Laguna Beach California and has no financial contributors or volunteers. My advice to Mr. Reid is cut out the caffeine.

  90. Stewart Flood

    What I find interesting is that Mr Scheetz, while protesting Petersen, is encouraging Reid to be at this convention.

    What really offends me is that some dumb online poll, which very few libertarians knew about, was used to select NC’s debate participants. Robinson obviously heard about it and got his friends and neighbors to put him in.

    I talked to Robinson, then he met with our state committee. We were as polite as possible, but not a person on the committee felt his proposals were libertarian. Now he’s being included in debates.

  91. Jill Pyeatt

    I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I suspect that Reid is so over-the-top that we all know he won’t be taken seriously. The confederate uniform he wears ruffles some feathers, but he hasn’t worn that in public as a candidate, as far as I can tell.

    He spoke to our region last fall, and wasn’t well received at all. He spent about a third of his time explaining why he doesn’t believe in same-sex. I even became upset, which was very bad for me as the chairperson.

    He just doesn’t understand the Libertarian philosophy.i

  92. Andy Craig

    He claims it’s 7th Cav, i.e. Custer’s Last Stand. He has some explanation for why, but nobody cares and I can’t remember what it is.

  93. George Phillies

    The 7th cavalry was one of the units President Grant sent to the Carolinas to put down the KKK. Successfully, as it happens.

  94. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m not sure I get your point, Stewart.

    A couple of weeks ago, you were aghast at the possibility of embarrassing candidates getting public face time via the LP. Now you’re aghast that an LP has decided not to give an embarrassing candidate public face time. What changed?

  95. Steve Scheetz

    OK, Well this is a bit surprising, but whatever…

    What happened was this.

    PA has 6 candidates confirmed. Gary Johnson, John McAffee, Shawna Sterling, Darryl Perry, Rhett Smith, and Derrick Reid.

    There is no conspiracy with me contacting these 6 candidates, because these 6 are the ONLY candidates who confirmed attendance. The invitation was sent to EVERYONE INCLUDING Austin Petersen. He stated, along with Cecil Ince, that he would be attending the convention in his home state of Missouri.

    What has been said regarding Austin Petersen has been in response to the various Petersen trolls spamming boards on Facebook. (To be honest, I probably would not have bothered with him at all if there was not this really loud and obnoxious wave of posts about how silly the NAP is, how strange the people who support the NAP are, lying about what the NAP is/means, etc.)

    Derrick Reid was asked to produce his party membership and signed NAP pledge along with all candidates who confirmed that they would be attending. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I do like it, particularly with everything that has been going on lately.

    I was / am unaware of Derrick Reid’s position regarding the platform and SOP, and like I stated before, the invite went to all candidates, and the requirement will be made of all candidates. (They need to be party members and have signed NAP agreements to be qualified for the nomination, this is NOT asking too much)

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  96. Stewart Flood

    Scheetz,

    A completely bullshit answer. Your email proves that you are lying, which is what you accused Petersen of.

    Tom,

    Just trying to figure out why there are double standards. If Scheetz feels that Petersen should be banned, as his email states, then why does he want to include Reid, who openly disavowes the entire platform, frequently claims he is the smartest person in the room, and guarantees a victory in November. Oh yeah…I forgot that he wants public hangings and would require 10 year old children to watch them “twitch”.

    Remember, my state elected in November to not have a debate rather than have an embarassment for the party.

    Yes, Petersen has created quite a number of really stupid videos. Even that video we discussed earlier required watching a few times to understand that he was not disavowing the Statement of Principles. But his performance in recent debates has been better than expected, as has McAfee’s.

    In about three weeks, Petersen, McAfee and Johnson will be representing the “face” of the party on Stossel. I want them all to have flawless performances. That does not mean that I have decided to vote for any of them.

  97. Stewart Flood

    To clarify why I am currently supporting NOTA on the first round:

    Johnson

    Major campaign bagage from 2012, too many R handlers.

