Cacioppo Replies to Armstrong's Election Analysis
I very much agree with most of your analysis. The Libs need to concentrate on running against only liberal repubs and only enter certain races. I know that my time on the Vail Council literally controlled the liberal opposition forcing them to play defense the entire time! I had many successes in stopping non-sensical tax increases to provide the basic services of police, fire and roads and expose the waste my colleagues wanted to continue spending on (but I was only successful because I, with help, was able to bring 200 screaming people into the council chambers tying up the meetings with their three minute speeches against raising taxes).
The Shnelvar factor was a waste of time. Ralph seems like a nice fellow, but the libertarian idea of legal pot for fun in our lifetime is not a pressing matter among voters. I seriously doubt that pot smoking voters even know when election day is. Supporting this nonsense is a negative for the Libertarian Party.
The Party must turn to the idea of getting a few, better qualified candidates running for county commissioner and state representatives, and these candidates must work hard and spend money early on to get name recognition. The Stanley factor proved that a forceful candidate could get press (I was all the press was reporting about when I was a candidate and won - there were few exceptions).
Stanley blew it with the hang Allard remark, and he shouldn't have continued the gun thing after he made his point the first time. However, Stanley faced the Clinton factor in that Strickland was often caught mischaracterizing Allard's record, except the liberal so-called main-stream press turned that into a false report that both Strickland and Allard mischaracterized. Many conservatives had to abandon Stanley in order to avoid a Strickland victory (shades of Clinton's plurality victories), although I could not do that, and I like Allard personally.
The Lib Party Board must also take some blame for Stanley's falter to under 3% during the last week of the campaign. Attempting to dump Stanley destroyed him. Some of the board should have just held their nose and voted Stanley, or at least voted against him quietly, just as I'm sure others did with the Shnelvar pot nonsense. Remember, Reagan said, speak no evil of other Republicans, and it worked! ...
Michael Cacioppo, publisher, Speakout!
The Editor Replies
Cacioppo defended Rick Stanley at his hearing. He is responding to my analysis of the 2002 elections. However, I didn't say the LP should run candidates "against only liberal" Republicans. I said "it might make sense for the LP to not work so hard to put a candidate in tight a race against a relatively good Republican." I don't care whether a politician is labeled "liberal" or "conservative:" I care whether he or she supports libertarian principles. Relatively pro-freedom Republicans and Democrats are few and far between, and it makes sense for the LP to run candidates against them in many cases, such as in two-way races, in races where demographics strongly favor one candidate over the other, and in races where the Libertarian has a real shot of winning. But the LP's leadership cannot determine where candidates run any more than leaders of other parties can.
I do not think the effort to repeal drug prohibition is "nonsense." Instead, it is a signature Libertarian issue that a significant number of voters agree with. (Many who favor the repeal of prohibition also criticize drug use.) It is a morally worthy fight, and I think it can also serve strategic purposes.
The LP's board did NOT call for the hearing; instead, independent party members did that, as per the party's rules. The claim that the hearing or the resulting vote of censure lowered Stanley's vote total is without merit. First, there's no evidence to suggest it impacted the vote at all. Any impact was likely small. Second, if it did result in fewer votes for Stanley, then that's Stanley's fault for behaving irresponsibly in the first place.