Shaffer Letter Prompts Debate
Bo Shaffer reignited the debate between Stanley's followers and detractors when a letter of his was published in the October 13 edition of the Denver Post. The letter stated:
Rick Stanley does not speak for all Libertarians. In fact, he speaks for a very small minority within the Libertarian Party... Full party members sign a pledge agreeing to never initiate or advocate violence. Rick has advocated violent overthrow of the government at least twice. This is a clear violation of his Libertarian Pledge. He advocates Second Amendment rights by arming himself with truly formidible weaponry and thrusting it in everyone's face to intimidate them. Rick Stanley is no Libertarian... even though he believes in one or two of the Libertarian principles... We wish to apologize to the voters for his actions and words and assure them that he is NOT what Libertarians are all about...
The paper noted, "The writer is chairman of the Boulder County Libertarian Party and the party's candidate for county sheriff."
Rand Fanshier reacted angrily on the "lpco-chat" list:
I Announce the End of the Apologetic Party. The self-deprecating party. The "I may not be the best candidate, but..." party. The we're "worth understanding, at least..." party. The "I'll tear down someone's else's campaign as my noblest act" party. What follows below is but one example of the many things we do in order to not win elections. If you think about it, legislative power and control is our only valid reason for existence, all else is flummery. We seek it, we want it, we organize our thoughts and actions in pursuit of it. So why would one of us, in any manner, poison one of our own? To transfer Joe's words from Stanley instead to the writer below, I would say "...he has no clue what being a Libertarian is all about." Folks, it's time to get with the new Libertarian Party. A party of Winners, instead of Losers.
Michael McKinzie followed up on October 15:
Back when Rick was going after JKB, I was all for giving Rick a knock upside his head. A Candidate trying to take down a Party Chairman in an election year is not - IMHO - Party Unity. Then Rick got censured. JKB retained his seat. All was well in my little Activist World. Now Ralph Shnelvar continues his attacks on Rick. The BoD can only do what? Nothing. Bo can diss any Candidate he likes. The BoD does nothing. I see no Party Unity. No united front. No reason to keep on keeping on. Except one. I am waiting for the next State Convention. I want to see the weasels replaced with Attack Dogs. Out with the apologetic Losers - Let's get some winners in the LPCO BoD!! I want to see real leadership for a change. Change begins at home. It's time to clean house! JKB - You ran in 2000 saying you'd bring organization to this Party. I don't see it. You and your mouthpiece - Mike 'The Weasel' Seebeck haven't spoken for me yet! Fuck you both!! James Vance and BO - You're cutting off your noses to spite your faces! There's a difference between discipline and abuse. Ask me, I'm an expert on the subject. Margaret - What are you, a lineholder? ...Ralph - Good luck! I never should have donated to your campaign. Since we all get to pick which Candidates we will or won't support, you're on my shitlist. Wonder how many votes you'll get as the homosexual candidate? ...This Party sucks!!
Shnelvar said he had no idea what McKinzie was talking about and he hadn't attacked or criticized Stanley since his censure.
[Editor's note: McKinzie's gratuitous reference to homosexuals was totally uncalled for. Numerous great libertarian leaders are homosexual, and the LP's platform is quite friendly to such alternative lifestyles.]
Vance fired back a note in which he said he's considering resigning anyway and he thinks Libertarian Party members spend too much time complaining.
David Bryant, who had been seemingly inactive for several weeks, also sent a reply to the chat list on October 18. Bryant said Stanley had only advocated self-defense, not the initiation of violence, and that self-defense is supported by the LP.