    Kerbel

    Way too new, no visible proof that he really is sincere, and very serious non-libertarian stuff hanging over his head.

    McAfee

    New, very new. Ink on the paper isn’t even dry. Bagage that would have to be constantly explained to the public over and over. People hate the software named after him.

    Petersen

    Young. Inexperienced. Sometimes acts like he is at a frat party when recording videos for his supporters. Loves to get into the deep end of libertarian philosophy, which frequently requires watching again to follow. On the plus side, has penned some very good essays. He would have to grow up literally overnight if he won the nomination.

    The rest are either bat shit crazy, not libertarians, or both.

  98. George Phillies

    mole? That was a terrible pun, Stewart.

    In the end, we have the candidates who show up. The $300,000 victory bonus that Johnson promised his campaign manager/firm if he won the nomination (apparently over half was paid, say the FEC reports) was an interesting was to dispose of campaign funds.

  99. Steve Scheetz

    Stewart Flood,

    You are of course free to believe whatever you want. Frankly, I do not care if you believe that I am lying. You will be the first though…

    Here are the facts, where where I am lying.

    Austin Petersen WAS invited to PA. He stated he could not make it. (I do have evidence if you need it.)

    I started bashing him because of his trolls. I want him to crawl back under his rock, (this has nothing whatsoever to do with the debate in Philadelphia. A board member following what has been going on on FB requested, and I agreed that it was a good idea for all candidates to demonstrate they are party members ahead of the debate in Philadelphia. Derrick did send me an e-mail stating that he signed the NAP. If you need evidence, I can provide it.

    All documentation will be available for viewing at the LPPA convention.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

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  101. Andy

    Stewart, do you consider Darryl Perry to be batshit crazy? I do not think that this is a fair thing to say about him.

  102. Stewart Flood

    Perry’s actions at previous conventions, as well as his irrational campaign “rules” regarding donations.

    Yes, he is bat shit crazy.

  103. Andy

    “Stewart Flood
    March 9, 2016 at 05:39

    Perry’s actions at previous conventions, as well as his irrational campaign “rules” regarding donations.

    Yes, he is bat shit crazy.”

    I sometimes listen to the Liberty Radio Network ( lrn.fm ), and Darryl Perry is on that station frequently as he does a news segment that gets repeated frequently throughout the day, plus he’s one of the co-hosts of Free Talk Live. He does not strike me as being crazy.

  104. Stewart Flood

    Which debate? Colorado? I thought they banned him? Or was this just hype to build up interest in their convention? Sort of like Rutherford with the “not on my watch”?

  105. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Which debate? Colorado? I thought they banned him?”

    No, you didn’t THINK they “banned” him.

    You BELIEVED they “banned” him.

    There’s a difference.

    If you had actually read the story instead of just assuming it said what you wanted to believe it said, you would have seen that they chose not to INVITE him.

    Just like, perhaps, your state party didn’t invite Derrick Reid or Vermin Supreme or Robert Milnes.

  106. Robert Capozzi

    TK, yes, it was a mere non-invite, not a ban.

    Still, if AP has the anti-NAP cooties as he does, should not the same logic in the LPCO leadership’s statement apply?

    That is, if inviting AP to speak is “an action/position inconsistent with the Statement of Principles,” allowing him to speak would also be “an action/position inconsistent with the Statement of Principles.”

    If anything, allowing him to actually speak seems MORE inconsistent with the SoP, as AP might actually violate the plumbline in what he actually says. The opportunity to speak “inconsistent” heresies goes up with the Darth Peterson at the mic, yes?

  107. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    OK, I’ve read your comment three times now and can’t make heads or tails of it.

    The LPCO’s executive committee seems to have had a discussion about what presidential candidates to invite to their convention, and to have decided not to invite Petersen because they believe that inviting him would violate their own and/or national bylaws.

