Utah: (Some) Big Ls v. Super Dell

As recently reported here at TPW, “Super Dell” Schanze, a colorful Salt Lake City personality, has filed paperwork with the state to run as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor. Apparently, however, Schanze is not universally popular with the party. From Salt Lake City Weekly:

Jim Dexter, a former Libertarian Party of Utah chairman … has re-upped with the party just to oppose the Schanze nomination. Dexter has combined forces with Willy Starr Marshall, a gay Libertarian activist who was once mayor of Big Water, in Kane County, to certify something other than Schanze on the ballot. That “other” is NOTA, or None of the Above, an infrequent but effective tactic for the party that booted perennial candidate Ken Larsen before he could rack up yet another failed gubernatorial bid. Larsen then went on to form the Personal Choice Party with its smiley face logo.

As far as the “why” of it goes, it seems to be a combination of culture clash and intimation that Schanze may be a force initiator:

“If anything, Super Dell is an anti-libertarian,” Dexter says. “He’s a bully, a bigot and a homophobe who has fired employees because they were gay or non-LDS and who brandishes a gun at people.”

Schanze protests the characterization, saying that he disagrees with, but does not hate, homosexuals, and that he’s “a libertarian because I believe in lower taxes, smaller government and less infringements on rights. I signed a pledge.”

The Utah LP will choose its gubernatorial candidate—or choose not to run one—at its state convention on April 19th.

21 Responses to “Utah: (Some) Big Ls v. Super Dell”

  1. silver Republican Says:

    This guy has great name recognition, as is mostly libertarian. Utah really should just go with him. The fact that he’s religious can really help in Utah.

  2. NewFederalist Says:

    Plus… he signed a pledge!

  3. Sean Scallon Says:

    I think just looking at this man’s face make me want to oppose him as well.

  4. Mike Gillis Says:

    Whats with the Gomer Pyle impression?

  5. Tom Bryant Says:

    Their complaint about him being “anti-libertarian” is that he runs his private business differently then they would run a private business?

    I don’t get why Libertarians spend so much energy keeping people out of the party.

  6. Doug Craig Says:

    If anything, Super Dell is an anti-libertarian,” Dexter says. “He’s a bully, a bigot and a homophobe who has fired employees because they were gay or non-LDS and who brandishes a gun at people.”

    Where is the anti Libertarian part.Now he might be un electable or a loser but he can run his business how ever he sees fit. I would not donate to him or pick him as a candidate but I do not see any thing against my Libertarian vtews in the way he runs his business.

  7. Gene Trosper Says:

    I was briefly involved with the LP Utah back in 1997 while I lived there for a few months. I like Jim Dexter a lot and he was one of the more level-headed Libertarians I met in that state. It’s kind of an odd state affiliate though. I remember that the April 15th tax protest was cancelled because some Libertarians were afraid to protest. One of them actually consulted with his lawyer first and then dropped out because his lawyer advised against participating.

  8. Trent Hill Says:

    “Dexter has combined forces with Willy Starr Marshall, a gay Libertarian activist who was once mayor of Big Water, in Kane County”

    Big Water has a population of 400 and claims to be libertarian because it is a town full of polygamous people. WOO!

  9. Gene Trosper Says:

    That said above, having lived in Utah on and off, I am pretty familiar with the culture in that state. It is regular practice for LDS employers to pre-screen potential employees to see if they are indeed Mormon and it is regular practice for LDS employers to fire employees for “moral” reasons (drinking, sex, whatever). I am not Mormon, but I have personally dealt with Mormons in the hiring process and have been asked more times that I can count if I was a practicing LDS member.

    Does this make “Super Dell” anti-Libertarian? Not on your life. Employers should have the freedom to hire and fire at will, even if we think it’s “unfair”.

    Personality-wise, this Dell character (I visited one of his stores once) is really no worse than many of our other candidates or party representatives. I don’t see what the crisis is, as this represents more of the LP “same old, same old”. face it: the LP is a magnet for cranks, kooks and misfits. That is not a criticism, just a statement of fact. Some of the most interesting people I have ever met were at Libertarian meetings and conventions.

