LP.org: ‘Private-sector sexual misconduct punished while politicians let off easy’


Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate.
Sexual misconduct has long been a problem in both the public and private spheres, but today there is a stark difference between intolerance of sexual misconduct in the world of business and tolerance in the world of politics. Private-sector organizations have begun taking decisive action to cut ties with sexual predators, while political institutions continue to tolerate and even celebrate them.

Here are some examples of how private-sector businesses deal with allegations of sexual misconduct:

  • NBC’s Today show anchor Matt Lauer was accused of sexual misconduct. NBC fired him.
  • Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News, was accused and fired.
  • Bill O’Reilly, host of the O’Reilly Factor, was also accused and fired.
  • Harvey Weinstein, co-chair of the Weinstein Company, was accused and then fired from his production company, suspended from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also resigned from the Director’s Guild of America, he faces a Los Angeles Police Department investigation for alleged rape, and his wife left him.
  • Kevin Spacey, a renowned actor, was accused and had Netflix sever all ties with him, he was replaced by Christopher Plummer in his upcoming role as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World, House of Cards announced that he would no longer be associated with the show in any way, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences withdrew from designating Spacey as recipient 2017 International Emmy Founders Award.
  • Louis C.K., a famous comedian and actor, was accused and lost his role of Max in the sequel of The Secret Life of Pets, saw TBS suspend The Cops, which he co-created and co-starred in, saw HBO sever all ties and remove his stand-up special Oh My God and his sitcom Lucky Louie from its on-demand services, lost a Netflix deal for a stand-up special, and had FX Networks drop him from all his production deals.
  • Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for MSNBC, was accused by at least a dozen women of sexual misconduct, had his contract with NBC and MSNBC terminated, lost a planned miniseries with HBO, and had his writing contract with Penguin Press canceled.
  • Charlie Rose, co-host of CBS This Morning, was accused by eight women and fired.

Those are examples of how businesses in civil society deal with sexual misconduct.

“Businesses, if they want to remain in business, don’t have the luxury of limiting their appeal to 25 percent of their potential customers,” Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “They need to appeal to all potential customers. They need to be sure that their public image is not sullied by bad actors of any kind. Moreover, they need to make sure that their workplaces are safe to attract and keep quality staff.”

The perverse incentive structure of the public sector goes a long way toward explaining why this difference exists in politics.

“Politicians can remain in office by appealing only to a plurality of voters,” Sarwark explained. “With voter turnout ranging from 40 percent to 60 percent, this means that politicians only have to gain the approval of 20 percent to 30 percent of the people to get reelected. Gerrymandered districts make that a hurdle that can easily be surmounted by appeals to voters in a partisan base who will overlook the sexual misconduct of their candidate in order to keep the other party’s candidate from getting elected.”

Here are some examples of how politicians are dealt with when it comes to the same kind of sexual misconduct allegations:

  • President Donald Trump, after tapes of him bragging about sexual misconduct surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign, admitted making the comments. He was elected anyway, and now he claims to doubt the tape’s authenticity.
  • Al Franken, who was accused of sexual misconduct (which was backed up with photographic evidence) and other inappropriate conduct, is still a sitting senator who faces a probably toothless ethics review.
  • John Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, was accused of sexual misconduct, allegedly settled with payment of $27,000 in public funds to the victim. He refuses to resign from the House.
  • Former President Bill Clinton, of course, was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women and was elected anyway. He was then accused of sexual misconduct by several more women while he served as president and survived impeachment to become an elder statesman of the Democratic Party.

“We may be seeing that process playing out right now in Alabama, where it looks like Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate, may get elected despite sexual misconduct allegations,” Sarwark said. “Partisan Republicans are willing to overlook the accusations in order to maintain a Senate GOP majority. Granting ballot access to Ron Bishop, the Libertarian write-in candidate would go a long way toward giving voters a viable third choice and helping to stop people like Moore from being elected.”

The Libertarian Party Platform specifies that “Libertarians embrace the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights,” and that includes the right of all people to be safe from unwanted sexual harassment, abuse, and predation.

“Our culture is changing,” Sarwark said. “We the people are no longer willing to tolerate sexual abuse of anyone. It’s time for politicians to catch up with this cultural sea change. The Libertarian Party vows to do its part by running more than 2000 candidates for elected office in 2018. We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with support and patronage on one hand, or ostracism, boycotts, and other free-market solutions on the other hand.”

