Campaigns/Elections

Kentucky L.P.: Never Mind

|

Ken Moellman, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky, says his vice chairman, Joshua Koch, spoke out of turn when he suggested the L.P. might run a Senate candidate against Rand Paul in November. Moellman, who told Talking Points Memo that Koch's comments were "not an official communication or an official stance," has posted this "clarification" on the party's website:

It's now painfully obvious that we need to clarify some things. I've been on the phone all day, which has just been great (sarcasm). Let's get some things cleared up right now:

Rand Paul is not a Libertarian, or a libertarian

We have beat this to death. He's not his father, he is his own man with his own beliefs. I personally respect that he is not a tool of his father or of anyone else. I just disagree with him on certain positions, because I am a libertarian and a Libertarian, and he is neither.

The LPKY is not endorsing anyone in the Senate race

As a party we have no one in this race, and we do not seek to help or harm the candidacy of any candidates other than our own. As a party, it would be completely inappropriate to involve ourselves or in any way devote resources to a candidate outside of the LPKY, when there are great libertarian candidates running as Libertarians for office in Kentucky.

Anything that looked like any sort of endorsement or un-endorsement should be seen as a private individual's opinion, and not the policy of the LPKY.

While our State Party's Constitution does permit the endorsement of candidates outside of the LPKY by a vote of 7/8ths or better in the Executive Committee, the reality is that this has not been done for as long as I have been chair (2007) and for as far back as I remember. The party has historically stayed neutral when there's no Libertarian in a particular race.

We ask that our members, and those who might otherwise look to the LPKY for advice in how to vote, to look at what people say and what people do, and judge them on that, and that alone. Don't be a sheep.

The LPKY has no candidate for US Senate

While technically possible for the LPKY to run a US Senate candidate in 2010, the prospects are very unlikely, despite what some in the media have said.

[Thanks to Gene Berkman for the tip.]

NEXT: What Women Want

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Nice.

    Ya’ll remind me again… what’s the difference between a Libertarian and a libertarian? I’m one of them (or both) but not sure which…

    Thanks!

    CB

    1. “libertarian” means you believe in the general philosophy of libertarianism.

      “Libertarian” means you are a member of the Libertarian party.

      You can be both, but there are many “libertarians” (aka “small ‘l’ libertarians”) who are not, for various reasons. Some disagree with the whole political process (ie may not vote), some disagree with some or all aspects of the Libertarian party or may actually be members of the Republican Party (there is a Liberty Causus within the Republican Party) or the Democratic Party.

      1. Some are embarrassed to be associated w/ the LP party’s assortment of blue druids, ferret owners and Wayne Allen Root.

        1. I have sucked up the embarrassment of being part of the LP, even through the presidential election where Root was VP candidate. However, if he actually wins his bid to be LP National Chairman, I will finally cut ties and rescind my membership… something I probably should have done long ago but have held on to because I hate being listed as an ‘independent’ which always seemed to me to imply someon who was wishy-washy and unable to make up thier mind.

        2. Don’t forget the pagan constituency.

    2. Libertarian means you get embroiled in party politics such as endorsing a GOPer like Junior Paul, whereas libertarian means you call out Rand Paul for the “Federal control for stuff I like, anti-government for the stuff I don’t like, but I’m very principled I swear” garbage.

      1. I thought libertarians believed in the constitution. Why does Rand Paul supporting constitutional “control” for some things and state and individual control for other things, make him not a libertarian? That makes no sense.

        1. Libertarians don’t worship the Constitution like some sort of almighty moral document.

          It may be useful to help restrain the government given our current situation, but it’s certainly not what we base our positions on.

    3. I’m a libertarian, but I’ve voted for a number of Libertarians, especially in presidential elections.

    4. He means because Rand doesn’t agree with him 100% of the time that Rand is not a libertarian. The KY LP is good at alienating libertarians and potential supporters by saying those people “aren’t libertarian”.

      1. we disagree with what he’s been saying and doing on domestic social issues.

        we disagree with what he’s saying about foreign policy.

        but if you ignore all of that and decide that agreeing on economics is good enough, fine, call him a libertarian.

        Personally, I call that a Republican.

  2. Bold.
    We’re bold and Bold.

    Sometimes we’re slanty and Bold.
    We’re not officially slanty.

