LPCO Board Set to Vote on Stanley's Removal
by Ari Armstrong, August 14, 2002
Three Colorado Libertarians presented the state board with a complaint August 13 calling for the removal of Rick Stanley as the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate. According to the party's rules, the board must set a hearing date within 15 days. A two-thirds vote by the nine-member board is required to "revoke the candidate's Certificate of Designation."
Party rules specify any board member may request a hearing upon presentation of a complaint signed by three party members. Judd Ptak, Scott Graves, and Joe Johnson signed the document (reproduced below in full, along with related documents). Publications Director James Vance called for the hearing.
The complaint alleges "Stanley has egregiously violated our Statement of Principles" in several ways. The first charge is that Stanley forwarded an e-mail advocating murder. The e-mail Stanley forwarded -- but did not author -- is dated August 6. It states,
Wake Up America, we need Summary Street Trials everywhere everyday in America, no need for formalities, no pomp and fanfare, my friends, you are the judicial power units in America and if you Judge them a traitor... you must execute them immediately...
Stanley added his own comments before sending out the e-mail August 7 to his "Stanley Scoop," the "official newswire" of his campaign: "Thank you very much for your comments. I will forward and when the day comes, and it will, America will be be prepared for the traitors day in the people's court."
The Libertarian Party of Colorado has never before removed a candidate. However, a decade ago the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire completely expelled a member who advocated killing police officers and condoned violence against women. The expelled member went on to run as a Republican state legislator, a position from which he eventually resigned:
"It was a classic good news/bad news situation," said LP Director of Communications Bill Winter. "It was bad news at first because some journalists mistakenly linked this disturbed person to the Libertarian Party. But, ultimately, it was good news because we were able to point out that we had expelled him years ago for his reprehensible and un-Libertarian beliefs."
The complaint also charges, "Mr. Stanley has shown a history of lack of discretion in his forwarding of emails that are clearly anti-minority (i.e. his infamous forwarding of the Mexican parody) and his recent forwarding of a rabid anti-Jewish email to his Scoop." Information about the e-mail concerning Mexicans is linked at http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/stanleyemail.html.
The other e-mail, dated August 9, contained a document forwarded -- but not written -- by Stanley. The document refers to "a Jewish World Conspiracy" and claims Jews are planning a "reign of terror" for America. It contains the statement, "What you are about to read should act as a WARNING to all non-Jews throughout the world." The author of the forwarded document states, "I said I hate what the Jews are doing to us and especially as it relates to any and everything related to Christianity. I hate their deceit, trickery, cunning, and their detestable dishonesty. Does that make me anti-semitic? If it does then I am anti-semitic!!"
To this hateful, disgusting, and bigoted diatribe, Stanley added his own comments, dated August 9: "Hmmmmmm. For the Stanley Scoop and other groups." The subject line of the e-mail -- which may have been written by some other party -- states, "Subject: [TheStanleyScoop] FYI~Found this in my messages I had not opened..Tells a lot of what is happening."
Another charge notes Stanley advocates flag laws. Libertarians generally criticize such laws on the grounds that they violate the freedom of speech and private property rights. Stanley's web page states,
I would support... an amendment to the Constitution that states: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." The people have the right to protect their flag if they so choose. I believe an amendment to the Constitution is the right way to go about it. (http://stanley2002.org/desecrate.htm)
However, the LP's platform states:
The freedom to use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a hall; the freedom to own a printing press, a broadcasting station, or a transmission cable; the freedom to host and publish information on the Internet; the freedom to wave or burn one's own flag; and similar property-based freedoms are precisely what constitute freedom of communication. (http://www.lp.org/issues/platform/freecomm.html)
In a press release, Steve Dasbach, the LP's national director, pointed out that tyrannical nations have passed flag laws. He said, "Any U.S. Senator who votes to make flag-burning a crime will be following in the shameful footsteps of Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Mao Tse-tung -- and will strike a blow against the liberty that makes America unique" (http://www.lp.org/press/archive.php?function=view&record=88).