20 thoughts on “LP.org: ‘Private-sector sexual misconduct punished while politicians let off easy’

  1. Joe Wendt

    Yes, in the private sector you would get fired. Unless you’re the Chair of LPF, then the behavior is tolerated:


    Or you’re a well known Libertarian Activist and 2020 Presidential candidate, than your behavior is tolerated:


    Until the LP deals with individuals like this, it has zero right to criticize anyother party.

  2. Cody Quirk

    Possibly altered screen shots on an anti-LP facebook group that is also Pro-Constitution Party does not a double standard make, especially when the LP individuals in question are not on good terms with the national party at the present.
    Try again, Joe.

  3. Cody Quirk

    Is the ‘John Wayne Smith Society’ even aware of the CP’s baggage on religious sectarianism and prejudice?

  4. Cody Quirk

    Plus plenty of members of the Florida LP are trying to remove him from his position right now; and yet a CP front group on Facebook just wants to ignore facts.

  5. Anon-Tipper

    Is there any way to actually remove him? I thought that wasn’t possible (I’m not too familiar with the by-laws anyway).

    He got the LPF into s really bad situation, where there are now multiple interviews on a local radio station asking if they have a white supremacist problem. And he went on there and tried to claim that the American Guard is not a nationalist organization! It’s people like him that really make me hate being a libertarian, they’re public examples for zealots to tar us all with.

  6. Joe Wendt

    Sadly, Cody, since the LP has decided to, rightly, chastise the Repubocrats but has yet to take action against a State Chair and a Presidential candidate who have behaved in a similar inappropriate way as the mentioned Repubocrats, the LP looks hypocritical.

  7. Cody Quirk

    It’s going to happen at some point… That or the national party will kick out the Florida affiliate. Yet he’s not that popular and is only state chair because many alt-right activists have infiltrated the Florida affiliate and pretty much are running things in that state party, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a entryist plant too.

    Maybe he’s not as bad or extreme as Riley Hood of the Wisconsin CP, yet like Augustus Invictus before, he is a party embarrassment.

  8. Anon-Tipper

    “That or the national party will kick out the Florida affiliate. ”

    I think this is going to end up happening, it seems that LPF has no desire to change things.

    I’m pretty worried about Steven Nekhalia there too, he has been dismissing all of this, he even stated to the LNC that he knew Ramsey was in Operation Werewolf (which has neo-nazi ties!) And he has stated that *legal* immigrants should lose voting rights, to stop “leftist” voting (!). Apparently he’s been appointed to the APRC.

    And I can’t believe Steven Scheetz is still around, he endorsed Augustus. I’m worried that there’s more to this cancer than just Florida. But taking care of the Florida situation will stem off a lot of this.

  9. Joe Wendt

    Cody, the GOP has done a better job at denouncing Roy Moore than the LP has in dealing with the problems in the LPF or dealing with Adam Kokesh. Hoping that LP will e eventually deal with the problem while they choose to chastise the Repubocrats for their bad actors is hypocritical and damaged the brand.

  10. dL

    Cody, the GOP has done a better job at denouncing Roy Moore than the LP has in dealing with the problems in the LPF or dealing with Adam Kokesh. Hoping that LP will e eventually deal with the problem while they choose to chastise the Repubocrats for their bad actors is hypocritical and damaged the brand.

    Pointing out the hypocrisy of others while ignoring your own is a time honored tradition of politics. Even for minor parties that fall outside a purview of any media scrutiny that affords them the opportunity to avoid even devoting a lip service effort to address the issue.

  11. Joe Wendt

    Just because the media is ignoring the LP now, doesn’t mean the party should ignore the problems. Just look at Roy Moore, his bad behavior happened decades ago and it bit the GOP in the ass in 2017. The same will happen to the LP if it doesn’t deal with its problems now. They should stop being hypocritical and actually deal with its own problems before they chastise the Repubocrats for similar problems

  12. Joe Wendt

    Unfortunately, they don’t see a problem because Libertarians seem to just not want to deal with their own problems, no matter the long term damage. This will bite the LP in the ass in the long term, but the party and membership are too lackadaisical to actually deal with it. This further demonstrates the LP’s hypocrisy.

  13. Anon-Tipper

    It really makes me want to change my voter registration.

    I’m not too confident the Florida situation will be fixed and I think we’re likely to see one of the nazis try to get a position at the national level. I guess they already have Steven Nekhalia on the LNC who seems to be fine with the nazis and Wes Benedict thought that libertarians were too mean to Augustus so it could happen.

  14. Anon-Tipper

    (sorry for the double comment)

    So yeah, I agree, they really don’t want to deal with their own problems.

  15. dL

    It really makes me want to change my voter registration.

    It did prompt me to mark Wes Benedict’s LP fundraising emails as junk…

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