The Libertarian Party announced yesterday that it kicked talk radio host Neal Boortz off the national convention’s speakers list after Boortz told his listeners not to vote for third party candidates this November.
On April 2, Boortz said that, despite his lifelong membership in the Libertarian Party, he’d be voting for Republicans this November in order to defeat the Democrats. He encouraged his listeners to do the same — like it or not.“I’m not at all confident that America could survive another two years of Democratic control. This means that we must say no to third party movements,” he wrote on his web site. “So … you Tea Partiers out there. Put a sock in this talk of a third party. Wise up. The goal is to vote each and every Democrat out of office, and then let the Republicans know that the same fate awaits them if they don’t reacquaint themselves with our Constitution and the principles of our founding fathers.”
So, the Libertarians say, the convention committee chair took Boortz off the schedule, and officials two local parties wrote screeds against Boortz on their web sites.
“You are right, Neal. The Party of Big Government must be removed from power, but you suggest to your listenership to ignore those of us that ACTUALLY believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom in favor of the wing that you admit has “been a huge disappointment,” Big Government’s Republican wing,” wrote Brett Bittner of the Libertarian Party of Georgia.
The director of the Texas state party called Boortz “unreliable and reluctant” and “not a good choice” for the convention.
But Boortz shot back in a blog entry titled “Not That I Care …” claiming he canceled on the Libertarians first.
“If you want to say that I was ‘booted’ from the schedule, have at it. It’s your credibility that suffers, not mine,” he wrote.
Boortz also claimed that his comments about third parties directly lead to an unnamed “top-ranking official in the Libertarian Party” deciding to resign.
Wes Benedict, the executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, did not immediately return a request for comment. Boortz was not immediately available for comment.
Late update: Benedict tells TPM that it’s entirely possible the party decided to boot Boortz at the same time Boortz decided to cancel on the Libertarians. But he said he has “no idea” who Boortz’s top official might be.
“I can’t think of anyone who I’m worried about,” Benedict said.
He described Boortz’s past ties with the Libertarian party as a “love-hate relationship.”
“He does a lot to get the Libertarian Party mentioned on the radio … We just have some fundamental differences, particularly on foreign policy,” he said. “Neal Boortz is always screaming, ‘Fear terrorism! Pro-war! Turn off your brain!'”
And he said he’s not worried about people turning away from the party.
“I wish we could say we’re big and powerful … but we’re small. We have nowhere to go but up,” he said.
Late late update: Boortz tells TPM that he’s always had a “tenuous” relationship with the Libertarian Party. One of his problems with the party, he said, is that it focuses too much on national elections.
“On these local races, get your people elected at the local level,” he said, adding that he still plans to support Libertarian candidates in local races this November.