The Libertarian Party of Colorado today released pledges it expects Republican candidates to sign in order to prevent a Libertarian candidate from entering their race. There are separate pledges for federal and state candidates.
The first commitment a Republican running for federal office must make: “I will immediately work to pull funding for Ukrainian aid and push aggressively for peace negotiations with Russia.” They must also pledge to “abolish the Department of Education,” as well as “work towards… abolishing U.S. Intelligence agencies.”
The pledges are the result of a negotiation between GOP Chair Dave Williams and Libertarian Chair Hannah Goodman, designed to put forth liberty-minded Republicans who can challenge Democrats without a potential Libertarian spoiler. Their pact is a result of the 2022 Eighth Congressional District race in which Democrat Yadeira Caraveo narrowly defeated Barb Kirkmeyer in a race where Libertarian Richard Ward earned several thousand more votes than the 1,500 win margin.
There are challenges with this agreement, as political parties in Colorado can’t prevent their members from running for office, though they could decline to endorse and hold back support. As Goodman told Williams on a podcast earlier this year, delegates at the Libertarian party’s state convention could vote against a nomination.
State candidates must commit to a wide range of positions, some very general and others quite specific. General planks include standard one such as protecting TABOR and gun rights and opposing tax increases. However there are also commitments to “vote to eliminate the income tax,” band red light cameras and “support a version of the Defend the Guard Act,” which prevents national guard troops from being deployed to American military efforts. They must also promise to support “deregulating the medical marketplace,” and “food freedom, such as raw milk and local meat processing,” presumably in conflict with federal health regulations for dairy farmers and ranchers.
Federal candidates also must commit to a trio of very specific positions, namely not opposing presidential pardons for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Ross Ulbrecht, who founded Silk Road, a dark web marketplace which facilitated drug sales, money laundering and other illegal activities.
The pledge is notable not only for the cooperation between Colorado Republicans and the state’s most prominent third part, but also in light of the fact that Williams other major effort since taking the reins of the GOP has been to push for opting out of Colorado’s voter-approved open primaries, arguing that only Republicans should be permitted to select their candidates.
Reached for comment via email, Libertarian Party spokesperson Jordan Marinovich said the language of the pledge is “based on the totality of conversations between our organizations. We carefully crafted the pledge to be feasible for any serious liberty-orientated candidate to sign it.” However he noted that the Colorado GOP had neither prior review nor approval of the pledge. As to how the party will handle any candidates who decide to run against a Republican who signs the pledge, Msrinovch says his party “will encourage the delegation during convention to not nominate a candidate and vote NOTA [none of the above] if a LP candidate is nominated.”
Williams did not respond to an email inquiry as to whether it will withhold party support from a candidate who doesn’t sign. This article will be updated with any response received.
Federal Candidate Pledge for Liberty
1) I will immediately work to pull funding for Ukrainian aid and push aggressively for peace negotiations with Russia. ______________
2) I will oppose a military draft, should the Ukraine-Russia conflict escalate. ____________
3) I will audit and reduce foreign aid spending. ___________
4) I will work to remove the presidential war powers and return those powers back to Congress. ___________
5) I will recognize the egregious abuses by the US intelligence agencies, and work towards reducing their power with the end goal of abolishing them entirely. _________
6) I will include auditing the Federal Reserve in your two-year congressional plan. __________
7) I will prioritize reducing the size of government and funding of all three letter agencies. _____________
8) I will abolish the Department of Education, returning education back to local control. ____________
9) I will uphold freedom of the press by not objecting to the incoming president pardoning Julian Assange. ______________
10) I will protect whistleblowers by not objecting to the incoming president pardoning Edward Snowden. ______________
11) I will protect internet freedom by not objecting to the incoming president pardoning Ross Ulbricht. ______________
12) I will vote to always protect and uphold the right to bear arms. I will move to abolish all unconstitutional gun laws, including the NFA. _____________
13) I will support and uphold the freedoms afforded to the American people as set forth by our Founding Fathers in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. ___________
By signing this pledge, you commit to uphold these principles and actions as a federal candidate for the Colorado Republican Party in the 2024 election. Acknowledging that these actions are the best way to make America a freer and more prosperous country.
Name: ______________________________________________ Date: ___________
Office Sought: _____________________________________________
State Candidate Pledge for Liberty
1) I will vote against any new restrictions on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms and repeal existing restrictions. ___________________
2) I will support and defend the right of direct ballot access by citizen initiative. ____________
3) I will fully defend the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) and do everything in my power to protect it, including voting against any legislation that would use refunds for buying votes. __________
4) I will vote against tax increases, and will vote to eliminate the income tax.____________
5) I will vote to lower mill levy rates to provide property tax relief. ______________
6) I will support an audit of the State Government and its use of tax money. ____________
7) I will support increasing government transparency, including the expansion of the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). _____________
8) I will stand up for parents by voting to protect their right to teach and raise their children by their own standards and beliefs. _____________
9) I will stand up for Colorado students by promoting educational freedom including expanding school choice. _______________
10) I would support legislation to limit the Emergency Powers of the Governor. __________
11) I will support deregulating the medical marketplace in order to provide better and more affordable healthcare. _____________
12) I will defend medical freedom by opposing any mandatory vaccine program or vaccine passports. ______________
13) I will support an amendment in the Colorado constitution to protect citizens’ medical freedom from unelected public health departments.______________
14) I will support ending Civil Asset Forfeiture to ensure that only individuals convicted of a crime should have their property confiscated. _______________
15) I will introduce or support a version of the Defend the Guard Act. __________
16) I will support food freedom, such as raw milk and local meat processing. ___________
17) I will vote to ban red light cameras, speed cameras and other surveillance devices. ______________
18) I will support the ability of peaceful people to live their lives freely without government interference. ____________
19) I will support and uphold the rights of individuals afforded in the Colorado and US Constitution. _______________
By signing this pledge, you commit to uphold these principles and actions as a state candidate for the Colorado Republican Party in the 2024 election and acknowledge that these actions are the best way to make Colorado a freer, more prosperous state.
Name: _________________________________ Date: ______________________
Office Sought: __________________________________
UPDATE: Following publication, this article was updated with comments from the Libertarian Party.