Stanley Offers Olive Branch
Ari Armstrong's Introductory Remarks
Rick Stanley has offered an olive branch to other Libertarians, and for that he deserves credit. At the August 27 hearing and in his comments reproduced below, Stanley clearly distanced himself from the contents of offensive e-mails he forwarded to his "official newswire." Stanley is both stubborn and proud (I'm not saying he's the only one with these traits), so for him to offer an apology and a call for unity is a significant and praiseworthy move.
Of course, we have heard this before, at the convention, after he lost the first round of voting but picked up the undecided votes in the second round. Stanley said he was sorry then, too, but he subsequently disappointed many. But libertarians believe in individual choice and personal responsibility. The way I see it, the ball is now in Stanley's court. If he consistently upholds libertarian values through the election, then everybody in the party can at least work in parallel, if not together.
I believe every Libertarian candidate should stay in the race. Stanley has apologized, the board has censured him, and it's enormously important at this point in history that we all champion libertarian ideals.
As explained at http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/08/rsretained.html, Stanley forwarded false statements about me to his "Stanley Scoop." I asked him at the hearing to publicly disclaim these statements, and he said he would. His August 28 answer is mostly satisfactory:
I had promised Ari that I would tell the Stanley Scoop, that he denies the charge made by persons who said they saw him distributing Republican literature on the Western Slope, this past weekend with Lynn Armstrong, a staunch Republican. He said he was distributing literature for Ralph Shnelvar, as the Libertarian Candidate for Governor. With my promise fulfilled, I will refrain from commenting on Ari Armstrong in the future, you all can make up your own minds about Ari Armstrong's agenda, based upon his actions of the past, and in the future.
But it's more than I "deny" the statements and "say" they are untrue: the statements are demonstrably false.
And if people want to make up their own minds about my agenda, my ideas and my actions are an open book. Hundreds of my articles are available at http://www.freecolorado.com/perpetual/pastissues.html. I was active in the libertarian movement for years while Stanley was still an inactive Republican. My agenda is simple: it is to advance libertarianism.
What concerned me about the forwarded statement was that it was a lie, not that its "charge" was that I was campaigning for a Republican. If I lived in Ron Paul's district, I probably would be campaigning for a Republican. The Libertarian Party is a political strategy, it is not a tribe that warrants blind obedience.
And it's LINN Armstrong, who is my father. Linn Armstrong is active in Republican politics, and that's his right. He is also a member of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. Linn has also helped train thousands of people in the safe and effective use of firearms. Linn Armstrong has done far more to advance the libertarian movement than has Rick Stanley. Linn is also a more consistent libertarian than is Rick Stanley. (Also, I seriously doubt Linn was campaigning at the Peach Fest, as he was riding his scooter in the parade with the Shriners.)
Rick Stanley does express many libertarian beliefs. Commendably, he advocates the right to bear arms, the repeal of drug prohibition, the repeal of the income tax, and the restoration of market education. These are all major libertarian issues, and ones neither of his old-party opponents are willing to touch.
We ought not ignore Stanley's positive accomplishments because of his mistakes.
Stanley has pledged to curtail his personal attacks and focus on a positive libertarian message. I for one believe Stanley's critics should now give him the benefit of the doubt and redirect their time and energy to more useful activities. I expect Stanley to uphold his end of the bargain. Assuming he does so, I will help maintain a truce.
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 20:15:41 -0400
THE STANLEY SCOOP - Keeping Colorado Informed
Rick Stanley, U.S. Senate Candidate, Colorado Libertarian Party Nominee, Activist/Organizer of the National Bill of Rights Rallies, Activist/Organizer of the Million Gun March Petition, and Activist/Organizer of the Patriot Files made the following open letter to the Colorado Libertarian Party and board members:
On August 27th, I faced a hearing at which the Libertarian board decided to retain me as a candidate, but censured me, concerning certain viewpoints I hold, and other viewpoints they believed that I held.
