(The following article is a press release by Joshua Smith in response to recent allegations)
The Libertarian Party has a Sexual Harassment problem. For far too long, I have heard stories from women I respect and admire about the lewd comments they hear from men in our party, and how often times they feel as if their thoughts and opinions are completely dismissed by these same men based on nothing more than their gender. Such behavior is a stain on our party, one that myself and many others throughout the movement are working to eradicate from both the public and private discourse within our movement.
So, imagine my surprise when I received this via Facebook Messenger from Angela Owens, a member of Alicia Dearn’s campaign team, just a short time ago:
Until today, I had no reason to believe Joe and Tinisha Paschal (or Angela Owens, for that matter) were anything but friends. Indeed, I spent a great deal of time with them both at the LPWA Convention on February 24th, where the alleged incident was said to have occurred. For my part, I thought the three of us hit it off very well, as evidenced by the generous donation made by Tinisha less than a week later:
Floored by this accusation, I decided to go straight to the source, my friend Tinisha. At first, she seems as surprised as I was:
In the meantime, Angela had taken to posting on Facebook a “gotcha” attempt to prove that I was guilty of something. Unfortunately for her, however, the only “gotcha” that came of it was one against herself:
Exasperated, I went to Alicia Dearn to get her take on someone from her campaign team being engaged in an obvious smear campaign against me. Now keep in mind, this was BEFORE Tinisha dramatically changed her story in an interview with The Libertarian Vindicator, and was still telling me at least that she was sure I didn’t hear or say anything.
So, I sent several of the screenshots you’ve seen here. Note that not once did I accuse Alicia of being part of any of it. Also, keep in mind the comments from Angela Owens in the screenshots above as you read the following:
Absent is any mention of the involvement of Angela Owens, who is very much involved in Alicia’s campaign. Also absent is anything that could be construed as “picking a fight” with anyone. But it gets better:
But she did spend more time on this. In fact, rather than keeping this discussion private as I had, she went very public with a long statement accusing me of something that, as you can very clearly see, did not happen. It also states that Tinisha “confronted” me, when the truth of the matter is that it was a member of her own campaign team who did so.
If only she had been this opposed to Bill Weld.
As stated before, I am well aware that sexual harassment is a problem within the Libertarian Party, and it is my goal to be a part of the solution. As any member of the Think Liberty Community can tell you, I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to this topic. I am also aware that our party has a problem with members making false accusations against other members in an effort to sway public opinion when they can’t win on principle. I can assure you that, as Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, you will never see me use rumor, innuendo, or outright lies and deceit to advance myself or harm others, for that is not the appropriate way to handle ANY situation — not by me or by anyone seeking leadership in the Libertarian Party.
In Liberty, JS