Letter of Censure for Rick Stanley
September 4, 2002
Letter of Censure for Rick Stanley
The Libertarian Party is a political party that advocates peaceful political and social change. It is a political party where the individual is highly valued; where the rights of the individual trumps race, religion, culture, and language. Because of our high regard for the individual, we welcome all honest, hard working people to the ranks of the Libertarian Party and to our nation. On Tuesday, 27 August 2002, the Libertarian Party of Colorado's Board of Directors held a hearing concerning a proposal to revoke the party's Certification of Designation for your campaign for the U.S. Senate. Although the hearing failed to muster the necessary 2/3 vote to revoke that certification, the Board unanimously found reason to censure you for some of your past actions which failed to support Libertarian Principles. The fact that the Board was deeply divided over the issue serves to demonstrate the serious nature of the issue and your part in it.
The Board did not take this censure lightly, choosing to trust that this less drastic action would be sufficient to enlighten you and effect positive changes in your conduct as the Libertarian Party of Colorado's candidate for U.S. Senate. It is important that we in fact see changes in your conduct, or the Board may choose to hold another hearing and vote upon the issue again, with the potential for a very different outcome.
The Board found that you do not clearly differentiate your view from that of other contributors on your "Stanley Scoop" mailing list. When you forward email from others for discussion purposes, it is important that you clearly state that intention by posting a message at the top of the email stating that the contents have been forwarded for discussion purposes and do not represent your views. Stating that you agree with what is true and disagree with what is not true is necessary but not sufficient; you need to make your views known separate to what you are forwarding, especially when those words are inflammatory and counter to Libertarian Principles. This will allow for a clear delineation between their thoughts and words, and your own thoughts and words. When you fail to adequately define the difference between your own words and actions and those of others on your mailing list, you implicitly approve of those statements, and allow possible wrong inferences about yourself, your views and the Principles of the Libertarian Party.
The Board also found that you are quite adept at evasion. We urge you to become more forthright and refrain from hiding behind ambiguity. By trying to please both sides on issues such as the flag burning amendment, you appear deceitful and do not separate yourself in any real way from the traditional politicians of the two major political parties. Evasion such as this negates your message of "new ideas" and instead conveys a strong impression of business as usual, making you no different from any other politician today. The Party and you need to convey that a choice of Stanley this fall means a choice for real standards and real change, not more of the same old, tired politics and cronyism. As part of correcting this evasion, the Board strongly advises you to change your web site on the flag burning amendment to make it extremely clear what it is you do and do not support. As was demonstrated at the hearing, the statement the way it is written can be interpreted in many different ways. You need to ensure that your words are excruciatingly clear and cannot be misunderstood.
As a candidate for office and therefore a public figure, we expect you to hold yourself to a higher standard of conduct -- one that shows a conscious awareness of your role as a representative of the Libertarian Party and all of the Party's membership to the public in everything you do and say. This awareness should display dignity and integrity, showing you worthy to be elected by your constituency to the office you seek. We hold all of our public figures to this standard, be they Board members or Candidates, because these public figures are the liaison between the Libertarian Party and the public. It is these people, through their high visibility, that give the Libertarian Party and its membership the positive public image so vital to achieving the goals of the Libertarian Party.
We support you in your candidacy and your race for the Senate. We expect you to comport yourself appropriately, and we will be watching your campaign to ensure that you continue to uphold the Principles of the Party.
For the Board of Directors,