Turf war brewing: Libertarian Party proclaims they’re the only ‘real deal’

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Many Americans say they’re Libertarians, including tea partiers.  But there’s only one official Libertarian Party - founded in 1971 and throwing themselves a big convention in Columbus, Ohio beginning Thursday. The organization claims to be the only “real deal” in a very crowded field. So don’t go using their name in vain.

“Today, people commonly call themselves libertarian,” says Carla Howell, political director of the Libertarian National Committee, “but only the Libertarian Party is the real deal.”

Media heavyweights such as Glenn Beck, Juan Williams and Sean Hannity bandy the designation about, while “hundreds” of radio hosts use the word libertarian to describe their views, she notes.

“The Libertarian Party walks the talk,” explains Ms. Howell. “We run candidates for the express purpose of actually creating a libertarian society by ending our involvement in unnecessary wars, repealing laws that violate the Bill of Rights, removing government from the many areas where it doesn’t belong and dramatically cutting today’s high government spending and taxation.”

The candidates who support that will be out in force, she adds, “stumping for much less government, low taxes, peace and freedom.”

The Party says that Libertarian voter registration is up by 11 percent in the last year, meanwhile. And among those out in force at the convention this weekend: former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential hopeful who ran in 2012.

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