LIBERTARIAN PARTY of Colorado
"Limited Government - Individual Liberty - Personal Responsibility"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2002
CONTACT: Michael W. Seebeck, Public Information Director
PHONE: (719) 382-9529
STANLEY COMMENTS CLARIFIED
Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Rick Stanley, recently issued a press statement which once again called for Senator Wayne Allard "to be indicted, tried, and hung when found guilty" for ignoring the allegations presented by retired Army Ranger LTC. Biff Baker. Mr. Baker is the Libertarian Party candidate for the 5th Congressional District, a seat currently desecrated by Joel Hefley.
"While Rick Stanley is our nominated candidate for United States Senate, the statement that Mr. Allard should be ‘hung when found guilty' is not endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Colorado," commented Mike Seebeck, Public Information Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado. Seebeck is not associated with the Stanley For Senate campaign.
"Wayne Allard, like his fellow disgrace Hefley, does deserve to be removed from office. However, we disagree with Rick in that Allard needs to be hung, or hanged for that matter. We'll be satisfied with the Colorado voters giving him a one-way ticket out of Washington and putting Rick in the Senate instead," continued Seebeck.
"Rick is no doubt outspoken and correct in his allegations of gross negligence on behalf of both Allard and Hefley. The Libertarian Party, like the corrupted Republicans and Democrats, has candidates that may not necessarily totally agree with the rest of the Party, and vice versa, but we support them nonetheless. To apply a double standard of giving those authoritarians a pass on these disagreements, but not us libertarians, is hypocrisy in the most basic sense. It is indicative of their inability to address our concerns, as well as our solutions to the problems that they have dropped in the laps of the people of America and Colorado," concluded Seebeck.
The Libertarian Party of Colorado supports its candidates even when there are disagreements, and challenges Joel Hefley and Wayne Allard to put up or shut up about government waste and fraud.
Editor's note: This issue erupted into a major dispute when David Bryant sent an e-mail to the "lpco-chat" e-mail list June 14 at 7:50 am. He wrote, "Mike has taken it upon himself to express his personal opinions
in the name of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, and he has
misused his official position within the party to publicize a
point of view that is certainly not the party's consensus. By
doing so, he has seriously undermined the credibility of the
party and he has done significant damage to all our candidates."
Bryant cited the party's bylaws, Article 2, Section 5:
"The Public Information Director shall be responsible for
external communications, such as writing and distributing news
releases with the approval of the State Chair..."
Then, at 9:07 am, Bryant forwarded an e-mail from State Chair John Berntson to the "lpco-chat" list in which Berntson stated, "Actually, the basic theme of the press release was my idea, not
Mike's. I said that whenever one of Rick's statements went beyond the
pale, we would respond with a statement that, while generally
supportive of Rick, would also make the point that he does not speak
for the party as a whole, that there are people in the party who
disagree with him on some issues. When a candidate makes a statement
that, in my mind, marginalizes us in the public perception, then I
feel obliged to speak out, supporting the candidate as much as
possible, but separating the party from the statement...
Yes, the convention nominated Rick Stanley to his position. He is a
man of extreme passion and an able candidate in many ways. Yet that
same convention also elected me as the official spokesman for the
party. This is my call. Rick doesn't clear his statements with me -
there is no reason I should clear mine with him."
In an e-mail from 9:50 am, I responded to Bryant:
Another interpretation of events is that Rick Stanley has seriously undermined the credibility of the party, and Mike was trying to restore it.
Of course, I agree with David that all press releases should be approved by
the chair, in order to follow the party's rules and basic standards of
fairness. (We now know Berntson approved the release in question.)
I do believe the board should formally distance itself from Stanley's comments that Allard should be tried for treason and then killed. Stanley's position is both wrong and politically counter-productive.
David's standard that the board never speak for the LPCO would prohibit board members from issuing any release whatsoever about any subject, because surely at least one Libertarian in the state will disagree with it.
In an e-mail I received at 6:17 pm, the Stanley campaign issued the following press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2002
Stanley for U.S. Senate 2002
Web site: http://www.stanley2002.org
Contact: David Bryant
Campaign Office: 303.329.0481
Seebeck Makes Reckless Remarks about Candidate
(DENVER CO) In a media release entitled "Stanley Comments Clarified"
and dated June 14, 2002, Mr. Michael Seebeck, recently elected
Public Information director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado,
made the following misleading and inaccurate statements:
"While Rick Stanley is our nominated candidate for United States
Senate, the statement that Mr. Allard should be 'hung when found
guilty' is not endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Colorado. ...
we disagree with Rick in that Allard needs to be hung, or hanged
for that matter. We'll be satisfied with the Colorado voters
giving him a one-way ticket out of Washington ... The Libertarian
Party, like the corrupted Republicans and Democrats, has candidates
that may not necessarily totally agree with the rest of the Party,
and vice-versa, but we support them nonetheless."
