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Saturday, December 22, 2007

TPW: Ernest Hancock Running Again For LP Chair

Stephen Gordon reports at Third Party Watch that Libertarian radical and Ron Paul supporter Ernest Hancock (whose website is the RSS-challenged Freedom's Phoenix) texted him today to say he will again oppose Bill Redpath for LP Chair. Gordon says Hancock told him to link to this announcement, which is unchanged from its use in April 2006 to announce Hancock's Chair candidacy for that year. (The page still says Hancock wants to "prepare an ass kicking foundation for a 2008 presidential election cycle". However, the endorsements page has been cleared of the 2006 endorsements and now only has one. In the comments at TPW, LNC member and Redpath supporter Wes Benedict jibes Hancock by pointing out that the state LP site in Hancock's native Arizona hasn't been updated since 2006.) In 2006, Redpath got 64%, to 23% for Hancock and 9% for George Phillies. In 2004, Dixon got 76%, to 16% for Phillies and 9% for Hancock.

Hancock's announcement focuses on a radical take on the LP Pledge, even as it provides a powerful anecdote (about a couple LPers in the "Viper Militia" in 1996) to support the reformist interpretation of the Pledge as a promise not to use violence to implement libertarianism:
It was made clear at the convention in 1996 that it was this very reason in the early ‘70’s which prompted the creation of the pledge. But this experience has little to do with my concerns about the effort to eliminate the Pledge.
Hancock continues:
The sustained campaign to oppose statements that clearly set libertarians apart from the philosophies which support the “omnipotent state” must be clearly challenged. [...] Please email me with all of your questions and I will answer them all here in the open on this web site.
That's a pretty bold promise. My first questions for Hancock (being emailed to him as this is written) are:
  • What specifically (if anything) about the leading reformer proposal for the LP Platform fails to "clearly set libertarians apart from" nanny staters?
  • Can you expand on your interpretation of, and commitment to, the LP Pledge by indicating which (if any) of the 30 elements of the No 1st Force Pledge you are unwilling to commit to?
  • For each element that you are unwilling to pledge to, can you briefly explain why that element is too radical for you?
I look forward to Hancock's answers.

2007-12-24: Hancock replies that at the moment he is busy with the holidays and campaigning for Ron Paul in New Hampshire:
I have no plans to spend any time even thinking about the LPUS Chair race until mid February. I am very willing to give my opinion on anything. But it I ask that you wait until I can spend time. I just got done posting a long response that is going to have to do for now. But it does provide a lot of links for you to research.
The indicated comment doesn't seem to exist, but Hancock has plenty of time before Denver to answer my questions.

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