    I am aware of any Colorado or LNC bylaw which requires the Colorado LP to tie Petersen to a chair, put duct tape over his mouth, and lock him in a closet to make sure that he doesn’t say anything to anyone.

  108. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    If I get the LPCO’s come-from, they should have interrogated AP during the convention, quoting his public statements against the NAP. If AP did not disavow his previous anti-NAP heresies, he should have been condemned as violating the foundational documents, publicly chastised, and perhaps the LPCO should have voted on a Resolution that AP was unfit to be the national LP nominee. They might even suggest that if AP were to get the nomination, LPCO would appeal that decision to the JC, and if they didn’t get satisfaction, they might refuse to place AP on the CO ballot.

    These are not small, idle matters. The very essence of the LP are under assault, I would think they think, and they would be duty bound to ex-communicate AP’s fraudulent membership in the LP!!!

    😉

  109. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Well, then you DON’T get the LPCO’s come-from.

    The LPCO’s come-from was that they would be in violation of their own and/or national bylaws if they invited him to their convention.

    Agree or disagree with them on that contention, that WAS their contention.

  110. Robert Capozzi

    tk, I’d buy your analogy between Supreme and AP except they didn’t issue a statement about not inviting Supreme. If AP simply was not invited, that’s understandable. Instead, they went out of their way to say he is toxic, in effect, for his heresies.

    Try again.

  111. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the Colorado executive committee’s decision on Petersen was taken before Supreme became an LP candidate. I have no idea whether or not they’ve debated inviting Supreme. I also have no idea whether or not Supreme has ever stated an opinion on the non-aggression principle, the LP’s statement of principles, etc.

    And not only did the LPCO not “go out of their way to say he is toxic,” they went out of their way to NOT say so. They did not advertise their decision not to invite Petersen. It got advertised for them, after which they were somewhat compelled to explain themselves.

  112. Robert Capozzi

    tk, right. I’m calling their bullshit. It follows logically that if they actively chose to NOT invite for heresies, he should not be allowed to speak, an obviously much worse assault on the sanctity of the SoP.

    Hiding behind technicalities that are easily seen through requires profound levels of naivete.

    Now, ever open-minded, if they have some rationale for public non-invitation but allowing a heretic to seek support from their flock, I’d like to hear one.

  113. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It follows logically that if they actively chose to NOT invite for heresies”

    Except that they didn’t claim to not be inviting him for heresies. They claimed not to be inviting him because inviting him would violate the Colorado LP’s bylaws and/or the LNC’s bylaws as they relate to the actions of affiliate organizations.

    “he should not be allowed to speak, an obviously much worse assault on the sanctity of the SoP.”

    Non sequitur, even if the stated reason for the non-invitation was what you claim it is rather than what LPCO says it was. “This is something we have an obligation to refrain from actively facilitating” /= “this is something we have an obligation to actively attempt to suppress.”

  114. Robert Capozzi

    tk: somewhat compelled

    me: Somewhat? To my knowledge, no state LP is compelled to write statements about which candidates they wish to invite or not invite.

    Nothing “compelled” them — somewhat or more than somewhat — to take the time to write and issue this statement. Nothing that I’m aware of compelled them — somewhat or more than somewhat — to carefully craft this indictment or writ of excommunication, in effect, of AP.

  115. Robert Capozzi

    tk: it is rather than what LPCO says it was.

    me: Love yer faith in them, man.

    I’m more than skeptical.

  116. Stewart Flood

    Tom,

    You clearly missed the visible sarcasm in my statement.

    No, we did not hold a debate in South Carolina. I felt that if we held a debate, we would be ethically bound to invite all the candidates that the national party and other affiliates recognized as qualified to seek our nomination. If Johnson or McAfee had been in the race, the situation might have been different, since inviting a candidate does not mean paying their way. Several candidates offered to come — if we’d pay their expenses. That’s not the state party’s job.

    Rather than have to break the ethical boundary of inclusion when there had been no previous debates (MA was the week before our convention), we decided in September to not hold a debate.

