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Fed-up Republicans join Libertarians

Fed-up Republicans join Libertarians

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is slated to speak at a South Carolina Libertarian Party function on April 2, and the event is drawing support from unexpected quarters. “It is our hope that members of the Republican Party will stand beside Libertarians and realize that we stand — in principle and action –for that their party proclaims but no longer acts on,” said event coordinator Cheryl Bates.

But the South Carolina LP isn’t just hoping. It is taking action and seeing results. South Carolina Libertarians are tracking an increase in voter dissatisfaction, which is leading to an exodus from the Democrat and Republican parties. They have seen a marked increase in the number of larger party members who are showing an interest in libertarianism, Bates said.

“Republicans have broken their Contract with America and have consistently failed to vote according to the Republican Platform,” says Chris Panos, who recently defected from the Republican Party to the LP. Panos began his political career long ago, when he worked for Barry Goldwater, and he has since managed many Republican political campaigns. He also served as a Midwest Director for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign. Now, he said, he can no longer “trust the GOP leadership to serve my Republican principles.”

Sentiments like Panos’s are what led the SCLP to invite Paul to speak.

“Voters are voicing their concerns that neither of the major political parties is presenting people with candidates who will obey the will of the electorate,” said LP activist R.E. Sutherland.

And it’s not only Republicans who are shifting sides. One of the more vocal members who has come into the LP is Steve Cain, who — after running for office in several high-profile races as a Democrat — joined the LP about a year ago, Sutherland said. Asked why he made the flip, Cain said: “I did not leave the Democratic Party. They left me.” Since then, he ran for the state Senate as a Libertarian and shows promise of becoming a distinguished LP office holder when he runs again, Bates said.

Paul is known as the LP’s favorite Republican because of his refusal to approve any bill that isn’t specifically approved by the U.S. Constitution. Bates noted: “We’re inviting GOP members to attend, to learn from this distinguished medical doctor.” Among those who have purchased tickets to the Ron Paul dinner: GOP State Senate hopeful Ron Wilson, who purchased 8 tickets to the dinner and 6 tickets to a reception to honor Paul.

The dinner, to which representatives and voters from all political parties are invited, will center around Paul’s speech regarding the USA-Patriot Act. The SCLP hopes the event will recruit more Republicans. Will Paul help? Could be, and that’s what South Carolina Libertarians are counting on.

“Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency,” Bates said. “He has proven again and again that consistently upholding the U.S. Constitution is actually good politics.”

For more information on the event, call (803) 657-3442, visit http://www.sc.lp.org or email events@s…



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