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.