    But our convention was in November, when the campaigns were just getting started. Almost half of the candidates currently listed were not even running at that time.

    Running state conventions and debates is a difficult challenge. I believe that Colorado has a right to not invite candidates, but basing it on comments by a candidate about the common mis-interpretation of the platform — which contains a Statement of Principles that is not simply non-aggression — is, in itself, both force and fraud. Since this turned out to just be “not inviting”, I find it simply to be grand-standing.

    I think it is certainly acceptable to not include Robinson because he has shown that he is promoting socialist views, or Sterling for her comments about liking Obamacare (I believe that’s one of the horrible things she said — democratic/republican speech is difficult to interpret at times). And Reid wants to eliminate the SOP and replace the entire platform, while rattling a saber over his head and shouting charge! (While children watch his hanging victims twitch)

    I disagree with Perry’s donation rules, but I find nothing “un-libertarian” in his beliefs. (Just threw that in there so you understand that while I’m not voting for him I certainly will not call him a LINO as some others clearly are).

    The list goes on, and there are candidates that are so new that hardly anyone has heard they speak on issues or asked them questions.

    We are less than 90 days from the convention. Excluding candidates from debates for legitimate and verifiable reasons is certainly a good idea. No one has verified that Peterson opposes the SOP, and in fact I have seen him say he supports it the debate videos as well as his own.

    Anyway…if he’s going to their convention then maybe they can video him being weighted to see if he is the same weight as a duck — and therefore a witch.

  117. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I think we may actually again be at one of those points where I’m going to encourage you to actually go over the subject that you’re writing about so that you know what you’re talking about before you continue to talk.

    The LPCO issued no public statement concerning this matter until AFTER someone publicized the fact that they had internally discussed who to invite, and had decided not to invite Petersen. At which point, my “somewhat compelled” statement comes into play. They were publicly slammed from one side and publicly questioned from another about it. THEN they explained themselves publicly. They did not have a meeting and say “hey, let’s not invite Petersen and issue a statement about NAP/SoP cooties.”

  118. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    You write:

    “We are less than 90 days from the convention. Excluding candidates from debates for legitimate and verifiable reasons is certainly a good idea.”

    Well, there you have it. All the rest is just a matter of deciding what the definition is for “legitimate and verifiable reasons.”

    Personally, I would not have voted for the policies/criteria that LPCO chose to go with. But I’m not on LPCO’s executive committee, so I don’t see why my opinion should matter.

  119. Robert Capozzi

    tk, you are correct to the extent I was unaware of WHY they issued the statement.

    Still, they DID issue THAT statement. If they said “we don’t believe AP to be a major contender, and we didn’t invite others we didn’t consider to be major contender,” we’d not be having this conversation.

    Instead, this became an ideological saw, with the clear implication being that AP is not worthy of the nomination or, in a sense, their time, since they were acting as gatekeepers. It’s a stronger condemnation the Huffington Post did by notably covering Trump on the entertainment vs the politics section of their site.

    This guy has the cooties, is the message. Don’t listen to him. AP is outspoken in his critique of the NAP, so we are not going to invite him, and then, we asked why, they offer convoluted nonsense to the wider community and their state membership.

  120. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Instead, this became an ideological saw”

    Well, yes, it did.

    YOU made it into one.

    LPCO didn’t. LPCO’s stated reasons for not inviting Petersen were that inviting Petersen would violate the LPCO and LNC bylaws.

    YOU are the one talking about NAP cooties and so forth.

  121. Robert Capozzi

    tk: But I’m not on LPCO’s executive committee, so I don’t see why my opinion should matter.

    me: Opinions never really “matter,” except to the holder of said opinion.

    Some might view this as a teachable moment, though, as it illustrates — in a small way — just how wrapped around the axles NAPsterism can get. The logic employed by LPCO’s excomm reads like a legal brief in the Clinton tradition when reaching a dysfunctional conclusion.

