The Libertarian Party of South Dakota holds its convention just two weeks from today, on Saturday, April 14, at the Sioux Falls Clubhouse Hotel, just off I-29 at the 26th Street exit. Thanks to Judge Lawrence Piersol and House Bill 1286, the Libertarians can now use their convention to nominate candidates for U.S. House, Governor, and Legislature in addition to the seven statewide offices chosen by nomination by all parties.
The Libertarian convention agenda lists seven candidates (four of whom have earned ballot positions by petition) who will speak at the convention:
- Jason Hill – State House District 28B (petitioned)
- Greg Baldwin – State House District 17 (petitioned)
- Uriah Luallin – Fall River County Commissioner (petitioned… and had to, since HB 1286 does not apply to county offices)
- Aaron Aylward – State House District 6 (petitioned)
- Daryl Root – State House District 4
- George Hendrickson – U.S. House
- CJ Abernathey – Governor
The agenda leaves room for other Libertarian candidates who may enter, like Gideon Oakes, who has Facebookily declared his candidacy for District 30 Senate.
But the marquee event listed is a one-hour gubernatorial debate between Abernathey and “Other Soon to be Announced Candidate.”
For the Libertarians’ sake that Other Candidate should announce as soon as possible, because CJ Abernathey appears to be toxic.
CJ Abernathey has daddy issues. His Facebook profile says he operates at Disgusted Dads and manages Americans for Parental Equality, both of which appear to be code for men griping, my marriage broke up, I lost a child custody case, so now I hate women and the government. APE (they stick the f in their abbreviation, but come on…) equates social workers and family courts to Hitler. This Pischkeism makes for unhealthy, one-note politics not suited for effective governing.
Abernathey plans to take his Pischkeism to the Attorney General’s office in Pierre this July with an event marking the 1500th day of his daughter’s “Kidnapping” and the illegitimacy of all courts:
While the city of Pierre or Hughes County could bust Abernathey for open burning, Abernathey would get the chance to challenge SDCL 22-9-1, South Dakota’s unconstitutional ban on flag-burning. I would enjoy covering that trial.
What should burn serious Libertarians is Abernathey’s pushing of the Admiralty Law Flag kookery, a surprisingly prominent conspiracy theory that says courts put flags with gold fringe around them to turn establish an absolute yet illegitimate authority over whoever comes before judges. The American Legion says this is bunk. So do the courts that have had to dismiss the wild arguments of anti-taxers and other Bundyesque anarachists who try to cover their inability to win in courts of law by dismissing the authority of courts of law. Among the relevant cases debunking this kookery is U.S. v. Greenstreet et al. (1996) in which the defendants defaulted on land financed through the Farmers Home Administration, then filed bogus financing statements against FmHA employees, then tried to get out of any obligations by claiming that a citizens common law jury of the Republic of Texas held all authority over the illegitimate claims of any federal agency or court. The fringy flag was part of the defendants’ sham arguments:
Finally, Defendant Greenstreet’s response to Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment identifies this Court as an “Admiralty Court” without further discussing his allegation. If his reference is to be construed as a jurisdictional challenge, his motion is denied. Others have attempted to persuade the judiciary that fringe on an American flag denotes a court of admiralty. In light of the fact that this Court has such a flag in its courtroom, the issue is addressed. The concept behind the theory the proponent asserts is that if a courtroom is adorned with a flag which happens to be fringed around the edges, such decor indicates that the court is one of admiralty jurisdiction exclusively. To think that a fringed flag adorning the courtroom somehow limits this Court’s jurisdiction is frivolous. See Vella v. McCammon,671 F. Supp. 1128, 1129 (S.D.Tex.1987) (describing petitioner’s claim that court lacked jurisdiction because flag was fringed as “without merit” and “totally frivolous”). Unfortunately for Defendant Greenstreet, decor is not a determinant for jurisdiction [Judge Mary Lou Robinson, Order, United States v. Greenstreet et al. 912 F. Supp. 224 (1996), United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Amarillo Division, 1996.01.18].
The last thing the Libertarian Party of South Dakota needs is a candidate obsessed with fringe conspiracy theories.
South Dakota Libertarians allowed fringe opportunists to hijack their 2014 convention and nominate an unqualified Libertarian in name only for attorney general who refused to comply with campaign finance law. That lawbreaking scam artist and other Libertarians won tens of thousands of votes, not through any effective campaigning but only because Democrats did not challenge the Republicans for those offices. Libertarians got no momentum from those votes and suffered brand damage from their convention snafu.
The Libertarians may have a reasonable candidate in George Hendrickson for U.S. House (he’s still watching too much Fox News, but he appears to be reducing his consumption and regurgitation of Breitbart and other right-wing extremist bunk). Saddling him with Abernathey at the top of the Libertarian ticket would distract from whatever practical policy conversations Hendrickson may be able to lead; put a cloud over the Legislative campaigns of Aylward, Baldwin, and other Libertarians; and prevent the Libertarian Party from establishing itself as a viable alternative political party in South Dakota. Bring back one of your good 2014 candidates, like John English or Ken Santema. Tap Bob Newland’s experience, wisdom, and wit. Don’t surrender your party again to a monomaniac pushing a personal agenda that will embarrass your party and drive voters away.