Skip to comments.Libertarians choose pol dogged by abuse claim to top ticket
Posted on 03/31/2002 9:49:54 AM PST by BillyBoy
Libertarians choose pol dogged by abuse claim to top ticket
You have to wonder about the sanity of the folks who run the Libertarian Party.
The Libertarians have the greatest opportunity in years to build their party.
When Republican-leaning citizens become disenchanted, they often vote Libertarian. And the Republican Party is fractured and weak after a brutal primary campaign. The GOP winner, Jim Ryan, has yet to either unify his party or provide sufficient answers to many of the questions and accusations hurled at him by his two feisty opponents. The attacks didn't work well in the spring campaign, but according to a post-primary poll, independent voters paid attention and are streaming away from the Republican in truly scary numbers.
But instead of putting together a serious ticket, the Libertarians decided to court disaster at their recent convention by nominating as their candidate for governor a former state representative who has been accused of pedophilia.
Former Illinois state Rep. Cal Skinner claims the allegations that he sexually abused his 18-month-old daughter are completely false and were concocted on the eve of a particularly nasty divorce in order to pry away custody of his daughter.
He may be telling the truth and this could just be some terrible nightmare, which would fit nicely with the Libertarian philosophy of "government as bad guy." But Skinner repeatedly has made misleading comments about the charges, and has woven enough phony spin to fill a yarn warehouse.
He has claimed, for instance, that the Department of Children and Family Services cleared him of the abuse allegations. But DCFS did not clear Skinner, even though he stated in a 1998 letter to his McHenry County constituents that the agency had "removed the slander from its files and issued a letter to me certifying that DCFS has no record of my having abused any child."
What Skinner didn't mention was that until a few years ago, DCFS was required by state law to expunge an accused child molester's record after five years if no new allegations surfaced. Skinner simply asked DCFS for any records of abuse allegations against him two months after his file had been destroyed.
And he never mentioned that a DCFS investigator testified at a trial that Skinner had "sexually molested his daughter."
Skinner also continues to point to a judge's ruling that gave him custody of his daughter. But the judge was unaware of the DCFS report and the abuse allegations.
And he never mentions that another judge restricted him to supervised-only visitations based on the DCFS report and the damaging testimony from an agency investigator.
Skinner says his wife has "disappeared" with his daughter, and he can produce a warrant for her arrest on charges of parental kidnapping. But the state's attorney who issued the warrant apparently never knew about the abuse allegations because he told the newspaper which first broke the Skinner story that he would consider reversing his decision. Skinner also didn't file a missing person report until a year after his ex-wife fled with their child.
In Skinner's defense, he was never arrested for sexual abuse, no charges have ever been filed against him, and no allegations have ever been made that he abused any other children. And his former father-in-law, who claims to have caught Skinner touching himself in a lewd manner while his 18-month-old daughter lay naked on a changing table, stood by silently for years while Skinner ran for the House.
Anyone who has ever been through a bitter divorce or child custody battle knows how awful they can be. And you will get no argument from me that way too many innocent people are permanently slandered by their ex-spouses every day.
And, frankly, some of Skinner's ideas ought to have a place in the upcoming gubernatorial contest, particularly his belief that the four state legislative leaders have far too much power.
But Skinner has proven that he is the wrong candidate at the wrong time. He has yet to speak of the allegations against him without engaging in deceptive half-truths. And it doesn't help matters that the country is currently mesmerized by revelations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The public may not be willing to listen to his explanations when this story finally gets out.
Skinner lost his Illinois House seat two years ago mainly because his constituents had lost their trust in him. The rest of the state, and the Libertarian Party, should take heed.
Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter. He can be reached at www.capitolfax.com.
As Rich Miller documents here, Skinner's candidancy is far from honest and he is definitely NOT the next Pat O'Malley. It amazes that a bunch of freepers will attack Jim Ryan for being for gay marriage, cozying up to pro-abortion folks, abadoning family values, having a seedy backgroud, being in office forever, and being tainted by a major scandal-- yet they back this Skinner guy who fits ALL those labels and more.
As Miller stated (who was quiet positive about O'Malley PRIMARY campaign and against the "Republicrat" establishment), Jim Ryan is a LOUSY candidate, but Skinner is far from the answer. Wrong candidate at the wrong time. O'Malley, a devout Irish Catholic REPUBLICAN and a family man untainted by scandal, will never endorse a fringe candidate like Skinner.
Too bad some conservatives won't listen to reason.