The complaint also cites Stanley's position on immigration (for more information, see http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/immigrants.html), and it criticizes his use of e-mail.
James Vance, the board member who called for the hearing, previously endorsed Stanley for the LP's nomination. The Libertarian Party of Colorado gives out an annual award known as the "Ptak Award," named after Judd Ptak for his service to the party. Joe Johnson is the former chair of the Libertarian Party of Boulder County, and Scott Graves currently serves as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of El Paso County.
More Commentary by Ari Armstrong
Rick Stanley has flagrantly and frequently violated the Libertarian Party's principles. He has forwarded e-mails advocating murder and racism. He has advocated laws violating the freedom of speech and property rights.
The e-mails Stanley forwarded are despicable. And Stanley is despicable for forwarding them without so much as a whisper of protest or denunciation. He even promises the day will come when, as the e-mail he forwarded urges, every cop, lawyer, and "Media worker" is subjected to execution in the streets.
Rick Stanley is a hypocrite. He claims to advocate the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech. Yet the e-mail Stanley forwarded calls for executions of "Media workers." The Fifth Amendment guarantees the right of due process. Yet the e-mail Stanley forwarded calls for executions of innocents in the streets. "If you Judge them a traitor... you must execute them immediately," the e-mail states.
The e-mail Stanley forwarded advocates murder, pure and simple. Every cop? Every lawyer and "Media worker"? "Their face is blown away," according to the e-mail Stanley forwarded.
Is it not obvious that murder is wrong? Is it not obvious that murder violates the principles of the Libertarian Party? Is it not obvious that anyone who is complicitous in the advocacy of murder should be prohibited from running as a Libertarian candidate for office?
How could Stanley be so foolish and careless, so destructive to himself and to the LP, so oblivious to the rights of others, so disrespectful? Why would he forward an overtly anti-Semitic e-mail after getting criticism for forwarding a bigoted e-mail directed at Mexican immigrants? Why would he thank somebody for comments calling for the street murders of police officers, lawyers, and "Media workers"? I can think of no reason other than he desires attention for the sake of attention. But regardless, the Libertarian Party is the party of personal responsibility. No matter what Stanley's motives, no matter what his after-the-fact excuses and rationalizations, the fact remains that he has violated the principles of the Libertarian Party, and the state board must vote to remove him as the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate.
The future of the Libertarian Party of Colorado now lies in the hands of its nine board members. The tenor of the organization will be determined at the hearing, possibly for decades to come.
Will the Libertarian Party continue to represent decency, open acceptance of different ethnicities, the rule of law, peaceful interaction with others, personal responsibility, and a commitment to the non-initiation of force? If so, then the only alternative for the state board is to vote to remove Rick Stanley as a Libertarian candidate.
Stanley has dragged libertarian values through the mud. Yet he represents the top of the ticket for the Libertarian Party of Colorado. Libertarians cannot bury their heads in the sand and pretend they can ignore Stanley's antics without damaging the Party and its values. Libertarians who tolerate such gross abuse of their purported principles are no longer libertarians at all.
In *The Machinery of Freedom* (page 226), David Friedman writes, "A libertarian... should... reject the idea that a party that happens to be named 'Libertarian' will automatically continue to advance libertarian positions." Whether the Libertarian Party of Colorado continues to advance libertarian positions remains to be seen.
Complaint Against Rick Stanley, Signed by Judd Ptak, Scott Graves, and Joe Johnson on August 13, 2002
From the statement of principles: "We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."
Our Libertarian Pledge: "I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals."
We, the signers of this Complaint, take this step with the reluctance of those who must perform an unwanted and hideous task. There comes a time, though, when the Libertarian Party must stand for its principles or it must fall under the weight of prevarication, decay, and deceit.
We, the signers of this complaint, reluctantly exercise our extraordinary responsibility under our By-Laws to remove someone whom our Convention has nominated. We find that Mr. Stanley has egregiously violated our Statement of Principles and by doing so has done immeasurable damage to our lives, our reputations, and our Party.