  122. Thomas Knapp

    Bob,

    I’m not sure what “dysfunctional conclusion” you think LPCO reached. They are probably far from the first state LP in this election cycle to decide to invite some candidates, but not others, to their convention. They are CERTAINLY far from the first state LP to ever do so.

    On the ol’ “tempest in a teapot” scale, I thought it would be difficult for Petersen to top the “Gary Johnson decided to keep his pre-existing commitments instead of dropping everything when I said STOSSEL” troll. But he seems to be managing to do so.

    Maybe next week the big issue in the LP’s pre-convention debate will be that there were no pens or pencils, at the member tables at the Maryland convention (an obvious conspiracy against Austin, to avoid having things with letters p, e and n in them that might make people think about the name “Petersen”).

  123. Robert Capozzi

    tk: They are probably far from the first state LP in this election cycle to decide to invite some candidates, but not others, to their convention.

    me: Agreed, but irrelevant. It was their reasoning that is dysfunctional…surely that’s clear now.

    AP — who is not exactly my kinda L — is obviously a L. He’s worked for the LP, has been a TV producer, and is running a pretty vigorous campaign. He also has reached the obvious conclusion that the NAP is a nice sentiment, but an unworkable political guideline.

    For this, the LPCO leadership decided to not invite AP, and then actually wrote their reasons out for all to see. I appreciate their honesty, but it for me is emblematic of a thought system in need of repair. This is a tiny issue in the grand scheme of things, but that they read the NAP and the foundational docs of the LP the way they do reinforces my contention that the LP needs a rethink, big time. Surely you’ve noticed this is my view!

    Now, if these and many other petty technicalities and procedural booby traps embedded in the foundation make sense to you and other members as they apparently do for the LPCO excomm, by all means stay on the path you are on.

    Don’t be surprised if the same result (ineffectual 1% outcomes) continue, cycle after cycle.

  124. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It was their reasoning that is dysfunctional…surely that’s clear now.”

    To a Scientologist, perhaps. To me, not at all.

    Petersen rejects the Libertarian Party’s Statement of Principles. He does so publicly and explicitly. This is not some far-out conclusion reached by extensive biased analysis. HE SAYS HE DOES:

    Caryn Ann Harlos: So Austin do you agree with the Statement of Principles where it states we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.

    Austin: I don’t.

    OK, so he has a longstanding connection with the LP and he’s running a “vigorous campaign.”

    So what?

    Back in the late 1998s, a guy who had been an LP member for quite awhile (since at least as far back as 1995, but I think earlier than that) ran a “vigorous campaign” for the Missouri LP’s US Senate nomination.

    He was also an openly avowed neo-Nazi who made no bones about the fact that he rejected pretty much everything the LP stood for.

    Well, surprise, surprise — he probably didn’t get invited to a lot of county LP picnics to make his campaign pitch.

    And, as happened with Petersen in Colorado, those county LPs probaby didn’t make a big deal about it. They just decided not to invite him after discussing why they didn’t want to invite him. If he had had Austin Petersen level trolling skills, he might have done what Austin is doing with this — making enough of a fuss to make them say WHY.

    Is Petersen a neo-Nazi? I don’t think so. But once you publicly announce “I just want your ballot line, I’m not actually one of you,” it’s kind of silly to complain that you’re being taken at your word and not having palm branches strewn in your path every time you deign to ride into town.

    In LPCO’s case, I think they kind of went overboard by coming up with such a weird legalistic case for not inviting him. But just as I am willing to take Austin’s word that he opposes the LP, I’m willing to take LPCO’s word that they really believe they’d be violating their own and the LNC’s bylaws by offering him any support. I’m certainly not going to jump on the crazy train with you and pretend that this is “plumbliner” stuff.

  125. Robert Capozzi

    tk: But just as I am willing to take Austin’s word that he opposes the LP,

    me: Impressive! It sounds like you are so invested in the NAP that you have raised it to be synonymous with the organization itself!