    1. This comment made me spit up my soda for some reason. Love it.

  3. Rand might not officially be a libertarian, but he’s probably going to be the closet thing to one that gets elected (hopefully ) to the Senate for a while.

    Also, I think he’s probably been toning down his libertarianism (like Obama toned down his socialism) while running.

    It’s pretty much par for the course, but still what you usually need to do to get elected.

    1. but he’s probably going to be the closet thing to one

      Not sure if that’s a typo, or world-class snark, or maybe both.

  4. “Anything that looked like any sort of endorsement or un-endorsement should be seen as a private individual’s opinion, and not the policy of the LPKY.”

    That’s probably a good thing in Kentucky. It’s like when Jack Conway backed Obamacare in the primary, you know he’s a liberal. But he’s not gonna ask President Obama to endorse or campaign for him in Kentucky.

  5. well, we are al getting older, im getting bolder and soon i need a new shoulder. But, anyway – nevermind, guess this is the limestone and the grapewine.

  6. This really puts to bed the public doubts that L/libertarians are eccentri crackpots. Keep up the good work.

  7. Anyone else think that the LP distancing itself from Paul/threatening to run a candidate against him is designed to help his candidacy? “See, I’m not one of those LP wackos! They’re against me!”
    Or does no one in the LP have that kind of a brain?

    1. I got news for you. The average Democrat sees no difference between the beliefs of libertarian and a Republican. They think both of us are evil racist white guys who want bring back Jim Crow. But they do know we can be played off each other somewhat so they pretend to have sympahty for the libertarian.

    2. Considering I’ve been registered as a Libertarian for over 15 years and they haven’t sent me one single fundraising letter, I’m going brainless.

      (Not that I’m a huge LP fan, just registered because they are the only party that doesn’t make me ill.)

      1. Sugar, you have to be dues-paying member to get fundraising letters (and I know, that doesn’t make sense).

        1. I know that mass mailing is expensive, but you think they’d cull at least to an interested population. Or send me a yard sign.

          1. I have yet to see the LP anywhere be as remotely organized as the efenants and the donks. (Full disclosure: wife was GOP precinct chair for 9 years) The organization the two major parties have built up is even more impressive after you encounter the vast majority of the precinct chairs. For every one of them that has their shit together, there’s a dozen more that are on the verge of committing election fraud or malfeasance through sheer stupidity.

            1. About 700 registered Libertarians in my county but no regularly scheduled meetings. Even if only 10% would be semi-active, there’s a whole lot of educational/political things one could do with 70 people. I understand they didn’t even respond to an offer to have a speaker at the Tea Party rally at the courthouse.

              1. After working in the LP for quite some time the main issue became clear: People join the LP to NOT BE BOTHERED. So the catch 22 is in order to not be bothered we need to bother you for money and time and run for office. I have spoken to at least 3000 big Ls in CO. I tell ya, it is a tough crowd.

                Plus, the more successful we are the more participation there is. Everyone likes a winner. But to be successfull we need more participation.

                This is why I now have high blood pressure.

      2. You very lucky SF. I get fundraising letters from the LP all the time. They must spend a fortune on mailings. I think Liberty magazine must have sold my address to every libertarian organization in the country or something. It’s ridiculous how many libertarian groups beg me for money.

        1. Consider yourself lucky, de Vaca. Because of my ties to the ACLU, NRA, and Nature Conservancy, I get fundraising letters from every motherfucker on the planet.

          1. Doctors Without Borders are quite polite. Only one or two a year.

            1. And they always send a cool world map that my kids love to use in craft projects.

          2. I wrote the NRA and asked them to stop sending me literature – they have. The ones that bug me though are the phone calls from the police departments trying to raise money for fallen LEOs and their families. I don’t know how I got on their lists and ask every time to be taken off, but about once or twice per month a call from one org or another soliciting.

            1. To disagree with Dr. House: With me it is ALWAYS lupus…about 4 times a week, no joke.

              STOP CALLING ME!

          3. Donating to Ron Paul last year got my name and address sold to every Republican astroturfing organization in the world. That really pissed me off.