The only way a third party can really go legit is when they
1. Get 30% nationwide or statewide...consistantly
2. Have non celebrity candidates win major elections.(House, Senate, Governor, Sec of State, AG). Angus King and Jesse Ventura are the only two that did it. Virgil Goode is really a GOP'er and an ex-blue dog, and Jim Jeffords is really a dem, ex GOP.
3. "Farm clubs." What's in the Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, or Reform Party farm clubs? Not much. A few city council races and a couple of sheriffs or prosecutors. The only thing they are really good for is a protest vote.
I've given up on 3rd parties as real alternatives. A rehash of Federalist 10, plus the bottom line on election results tell me it isn't really worth trying either. Trying would also cost the best GOP'ers as well. The best GOP'ers are at the farm club and local level. They have a shot. I'd rather get the next Reagan, O'Malley, Sue Tabor, or Alan Cropsey elected to higher office.
I'm extremely PO'ed at Bush right now over CFR. I'm not going to take my distain out on the rest of the GOP that voted RIGHT on CFR. I'll take it out on Fred Upton by backing his primary opponent - Dale Shugars.
3rd parties I think CAN become a force by fighting smart. That's how it works in New York to some extent. If the Constitution Party and Reform Party backs an Alan Cropsey, they can maybe start making a difference.
Skinner, who became a dues-paying LP member on March 23...
That was eight days ago.
Problem is, The Libertarians have no problem with Pedophilia, in fact there were libertarians on this very forum screaming about the age of consent. In the libertarian theology, you have a right to have sex with whoever you want, because if it feels good it must be okay.
Hedonists. That is what Libertarians are.
Jesse Ventura is not a libertarian. He ran and won on the Reform Party Ticket. (Before becoming independent.)
As for getting a good percentage of the vote without being a celeb, look at the Pennsylvania 1998 Elections. Peg Luksik was able to get 315,761 votes, far more than any libertarian ever could have acheived. In fact those 315,000 votes are almost as much as Harry Browne recieved in the Entire COUNTRY in 2000 (384,429) Browne only got 15,198 votes in Pennsylvania in 2000.
Looks like Mr. Skinner is gonna be another guy to end up with 0.4% of the vote and consider it a good run. A lot of Illinois conservatives are P'Oed at Jim Ryan now (I for one, won't vote for him unless he gets off script and acts like a human being), but for a protest vote, they can always leave the spot blank or write-in O'Malley's name. The LP slate of candidates in Illinois support an anti-millitary, pro-choice platform. If I wanted that, I'd vote Dem.
A 3rd party candidate has NEVER won statewide in Illinois history either (although our neighbor Wisconsin elected three governors from the Socialist Party). In fact, I read the last "3rd party" candidate for Governor to get over 1% of the vote was in 1912. This is a two-party state, whether people like it or not.
How so? As an atheist Libertarian myself, I keep wondering why such vapid accusations are made. Am I having some sort of pleasure that you think I shouldn't have? If so, please inform me. Since you know me and all....
As a registered Libertarian, here here. Idiots, dolts, and imbeciles.
King is NOT a Libertarian. He ran as an Independent and actually changed his voter registration from Democrat to Indie the day before he announced his first run.
I didn't mean to imply they are LP.
No, he's accused of CHILD MOLESTATION. One is thoughtcrime, the other is someone's ACTIONS, which harm another human being immensely...
Thank you for a refreshingly honest comment. Perhaps you could talk some sense into the Browne apologists here, but I doubt it. There was a good thread a while back on how to improve the LP and turn them into a VIABLE 3rd party. Unfortuantely, it fell on deaf ears.
I know that none of the current "3rd party" governors are LP. Angus King is an Independant that got elected thanks to the GOP running a UNABASHED liberal Republican (Susan Collins) against a socially conservative, honest indie. He drew votes from liberals on fiscal issues, from conservatives on social issues, and he made it in. Jesse "the body" Ventura was elected a fluke-- both of the "main" party candidates ran dull campaigns and a lot of newbie voters decided to vote for Ventura cause he had cool commericials. His "celebrity" status helped some disguntled Repubs/Dems vote for him merely as a protest vote. In an upset, he got 37% and won the election. It remains to be seen if he can do it again.
I think the last viable 3rd party that actually had BOTH establishment parties running scared was the Populist Party in the late 1890s. They elected Governors in 11 or 13 states or so. The populist party was sort of a liberal "for the common man" appeal, sucking votes from liberal Dems, so the Democrats paniced and started adopting every plank the Populists had. They formally merged with the Dems in 1896 when William J. Bryan ran on both parties tickets (although they ran seperate Vice President candidates--don't ask me how that worked back then).