"The Libertarian Party is based on three principles: individual
liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government," said
David Bryant, treasurer and campaign coordinator for the Stanley
for Senate campaign. "I find it distinctly odd that Mr. Seebeck
says 'we disagree' and 'we'll be satisfied' and 'we support.' Why
won‚t Mike Seebeck take personal responsibility for his own
"Mike has presumed to express his personal opinions in the name
of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, and he has misused his
official position to publicize a point of view that is certainly
not a consensus within the party," Bryant continued. "By doing
so, he has seriously undermined the party‚s credibility and he
has done significant damage to all the Libertarian candidates in
Mr. Bryant, who has served on the Colorado party's board of
directors in nine of the last eleven years, was also critical
of Seebeck's blatant disregard for the party's bylaws. "The
party's bylaws specify that the Public Information director
shall not send a press release in the party's name unless it
has been approved by the State Chair. Apparently this release
was not even reviewed, much less approved, by John Berntson.
I find this disregard for party rules particularly disturbing
because the Libertarian Party is based on the principle of
limited government. If party officials won‚t respect party rules,
how can people trust Libertarians to respect the Constitution
or the Bill of Rights?"
Mr. Bryant's harshest criticism was reserved for Seebeck's
totally inappropriate comparison of the Libertarian Party to
the Democrooks and Republicrats. "I'm furious that Mike
Seebeck said the Libertarian Party is 'like the corrupted
Republicans and Democrats,'" Bryant fumed. "This is the party
of principle. I take great pride in that fact. And so do most
of the Libertarians I know."
Bryant has called for a complete investigation of this incident
by the party's board of directors. "As a member of the
Libertarian Party of Colorado, I'm calling upon the entire
board of directors to investigate this incident, to make a
complete report to the membership, and to take the disciplinary
action the board deems appropriate under the circumstances."
David Bryant is the treasurer for Rick Stanley's U.S. Senate
campaign. In the past he has served as Information director,
Treasurer, and Membership director for the Libertarian Party
However, Berntson's comments indicate he indeed "approved" Seebeck's press release.
At 8:23 pm, Stanley sent out a message to his "Stanley Scoop" in which he continued the discussion. There, Stanley wrote:
From TheStanleyScoopemail@example.com Fri Jun 14 18:24:17 2002
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 20:23:51 -0400
From: "Rick Stanley"
Subject: Re: [TheStanleyScoop] [candidates-L] Official Misconduct
THE STANLEY SCOOP - Keeping Colorado Informed
The official newswire of the
Stanley for U.S. Senate Campaign
I agree Bud. However, this little episode caught the Stanley Campaign totally by surprise. The equivilent of hitting me over the head with a baseball bat from behind. Fortunately, I have a hard head, not to mention a campaign staff that is getting pretty hard headed as well, with all of the bushwhacking tendencies of individuals in this party. I sent out two really good Media Releases/Editorials today, and than Dave had to send out a media release that can only be considered damage control, brought about by our own Party. I am REALLY getting tired of all this inside the Party bullshit. If the party doesn't want me, take this nomination and shove it. My time and effort deserve better than this chicken shit back sniping being done over and over, to discredit me. Get a life, is what I am telling ANY individuals in this Party, that don't want to present a UNITED FRONT. Get out the vote for the Libertarian Party, shut up, or get out. Those are the choices. If you don't like me, fine. Ignore me, which is what a little less th
an half the Party has done, for 13 months. What is 5 more months? If I lose, than this candidate fades away, never to run again. You folks that want to control the Party can take your shot the next time around. But this taking cheap shots, at this Candidate in Media Releases and letters to the editor, is damaging the ENTIRE COLORADO LIBERTARIAN PARTY, and falls right into the hands of our foes, and the media. No wonder this Party never does anything. Divisiveness is just plain stupid. Anyone who wants to drop this situation in my lap, and spread the blame around is just plain off the mark. There are too many little kids in this Party that want to play Politics, that just don't have a clue. Get out of my way, and let me attack the Republicans and the Democrats instead of defending backside attacks from the individuals on the board, who want to use the Libertarian Party, and a board position to slow down, or discredit, a US Senate Campaign of the likes this Libertarian Party has never seen, in this state or any of the other
49 states for that matter. I was nominated fairly by the Colorado State Libertarian Party. Let me do what you nominated for, to win the US Senate seat away from Benedict Allard and Strickland the lawyer!!!!
I found Stanley's comments to be interesting and mildly humorous. He says the press release was "damage control" and he worries about being discredited. Stanley discredited himself when he said Wayne Allard should be tried for treason and then killed.
Stanley says his "time and effort deserve better." But I think the time and effort of other Libertarian activists deserve better than to be embarrassed by Stanley.
Stanley is concerned about being the victim of "cheap shots." Yet he has said Allard should be killed, and said Mike Rosen has taken a "fascist route." What are those if not "cheap shots?" In addition, Stanley has bashed a number of Libertarians over the course of his campaign. Meanwhile, Seebeck's comments were not "cheap shots:" they were legimitate critiques. Seebeck, after all, said he and the LP continue to support Stanley, despite his idiotic statements.
In retrospect, Seebeck should have rephrased the release. Seebeck claims "we disagree with Rick," with the "we" referring to members of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, and clearly that's not the case. The release could have avoided such phrases. However, I do think it is appropriate for the board to distance itself from Stanley's irresponsible statements.
Stanley says his efforts represent "a US Senate Campaign of the likes this Libertarian Party has never seen." On that, at least, we can all agree. -- Ari Armstrong