      3. The LP’s organization is astoundingly bad. Over the last year, the LP should’ve blown the budget in outreach (with the idea of getting more funding by the millions who are stating to hate their government with a cold, cold passion). Naturally, they’re blowing the best opportunity in their history.

        1. The problem, of course, is that there isn’t a pot of government gold at the end of the rainbow with which to pay the professionals the LP needs to run the show.

          1. One of the fundamental flaws in our philosophy.

        2. Hye, offices at the Watergate cost money!

      4. Sweet mother I am inundated with solicitations to donate money to the LP.

        1. Yes, the usual suspects get hit up. But where’s the media blitz? Why didn’t the LP try to actively capitalize on the Tea Party movement? Why, why, why?

          1. Unless you have been active in your local LP or national my explanation would fall on deaf ears.

            1. I feel for you, Bandit. I volunteered for several years back in the 80s. The LP is a tough crowd, indeed.

            2. I’ve done some stuff with the local LP. I felt it wasn’t worth my time after a while.

            3. I have not been very active… but I vote, and I pay my membership. I also have kicked in small donations within my budget local candidates I think need a bigger platform. What I have learned unfortunately is that there is more traction to be gained the likelihood of a legitimate forum if it is tackled as single issues rather than a whole concept. For example, WA State right now we are trying to get on the ballot a marijuana legalization. Donating and supporting that cause seems to go further than trying to get a libertarian at the debates.

              1. I agree. We found success by doing that very thing THEN running the candidate who was pushing the issue.

      5. Kentucky has only tracked Libertarian registrants since Jan 1, 2006. So if you did so in Kentucky, I would ask that you re-register. We’ve been trying to contact the registered Libertarians in Kentucky slowly for the past couple of months.

  8. Libertarianism means. . .never having to say you’re sorry.

    1. We’re all cold-hearted bastards, ProL, so we never are sorry. Why say it when you’re not?

      1. WTF? A Renaissance painting of fictional gods means what?

  9. Is there a Moron party that could endorese Rand Paul?

  10. As a party we have no one in this race, and we do not seek to help or harm the candidacy of any candidates other than our own.

    That sounds about right.

  11. Again, the LP is painting itself as a bunch of crazies. So, because Rand Paul slightly deviates from strict Libertarian dogma on like 2-3 issues, he’s not a libertarian? You HAVE to agree with EVERY SINGLE thing they say to be able to be a force for liberty? To be worth having in public office?

    Libertarians themselves can’t agree on every single last issue, so why such dogmatism? And that all ignores the fact that such dogmatism takes Libertarians to ridiculous ends; on Free Talk Live the show host repeatedly brings up how you should be able to f*ck little kids, as long as its “consensual”, another libertarian once told me that if you own land in front of or around someone else house, you should be able to blockade them in their land because “it’s your land”. I’ve heard on multiple occasions libertarians claim Lincoln was a tyrant. [i]Libertarians need to learn that sticking slavishly to dogma makes you look like a weirdo, prevents you from getting anything accomplished politically, and eventually leads to nonsense[/i]

    1. Edwin – Rand Paul’s stated positions are not a slight deviation from libertarian views – they are a major deviation. On abortion and same sex marriage, he takes a conservative, rather than a libertarian point of view.

      On Iran and Guantanomo, he takes positions that Ron Paul has denounced in others.

      Rand Paul is clearly one of the better Republican candidates this year, but the LPK did well to distance themselves, and get publicity for their own views. And with no LP candidate on the ballot, it is pretty clear that LP voters will vote for Rand Paul.

      1. Bullshit. If you believe that life begins at conception, then outlawing abortion is the same as outlawing murder. Perfectly in-line with human rights. That he wants to make a FEDERAL law to that effect is less so libertarian, because that’s not the Fed’s role a la the Constitution. Then again, libertarians don’t always care for what the constitution says – it isn’t always libertarian.

        The constitutionality thing MAY apply to same-sex marriage. Frankly, the most libertarian position is that the government shoiuld enforce contracts, not have some special marriage thingy, and people could write up their own contracts. But WHILE the federal government IS levying an income tax, which IS indeed in the constitution, isn’t it it’s prerogative to define who gets what write-offs and what-not? The constitution limits the power the federal government has over the states, but it doesn’t say it must acquiesce to their wishes on matters that are unavoidably solely federal.

