Despite being rejected by a mainstream Tea Party in Suffolk County and having been singled out for explicit rejection by the Republican Liberty Caucus, it appears the Suffolk County Libertarian Party is virtually certain to nominate Ex-Con Chris Cantwell for election to Congress from the 1st Congressional District, which is located entirely in Suffolk County. Even though he has not yet received the nomination of the Suffolk County Libertarian Party, the vote for which will take place on Saturday, May 15, 2010 at the SCLP Convention, Mr. Cantwell has stated: "the SCLP has already confirmed to the Chair that I am their candidate, hence my still being listed by LPUS." In that respect he is correct since Mark Axinn, the LPNY State Chair, told the national Libertarian Party to list him as the LP Candidate for Congress for the 1st C.D. and has decided to keep his name listed unless for some reason Chris Cantwell is NOT nominated as the candidate of the Suffolk County Libertarian Party at its Convention on May 15, 2010.
Jeff Grizlo, the Executive Vice-President of Rising Action who is also a Suffolk County resident, said:
I am used to people getting elected to Congress who later get arrested. It is an interesting twist in the natural order of things and certainly a change in tactics for the Suffolk County Libertarian Party to consider nominating an ex-con right up front. People deserve second chances but there are a few problems with this particular prospective candidate. While he was incarcerated in the year 2000, he has been very silent about the circumstances that surrounded his arrest and conviction. All he has said is that he did not go to prison for "good behavior" and that if he raped a 4 year old girl, he would like to think the Suffolk County Libertarians would not be considering given him their nomination. I am not so sure. In addition to being an ex-con, there is evidence that he has not been fully rehabilitated. According to recent reports, he is currently awaiting trial on a D.W.I. charge.
Finally, I recently criticized Christopher Cantwell for his stated belief that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution as currently written gives a constitutional right to all citizens to privately own and possess nuclear weapons. For that stand, I called him Kooky Cantwell. So basically, the Suffolk County Libertarian Party is set to endorse an alcoholic, ex-con who believes everyone has a current constitutional right to own and possess nuclear weapons. Perhaps it's the Suffolk County Libertarian Party that should be called kooky!
Carl Svensson of the Republican Liberty Caucus recently singled out Chris Cantwell of all the prospective Republican Party candidates running for office in New York State this year and stated:
I do want to publicly state that I will be placing a motion before our State Board that we -- the RLCNY --should not recommend endorsing Mr.Cantwell to our National Board for their consideration.
In addition, the Conservative Society for Action, a local Tea Party group in Suffolk County, refused to allow Chris Cantwell to interview with them for possible endorsement. Yet for the Suffolk County Libertarian Party, Chris Cantwell's status as an ex-con, his upcoming D.W.I. trial and even his belief that a constitutional right currently exists for private citizens to own and possess nuclear weapons appears to be no problem.
Dr. Tom Stevens, the State Representative of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, has stated:
I think it is unfortunate and a set-back to the legitimacy of the Libertarian Party in New York State that the Suffolk County Libertarian Party is considering endorsing this man for Congress. However, it is their decision and however embarrassing this endorsement may prove to be for the Libertarian Party, democratic principles must be respected and there is no doubt the Suffolk County Libertarian Party has the right to nominate Chris Cantwell for Congress. Once they have done so, you will not hear another word from me on this issue because I would not want to bring further publicity to this pending disaster. The reason I have sought clarification with respect to why Chris Cantwell went to prison, the status of his D.W.I. trial and his belief in a current constitutional right for private citizens to own and possess nuclear weapons is that I wanted to make certain the Suffolk County Libertarian Party had accurate information about the man they are hell-bent to nominate for Congress. Once they do so, the blood will be on their hands!
Christopher Cantwell was born on November 12, 1980 and was recently elected to serve as an At-Large member of the State Committee of the Libertarian Party of New York.