  10. Fred C. Says:

    400 polygamists voted in a gay libertarian? Say what?

  11. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Fred,

    Maybe he was the only candidate not competing with the other men in town for the affections of the town’s as-yet-unmarried women.

    And maybe he was the only candidate not annoying the towns as-yet-unmarried women.

    I can see how he’d have high positives and low negatives in a polygamous and enthusiastically heterosexual town.

  12. Fred C. Says:

    Tom: I guess I didn’t look at it from the scootch-hunting angle.

    I managed to find this on the guy. Makes it sound like Big Water’s the place to be! Also makes it sound like he’d be capable of taking on Schanze as a real contender, instead of participating in a NOTA scheme.

  13. paulie Says:

    The question isn’t whether he has fired people due to bigotry in his private business, but whether he would do so if elected governor.

    If he would, then he is anti-libertarian on that issue.

    If he would not, then it is his right to run his business how he wants, and there is no reason to say he is anti-libertarian at all.

    As for brandishing a gun, it depends on the circumstances. Not being too familiar with the case, I can’t say either way.

  14. paulie Says:

    The question isn’t whether he has fired people due to bigotry in his private business, but whether he would do so if elected governor.

    If he would, then he is anti-libertarian on that issue.

    By the way, saying it isn’t anti-libertarian does not mean it is a good thing.

    I’ve never fired or refused to hire anyone for such reasons.

    I’ve also refused to complete employment applications that ask questions of that nature, or left that portion blank.

  15. paulie Says:

    Also makes it sound like he’d be capable of taking on Schanze as a real contender, instead of participating in a NOTA scheme.

    Yeah, that’s right…run a candidate against him if you don’t like him. Why waste the opportunity of being allowed to run candidates since we have now qualified?

  16. G.E. Says:

    Hold on.

    Libertarians respect a business owner’s right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religion. They don’t do it themselves, though!

    To suggest that libertarianism is compatible with collectivist bigotry is no different than to say that libertarianism is perfectly compatible with Marxism. After all, libertarians respect an individual’s RIGHT to be a Marxist… But if this guy would only hire Marxists, would we say he was “libertarian”? Come on!

  17. silver Republican Says:

    You know, this Marshall guy sounds surprisingly appealing. You folks should get him to do something. Gay man who works really well with religious people who has taken serious libertarian action and has converted an entire town hall towards the party? Sounds like gold. He also sounds like someone who could get media coverage just on the basis of having a fun story.

  18. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Bryant writes,

    Their complaint about him being “anti-libertarian” is that he runs his private business differently then they would run a private business?

    I don’t get why Libertarians spend so much energy keeping people out of the party.

    Libertarians are rational. Racism, sexism, and heterosexism are inherently collectivist and, thus, irrational. Although I will defend a person’s right to fire whomever he/she wants for whatever irrational reasons he/she wants, irrational people ought not be chosen as our standard bearers.

    With that said, I know nothing about Mr. Schanze, and can neither confirm nor deny that he fired persons for being homosexual, i.e. irrationally gave up a good worker who would have remained under his employment had said worker been heterosexual. And since I cannot say whether he did this, I cannot say whether he is or is not rational, and thus whether or not the claim that he is “anti-libertarian” is at all accurate.

    Mr. Trosper writes,

    Does this make “Super Dell” anti-Libertarian? Not on your life. Employers should have the freedom to hire and fire at will, even if we think it’s “unfair”.

    Methinks people are missing the point. It is correct that libertarians do not like to prevent other people from firing and hiring whomever they like. Libertarians would never prevent people from joining voluntary communist associations in which all those who join share their property, so long as nobody is forced to join, and so long as everyone is free to leave at any time. But without a doubt those who do join are collectivist—which is fine, so long as they do not aggress against others. Is that person a libertarian?