        And immigration: plenty of libertarians believe that someone crossing into a country easily warrants a check-up as to whether they’re a criminal, have diseases, etc. by said country’s government.

        If you’re going to tell me that there’s no way these things are libertarian, you’re just whining about not everyone agreeing with you; you’re just being a child.

        1. *or rather WHAT things people can write-off and what-not, and how that whole bureaucracy works.

          1. He is a conservative, one with libertarian leanings in some areas that make him more attractive than most conservatives, but make no mistake about it, he is a conservative. His cop-out of deferring to ‘states rights’ on many ‘social’ civil liberties shows his principal is not in the root of liberty. He might get it right on many issues – more than most, but his fundamental core is not libertarian. Rights are RIGHTS. No government, state or federal should have the jursidiction to take that away – they should exist to PROTECT them. He thinks states (instead of the Fed) should be able dictate lifestyles on social issues – how is that consistent at the core with libertarianism? SO it is not a matter of hair-splitting issues on immigration or equal recognition for gays, etc – it is a matter of where is principal lays… which is not rooted in a libertarian philosophy.

            1. except that we DO live in a country where there is BOTH a federal government AND state governments. Right now, the biggest growing squasher of liberty is the federal government. So the most libertarian policy is one of state’s rights. Furthermore, such a policy would give one 50 different states to choose from, and 50 different examples of what works and what doesn’t, and it would eventually come out that freedom generally works for most policies.

              In other words, he’s a libertarian. He’s just not stuck on achieving libertopia, because he knows it isn’t going to happen.

              1. “…the most libertarian policy is one of state’s rights?”

                Wow. That’s one of the most absurd things I’ve read in a long while.

                Rand Paul is about as much a libertarian as his father – which ain’t much.

    2. As long as liberals and conservatives have to answer for their own nutcases as well, then it’s all cool.

    3. Lincoln was a tyrant. Unfortunately, most of the population has been brainwashed since grade school into thinking that he was some type of national hero or that he wanted to free the slaves.

      1. Bullshit Bullshit Bullshit Bullshit.

        Lincoln found slavery appaling. In a war started over said issue, he was on the you-can’t-own-people side. Clearly on some level he understood that all the babble anyone could muster about the Constitution didn’t mean shit when you could OWN PEOPLE. Oh he suspend habeas corpus? Cry me a fucking river. He de-suspended it, didn’t he? Our country is much freer now, regardless of what he did during the war. He’s responsible for freeing millions of slaves. Calling Lincoln a tyrant is fucking retarded.

        1. More 3rd grade bullshit. Selected quotes from your hero:

          “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it”

          Congress announced to the world on July 22, 1861, that the purpose of the war was not “interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states” (i.e., slavery), but to preserve the Union “with the rights of the several states unimpaired.” At the time of Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861)

          “I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.”

          Not to mention the imprisonment of political dissenters, shutting down opposition newspapers, and basically beginning the central banking through the Lincoln Greenback. Sorry to burst your stupid little bubble about your fascist hero, but you really need to educate yourself. The reason for the war was to dissolve the sovereignty of the states, evidenced by the fact that Lincoln himself would have allowed the southern states to keep slaves if they voluntarily joined the union. Lincoln’s “legacy” mostly consists of the massive Federal control that exists today.

          1. So, what, if he hadn’t done everything he did, including freeing the slaves, he would have been better for freedom (or at least not hurt it), and had a clearer conscience? You would have preferred it if Lincoln didn’t do all the things he did, and slavery managed to survive? Oh yeah, wonderful, that’d would be great, you’ve got a constitutionally-limited government that respects states’ rights, but you can also OWN OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. Does that represent more freedom?

            You have to listen to yourself. You’re complaining about freedom, and then complaining about the guy WHO FREED ALL THE SLAVES. You have to see the cognitive dissonance there.

            1. Hey, liberdouches, do you see what I’m talking about? See that maniac calling Lincoln a tyrant? Do you see where your “principles” lead you to? And on top of that, how do you think it makes you all look? Do you think any serious number of libertarians will get elected when you spout this lunacy?

            2. The Emancipation Proclamation DID NOT FREE A SINGLE SLAVE! Slavery was finally abolished thanks to the 13th Amendment.