I would like to apologize for any misunderstandings that arose by me forwarding e-mails that some Libertarians find questionable. I do not condone violence or racism of any kind. Further, I now better understand the importance of presenting a clear libertarian message to the public. I will do my best in that regard in the future.
I also apologize to anyone who feels that I have made personal attacks on certain Libertarians, and for any perceived misstatement, I may have made about certain Libertarians.
No American or true reform political party, can remain indifferent to the injustices of which the American people, have been victims for more than one hundred years. No American or true reform political party, can contest the right of the American people to unalienable rights under the Bill or Rights and the Constitution. But neither will anyone, especially from the Colorado Libertarian Party, forget the members who on both sides of the same coin failed day after day to come together as a cohesive whole, to become the kind of party that will address, and defend the rights of all Americans, defend the right to establish a constitutional government, and defend the right to ethical governing laws.
We all have experienced and can attest to the truth that the Libertarian Party of Colorado has suffered damage during this electoral year. We all can attest to the truth that party ideals and values were compromised. We all can attest to the truth that lack of knowledge and understanding, created chasms and splits within the party and outside, as onlookers were observing what the Colorado Libertarian Party was all about.
We who are associated as Libertarian voters, represent a number of English-speaking nationalities, predominantly American but also many others, and are from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds. Reconciliation for the Colorado Libertarian Party is a concern of utmost urgency. We, as the Colorado Libertarian Party, need to become actively involved and united as the instrument of the forbearers of constitutional government, true republic standards, and democratic legislation that protects the rights and freedoms of all Americans. It is time to set aside nitpicking, personal agendas, irresponsible actions and vain babblings.
The years have past, since the original Libertarian Party was first established in Colorado. A generation here in Colorado coming of voting age, has perhaps heard of no other parties, outside of the Democrats and Republicans, that they would could consider voting for, and becoming more involved in. Today, we can change that....today we can be the kind of party that offers the plain truth, and nothing more than the truth, concerning the present state of corrupt government policies, illicit laws that overturn secured citizens' rights, and monumental abuse by legislative bodies of taxpayersâ monies. We can offer the public today what no other party seems to be able to offer and deliver - the ability to respond, solve, correct and establish a governmental system that abides by constitutional mandates, and that honors the right to the pursuit of liberty, justice and freedom for all.
That "we," includes those people who were present at the board hearing, those who were for or against revoking candidacy, those who presented point and counterpoint, even those who made it a point to interrupt this session with interjections of obscenities, or provided literature of a defaming nature. During this hearing, perhaps the best we can testify to, is to our having witnessed the violation of basic human rights, and personal freedoms between all parties involved.
We, as the members of the Colorado Libertarian Party, must unequivocally condemn and reject party factioning, as a means of advancing the political goals of the Colorado Libertarian Party, and fully recognize the rights of all Libertarians, indeed, all Americans, to live in peace, liberty and security within their respective states. This experience should serve to help us understand why at this present time, we need to set aside our differences, and concentrate our efforts with one another, and become intent on being the major political party of influence in our respective communities that will win voter confidence. The parameters of the solution have been clearly delineated, by all who call themselves Libertarian, and the vision spelled out by all who call themselves Libertarian. It is an active display of the type of "tough love" that links candidates, with backing and policy decisions that best express the concerns of all Colorado Libertarians. Now, at this period in Colorado history, the Colorado Libertarian Party needs clear policy definition, firm political will, and consistency in action by the leaders of the Colorado Libertarian Party, and by the elected candidates running for political offices.
As citizens who are part of the Colorado Libertarian Party, we all must be committed to the struggle for peace, true justice, and workable constitutional governing bodies. We must be convinced that greed, arrogance, injustice, and political lawlessness will not have the final word, or the final vote. We as Libertarians need that deep love for this land, and for all of its citizens. This experience should teach us to make our own simple insight: if we are one against the other, neither can win the political war. But together we as Libertarians can win, we can make the difference that will bring back an America that stands for the true republic, and guards the sovereign rights of its citizens.