That Mr. Rick Stanley did many times violate our Statement of Principles and his signed Libertarian Pledge and that because of his actions that he be removed from the November 2002 ballot as a Libertarian.
Bill of Particulars:
(A) In an e-mail dated August 7, 2002 he forwarded an e-mail advocating murder and explicitly acknowledged his support for "street justice".
Mr. Stanley wrote "Thank you very much for your comments. I will forward and when the day comes, and it will, America will be be [sic] prepared for the traitors day in the people's court." These are the words that state that he supports the contents of the letter he forwarded to his Scoop.
That letter said that "I [the author of the letter, and not Mr. Stanley] look forward to the day when we offer Summary Street Trials, i.e. Mixed War Trials, being carried out in America by We, the sovereign American People, in the streets, in public offices, motel rooms, coffee shops, on the highways, in court rooms, where ever these bastards lurk, We, the American Sovereign People are administering justice under laws of war and treason, strictly, mercilessly, and swiftly."
That author continued, "Imagine every cop, every lawyer, every judge, every meter maid, every clerk, Media worker, every DMV, every government employee- collaborators in treason in 72 hour period, that shows their face is blown away for treason. We will either have a hell of a lot of respect, or 3 more days work to do... in any event there will never again be a cop, judge, lawyer, politician, or other contemplating to withhold, deprive, or otherwise fuck with our rights and they will be busting their asses to give everything back and satisfy our every whim or the Street trials continue in the light of day until there aren't any traitors on American soil."
This man - and by extension, Mr. Rick Stanley - wants to kill Paul Grant, Tony Ryan, Vin Suprynowicz, Bruce Waters, Bill Masters; indeed anyone that this author thinks is below his standards - being denied liberty and life itself by self-appointed squads of citizen-executioners.
This Party does not advocate the violent overthrow of this government. This is, indeed, the entire purpose of our Pledge.
As Libertarians, this author's vision - and by extension, Mr. Stanley's vision that "America will be prepared for the traitors day in the people's court" is a clear violation of our Statement of Principles in which we state that people "have the right to live in whatever manner they choose". Murder by "street juries" denies to people the right to live; much less "the right to live in the manner they choose ... ."
We the undersigned, this Party, and in particular this Board, shall grant to Mr. Stanley the due process that he says that he denies to others.
(B) Mr. Stanley violated his signed Libertarian oath: to not initiate force for political change. His wanton disregard for due process and his acquiescence to the use of violence as a means of political change is also a clear violation of both the letter and spirit of our Statement of Principles.
(C) Mr. Stanley's disregard of the etiquette of eMail caused W. Earl Allen on July 17 to tell Mr. Stanley "No, Rick, *you* are killing the usefulness of this list [the candidate's list] with your constant backbiting, harping at board members, sowing dissent among Libertarians and candidates, and generally mucking things up royally."
Specifically, Mr. Stanley bombarded the candidate's eMail list with his Stanley Scoop. When he was asked to stop, he instead removed himself from the candidate's eMail list.
Mr. Stanley was given the courtesy of being removed from the candidate's eMail list and thus he received no further communication from that list. His request to not be bothered by eMails was granted to him. He, like everyone else, was granted the right by the list administrator to "exercise sole dominion over their own lives."
On the other hand, repeated requests by members of the press to be removed from his Stanley Scoop resulted in further harangues from Mr. Stanley.
Specifically, on July 15, the Durango Herald wrote Mr. Stanley, "One more time - take me off your mailing list." On July 16, Mr. Stanley wrote back, "I am so sorry sir. One more time for the Media. You get my e-mails because you are in the media and if you would do your job, tell your readers what is going on, than we will all be thankful. Or have you sold out as well, and fooled yourself as to the deceitful nature of the media. Print it or delete it, but you get it. Best wishes. Liberty in our Lifetime!"
Mr. Stanley crossed the boundary between freedom of speech and harassment. He crossed over from communicating to "forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."