              “The original proclamation has no…legal justification, except as a military measure.” The Proclamation only applied to slaves in states in rebellion against the United States and not to slaves in states not in rebellion. It meant nothing, as it didn’t apply to slaves in Delaware and Kentucky, and people living in the South did not believe themselves to be subject to Lincoln, and therefore had no authority to free them.

              He was a virulent racist who opposed integration, was for the Fugitive Slave Act, colonization, the Illinois Black Codes, and any measure that would have kept blacks from taking jobs away from northern whites.

              1. Poor Edwin and the rest of the Lincoln cultists have been brainwashed by their public school indoctrination of Dishonest Abe as some kind of deity. He cannot refute anything I have presented, and his entire argument is ‘b-b-bbb-bbb-bbbbut he freed the slaves’, when he did nothing of the sort, and did not want to based on the numerous quotes he made concerning his hatred and disdain for blacks. But hey, abandon your principles and maybe you too can be good enough to join the Republicrat party. The truth is now lunacy. Sickening.

      2. Why can’t he be a tyrant and a hero?

    4. Uh oh, better not stick to your principles or people will think you’re weird. Oh noez!!!

    5. Edwin, Rand Paul is not a libertarian because his principles are conservative, not libertarian. Having a lot of policy positions that are identical to libertarians doesn’t make you one.

      Also, that’s fine if you think sticking to your principles is bad because it makes people think you are weird. Stupid, but fine.

      1. No, it’s not stupid, because if people think you’re an ascetic they won’t vote for you. And you won’t be able to get anything good done. You’ll be “right” your whole life – you’ll eventually lose most of your freedoms as state and the federal governments expand – but yeah, at least you can comfort yourself that you were “right” the entire time.
        Also, “sticking to your principles” the way libertarians do leads you to some ridiculous conclusions – see my examples.

        1. So basically you support a society operating largely on lies, misdirection, smoke, and mirrors. Tell me, then: if the intelligent move for a politician is masking her or his intentions, how are voters supposed to determine who they should rally around?

        2. I pity people who think the ends justify the means.

          1. Hey morons, why don’t you try and READ what someone says to you for once? I’m not saying that libertarians should pretend they don’t believe the unpopular tyhings they believe, I’m saying they should try being REASONABLE for once and stop believing them. Stop, look at the conclusions your “logic” has brought you to, if they seem a little odd, then Gee, maybe, YOU HADN’T THOUGHT OF ALL THE DETAILS. That’s part of how reasoned thinking works.

            And if you still can’t agree with the general populace, then don’t act like everyone is horrible fascists for disagreeing with you. That’s childish and makes you look like a lunatic.

  12. “but the LPK did well to distance themselves, and get publicity for their own views.”

    Respectfully, they made themselves look like eccentric crackpots.

    1. We ARE eccentric crackpots, Tim. The problem is, we are not politically savvy enough to hide this fact.

      1. By gum you’re right !(I said, looking at my toy car collection on the wall).

  13. I’m a member of the local LP Executive Board. It’s a remarkable hapless and ineffective organization, but we have fun parties, so it’s worth the aggravation of knowing no one running as a LP member will ever win an election here in Hawaii.

    1. Wanna choom?

      1. After you get our OK.

        1. The Spice must flow…

  14. Because he has a chance to win a major election he is, by definition, not a libertarian.

  15. Does he believe “taxation is theft”? If not, then to the old nutcases still waiting for that societal collapse Rothbard was banking on, he’s not a libertarian.

    But does he regularly engage in gold-buggery like (or with) his dad? Between that and his dippy “principled” stance on civil rights he’d fit right in in the LP even so.

  16. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Will libertarian values be advanced more or less by working against Rand Paul?

    He certainly holds more Libertarian values than his Democratic opponent and running against him will only serve to split the vote and ensure a Democrat win.

    So, as I see it, the choice is between a partial victory that helps advance at least some libertarian values and a loss that serves to undermine those values.

  17. This announcement is about saving face. Paul and libertarianism have been conflated in the media, both being dragged through the mud as racist, blah blah blah. This is an attempt to separate Paul from libertarianism in hopes that libertarianism will no longer take the heat from Paul’s kitchen.

  18. Hulk SMASH!!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.