    I’m not saying that such a person is objectively not libertarian, simply that one can make that argument. Objectivists, for example, certainly would make that argument.

    I cannot judge whether or not Mr. Dexter’s claim that Mr. Schanze is “anti-libertarian” is accurate, but I can at least understand where Mr. Dexter is coming from in not wanting Mr. Schanze to be the LP of Utah’s standard-bearer, assuming the claim to be accurate. I can certainly understand Mr. Dexter’s preference for himself over Mr. Schanze.

    Regards,
    Alex Peak

  19. paulie Says:

    Libertarians respect a business owner’s right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religion. They don’t do it themselves, though!

    As I said, I do agree with their right to do so, and don’t do it myself.

    To suggest that libertarianism is compatible with collectivist bigotry is no different than to say that libertarianism is perfectly compatible with Marxism. After all, libertarians respect an individual’s RIGHT to be a Marxist… But if this guy would only hire Marxists, would we say he was “libertarian”? Come on!

    Not quite the same thing, since Marxism includes a theory of governance that any Marxist would attempt to implement if elected to a political office to the best of their ability.

    On the other hand, if an avowed Marxist wants to speed up the “crisis of capitalism” predicted by Marxist theory, and thus governs as a tax-cutting, regulation-slashing libertarian, I don’t care to much what is in his secret thoughts, articles or books.

    If a bigot intends to implement bigotry through the force of government, I do not want him running as a Libertarian. But if he promises to keep his private prejudices private, I don’t see it as necessarily a deal breaker.

    It may well be a deal breaker in whether I want to be friends with him. I prefer not to have bigots as friends. As a politician, the only thing I care about is whether he will get government off my back, out of my wallet, and out of my motel room.

    When choosing a politician, I don’t necessarily reject someone I would not be friends with.

    On the other hand, a lot of my friends are big government leftists, and I wouldn’t want them in office.

  20. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    March 27th, 2008 at 3:00 pm
    Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    March 27th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Fred,

    Maybe he was the only candidate not competing with the other men in town for the affections of the town’s as-yet-unmarried women.

    And maybe he was the only candidate not annoying the towns as-yet-unmarried women.

    I can see how he’d have high positives and low negatives in a polygamous and enthusiastically heterosexual town.

    #####

    I’ve known him since the early 80’s.

    You wouldn’t know he was gay. At least I didn’t. But then, I am really dumb about things sometimes.

    He is just a really good guy with lots of interests.

    #####

    silver Republican Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    You know, this Marshall guy sounds surprisingly appealing. You folks should get him to do something. Gay man who works really well with religious people who has taken serious libertarian action and has converted an entire town hall towards the party? Sounds like gold. He also sounds like someone who could get media coverage just on the basis of having a fun story.

    #####

    He is!! In a typical libertarian way, he can talk 1’s & 0’s ‘til you are blue in the face! In the early ‘80’s he started a low power tv station in Salt Lake City as soon as the gummint legalized it, with left over parts from his ham radio interests.

    So, he does have the ability to get media coverage merely on the basis of beng a fun, interesting story.

    He is VERY intelligent.

    He used to have friends here that he visited regularly. It was fun to have him around. Haven’t heard from them in a while, and haven’t seen him in ten years or so, except at national Libertarian events

    I am kind of surprized that the news story mentions that he is gay. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve. I knew him for ten years or more before I found out.

    PEACE
    Steve

  21. Mr. Citizen Says:

    This guy is an idiot! He is NOT a Libertarian. The only Libertarian ideas he agrees with are smaller government and less taxes. I really don’t know why he is running as one. See him in action:

    DayPortPlayer.newPlayer({articleID:”80342”,bannerAdObjectID:”5”,videoAdObjectID:”4”,videoAdConDefID:”2”,playerInstanceID:”27574A89-06D1-CD92-4444-22719C5099EC”,domain:”video.ktvx.com”,rootCategory:”null”,categoryID:”8”});

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