    So much so that you are willing trot out neo-Nazi comparisons.

    As CAH likes to say, Wow, just wow.

    🙁

  126. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Impressive! It sounds like you are so invested in the NAP that you have raised it to be synonymous with the organization itself!”

    Impressive. It sounds like you are so invested in being against the NAP that you hallucinate about me referencing it even when I don’t!

    The Libertarian Party has a Statement of Principles that define what it is about.

    That’s a fact. You don’t have to like it. It’s a fact whether you like it or not.

    Austin has said he opposes that Statement of Principles. Which is another way of saying that he opposes what the party is about. Which is another way of saying that he opposes the party — except to the extent that he’d like to use its ballot line for his purposes instead of for the party’s purposes.

    What is IN that Statement of Principles isn’t especially relevant here. If the party’s Statement of Principles positioned it as promoting a free pony for every child and a quart of whiskey a day for every adult, and Austin showed up saying that ponies and whiskey are stupid but he wanted our ballot line to instead promote the nuclear annihilation of Whidby Island, Washington and a ban on electric toothbrushes, it would be exactly the same situation.

  127. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Austin has said he opposes that Statement of Principles. Which is another way of saying that he opposes what the party is about.

    me: That’s how you look at it. And it IS understandable that you do, since the 89 20-somethings were SO proud of it that they booby trapped it. Mostly, though, it’s just some words that some Ls hold dear and others find quaint and others read differently than you do and others are embarrassed by, etc.

    I happened to watch a bit of the NC debate and happened to land on AP saying he’s OK with the platform, which is also what the party is about.

    Since so much of the SoP is in L speak, my guess is that the uninitiated might be surprised that NAPsters have such venom for anyone who speaks their truth about PART of the party’s documents, especially when the words in the SoP can be read on several different levels.

  128. George Phillies

    It appears to me that different people are using different interpretations of “invite”.

  129. Pingback: Petersen campaign: Libertarian Party of Florida convention chair requests bribe to quash Austin Petersen’s debate appearance | American Third Party Report

  130. Stewart Flood

    What I find interesting is that they tried to do this in secret. If they had just had the guts to publicly say they were not inviting him it would not have been as controversial. It is the “shhh! don’t tell anyone that we’re going to snub him” that makes them sound like fifth graders talking about each other on the playground.

  131. Thomas L. Knapp

    What I find interesting is that you still haven’t figured out that the “shhh! don’t tell anyone that we’re going to snub him” part never happened.

  132. Pingback: Austin Petersen leaks “email from Steve Scheetz in his push to remove me from being considered a candidate in Pennsylvania” | American Third Party Report

  133. Derrick Michael Reid

    Steve Scheetz,
    you may publish as desired.

    http://www.totalitariandemocracy.com/solutions/2016-presidential-race

    Petersen, against drone bombing and war intervention, proposes hired assassins under US letters of Marque. Petersen, is not only a shameless profiteer, shallow panderer, and a grossly naive pundit, but also a duplicitous fraud.

    As a Christian, I will not bare false witness, but call it exactly like I see it. The solution is making friends abroad, not sending out hired assassins under government authority. Black Water in spades.

    Very Truly Yours, in Liberty and Freedom,
    Derrick Michael Reid B.S.E.E., J.D.,
    2016 Presidential Candidate, Libertarian Party,
    Engineer, Patent Lawyer, Military Scientist,
    Market Analyst, and Geopolitical Analyst.
    PO Box 1584, Laguna Beach, CA 92652
    Contact Email: Libereens@yahoo.com
    Skype Account Name: derrickmichaelreid http://www.totalitariandemocracy.com/home

  134. Thane Eichenauer

    “Petersen, is not only a shameless profiteer”

    Oxford definition of profiteer: make or seek to make an excessive or unfair profit, especially illegally or in a black market

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