LP03: 'We Have Survived,' Shnelvar Says
by Ari Armstrong, May 7, 2003
"Sometimes... I despair," Ralph Shnelvar admitted to begin his April 5 speech at the state LP convention. Legislators "pass laws faster than we can read them." In El Paso county, politicians agreed to build a prison even when voters said they couldn't. 1142, the bill intended to hurt minor parties, was passed. "We lost the battle, we did not lose the war," Shnelvar said: "We will take it to court, and we will win in court."
But, Shnelvar added, "You are here, and I am so very proud of you... We are here -- we have survived." He described the achievements of a number of LP members who have fought in the legislature, written articles, campaigned, and handed out thousands of flyers. "Without those friends, I don't know where I'd be," Shnelvar said.
But the problems continue. The PATRIOT Act lends itself to an abuse of power. The Denver police kept spy files on the LP. Campaign laws make it so "only the rich" parties can win.
"We have survived. The more laws they pass... the more everybody will come running to us -- because we're the only game in town," Shnelvar said. The Greens are little different from the other parties, because they "trust government and want to use it to promote their agenda." The Libertarian Party, on the other hand, wants to reduce the power of the state, not try to capture that power.
Shnelvar returned to the matter of bill 1142, which manifest "naked political power used against this party... They want to shut us down... To say that I'm disgusted is like saying hell is warm. I will never join the Republicans -- they have been corrupted by their own power."
Shnelvar said, "We have the power of our shining ideas... We will be here forever [because our] basic principles cannot be negated. People wish to be free."