Mr. Stanley inflicted himself (initiation of force for political gain) on others use of eMail; he received the courtesy that he denied others.
(D) Mr. Stanley has shown a history of lack of discretion in his forwarding of emails that are clearly anti-minority (i.e. his infamous forwarding of the Mexican parody) and his recent forwarding of a rabid anti-Jewish email to his Scoop.
While we do not deny Mr. Stanley his free speech rights as a private citizen, we do deny him these rights when, as a representative of the Party, he harms the Party and thus inflict the results of his vitriol on the members of our Party.
(E) Mr. Stanley should not be the standard bearer for the LP because Mr. Stanley is not a Libertarian based upon the three following points. (1) Mr. Stanley advocates the initiation of force (already discussed above). (2) Mr. Stanley does not believe that peaceful people should cross boarders freely (see his web page). (3) Mr Stanley does not advocate the rights of private property ownership, as understood by the Libertarian Party (again see web page), namely, he advocates a Constitutional Amendment allowing the US Government to initiate force against those who display, discard, and/or handle their property (in this case a piece of fabric, purchased by it's owner of his free will and his own money through free trade, with stars and stripes printed or sewn upon it) as they see fit ('flag burning Amendment).
(F) Our By-Laws read "Any three Party members who believe that a candidate nominated under this Article has violated his or her pledge to support the Statement of Principles may file a written complaint asking a Party Officer to request a special hearing."
It is clear that if a candidate violates the Statement of Principles that our Board is required to remove said person. Apologies and statements of "I didn't mean it" are irrelevant. The issue is: Did the candidate in question violate the Statement of Principles?
We ask that the Board live up to its responsibility and that the Board hold Mr. Stanley responsible for his actions by removing him as a Libertarian candidate for office.
(G) We assert that there are many other examples of violations of the Statement of Principles, which we may report to the Board at the hearing. We further assert that any single violation of the Statement of Principles is sufficient grounds to remove a candidate from bearing the bounty of the good name of our Party: Libertarian.
We, the signers of this complaint, do hereby certify that we are members of the Libertarian Party in good standing.
The Libertarian Party's Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual. We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
Sections from the Constitution of the Libertarian Party of Colorado
Article II - PURPOSES
The purpose of the Party is to implement and give voice to libertarian principles, such as those in the Statement of Principles of the national Libertarian Party, by:
(a) nominating and running candidates for office in the state of Colorado, (b) entering into political information and educational activities, and (c) promoting, chartering and coordinating Party affiliates throughout the state of Colorado.
Article III - PRINCIPLES
The Party shall take no positions inconsistent with the Statement of Principles of the national Libertarian Party.
Article VII - NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES
Section 3 Each candidate shall be a member of the Party and shall sign a statement to the effect that he or she supports the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party. Any three Party members who believe that a candidate nominated under this Article has violated his or her pledge to support the Statement of Principles may file a written complaint asking a Party Officer to request a special hearing. At any Officer's request, the Board shall schedule a hearing within 15 days to hear the complaint. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested to the candidate and to the complainants not less than 7 days before the hearing is held. At the hearing the Board may, by a two-thirds vote, revoke the candidate's Certificate of Designation. No Party member may participate in more than one complaint during any calendar year, nor shall any complaint making the same or similar charges against the same candidate be heard more than once.
E-mail Concerning "Summary Judgment and Execution"
[Note: I condemn the contents and suggested actions detailed in the following e-mail. I include the e-mail here because it is cited as a major complaint against Rick Stanley, and because those evaluating Stanley's behavior may want to reference the document. -- Ari Armstrong]
THE STANLEY SCOOP - Keeping Colorado Informed
Must and Immediately.
"The plain meaning of the right of the people to keep arms is that it is an individual, rather than a collective, right and is not limited to keeping arms while engaged in active military service or as a member of a select militia such as the National Guard." - U.S. vs. Emerson, 5th Circuit Federal Court, published October 16, 2001
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THE
Stanley for Senate Contact Information:
Stanley for Senate