The Spectacle Blog

Libertarian rumbles

By on 5.3.08 | 5:20PM

Shane Cory has resigned as exectuive director of the Libertarian Party, which issued a press release with three top LP officials praising Cory's service to the party.

Cory's exit comes in wake of an internal party uproar surrounding longtime Libertarian activist Mary Ruwart, who is seeking the LP presidential nomination, after it was reported that a passage in a book she wrote in 1999 appeared to defend child pornography. This prompted Cory, who had been the Libertarian executive director since 2005, to issue an official LP press release clarifying that the party opposes child pornography. Ruwart's supporters and others in the party's "left-libertarian" wing responded by accusing Cory of attempting to sabotage her presidential campaign and being a "lackey for Bob Barr," who is considered Ruwart's chief rival for the LP nomination.

One LP activist familiar with the dispute said the departure of Cory -- viewed as an ally of party pragmatists who aim to widen the Libertarian electoral base -- sets up the LP national convention May 22-26 in Denver as a major showdown over the future direction of the party.

Many of the party's pragmatists are backing the "exploratory" presidential bid by Barr, the former Georgia Republican congressman who joined the Libertarians in 2006. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently called Barr "John McCain's worst nightmare." But as I explained in an American Spectator article last month, before Barr can disturb any Republican dreams in November, he's first got to overcome resistance from Ruwart and other stalwarts of the LP's more radical wing.

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