Of course, Teddy Roosvelt got the "Progressive" Party to take away so many GOP votes, he actually finshed AHEAD of Republican Taft for President, but that was purely because an EXTREMELY popular ex-President headed the 3rd party ticket. (sort of like if Reagan had run for President in 1992 on a "Conservative Party" ticket) Without Teddy, the Progressives turned into a fringe party for the next decade or so.
Our government is designed as a two-party system, not a multi-party system like Germany and others. So it's going to be an uphill battle no matter what for 3rd parties. If the LP stopped running people like Stern and Skinner, they'd have alot better shot.
You're probably one of those people that think the moon landing was staged and that Elvis is still among the living. Do you believe everything you hear or just everything bad (and false) about libertarians.
I'm a libertarian and I don't support pedophilia, or abortion, or any of the other numerous things idiots like you here say we support.
Libertarians stand for freedom, same as the founding fathers did. I guess some people have a real problem with freedom. Perhaps you should live in a more regimented and repressive culture.
How would you vote?
Maybe YOU don't, but this doesn't change the fact that the people RUNNING your party do. Everytime the pro-abortion Republicans try to run one of their own for President, they get creamed in the primary. In fact, their guys get creamed in just about every major primary except New England's.
On the other hand, the pro-abortion Libertarians have ensured a pro-life Libertarian HASN'T gotten the nod since 1988! The Harry Browne "wing" of the LP runs the organization with an iron fist. They insist on running pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, open borders, anti-millitary, anti-religion people for ALL major offices. And the Browne apologists here blindly support the nominations of Carla Howell, Michael Cloud, and the like. Hence, people like Ron Paul gave up on the party and joined the GOP in droves.
I remember when pro-abortion RINO Mass. Gov. Jane Swift picked an openly gay, unqualified running mate-- the LP had a great chance to pick up votes here-- except THEIR nominee (Howell) also supporting gay partnerships and unrestricted abortion. Now the GOP nominee is Romney so Howell is going to be marginalized once again. The same thing happened in Texas...RINOs in the GOP are pushing amnesty for illegals, so the LP had a chance to get disgruntled Republican votes-- the only problem is all their candidates are even MORE in favor of amensty and open borders (read your party's platform if you don't believe this). After Sept. 11th, you'd think SANE Libertarians could talk their party into dropping idiotic parts of the platform that say things like: "Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested...We therefore call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country illegally."
Finally, just look at the websites of some "leading" LP candidates where they clearly state where they stand. I don't need to mention they support abortion and perverse lifestyles...THEY ALREADY MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THEY DO:
"I'm an idealist. I'd wish for the best of both worlds. I'd decree a world where you could respect the unborn life and a respect woman's right to choose... I call it "pro- option". So were I "just this king" instead of just this guy, I would decree that if a woman does not want her unborn child, she must first sign a legal document saying that she thereby abandons her unborn child. If she doesn't want the baby, she doesn't have to keep it; that's pro-choice."
"It's obvious how I stand on [sexual] issues: your life is yours to live your way. Period. ... All must be equal in the eyes of the law."
-- Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian nominee for Governor of Pennsyvania
"I am a pro-choice and believe that this is a personal individual right which is different in each case. "
Sonia Harden, Libertarian nominee for Congress (CA-10TH)
"Abortion: I don't believe that government should be used by anyone to prevent what is a personal responsibility issue. Our present law is adequate"
--Rick Stanley, Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate (Colorado)
"Someone who believes strongly that certain lifestyles are morally wrong, should not try to force others to accept their views either. Yet that is what has happened through the marriage laws of most states. These laws effectively establish a state religion by allowing only traditional Judeo-Christian marriages. "
--Clyde Cleveland, Libertarian nominee for Governor of Iowa
"I am pro-choice on just about everything including a woman's right to choose. Government bureaucrats should not interfere in that choice. We don't want to go back to a time when women had to have abortions in unsafe conditions."
--Jim Higgins, Libertarian nominee for Congress (MO-1st)
Of course, it's early on in the election season, so most people don't have comprehensive websites, let alone 3rd party candidates. Plus most LP's want to avoid "contraversal" issues like abortion (although they sure love to talk about legalizing drugs). Of the sites I found that talked about it, there were nine self-described "pro-choice" Libertarians, and two self-described "pro-life" ones. Hmmm...
Secondly, I long ago gave up trying to educate or reason with people here who are anti-libertarian. They are not open to reason and I'm not going to spend 80 hours a week trying to change their mind.
My beef was, of course, with the leaders of the "big L" Libertarian Party, Harry Browne and his gang of fringe candidates. The LP will never been taken seriously until they're out. Hopefully it will happen in time for 2004.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.