Facebook Twitter

INDEPENDENT PARTY JUST SAYS NO TO ENDORSING CANDIDATE WHO SAID HE FAVORED DRUG LEGALIZATION

SHARE INDEPENDENT PARTY JUST SAYS NO TO ENDORSING CANDIDATE WHO SAID HE FAVORED DRUG LEGALIZATION

The Utah Independent Party says it will stick to its non-endorsement of Clearfield Libertarian candidate Larry Livingston, even though he now says his stand on drug legalization was misrepresented.

Davis County Independent Chairman Dee Tingey said the controversy, which erupted Saturday during the party's county convention, was just a misunderstanding.A first, Tingey told delegates that the party was endorsing Livingston against two Republicans seeking a County Commission seat. But outraged delegates demanded, and got, withdrawal of the endorsement in the middle of Livingston's speech about drugs.

"I've frankly heard enough," state party chairman Merrill Cook said in interrupting Livingston's convention address. "I'm not supporting you."

But Livingston said Tuesday that, with two exceptions, he does not support the Libertarian Party's call for drug legalization.

"I never said I supported legalizing drugs," Livingston said. "Merrill Cook pushed me into a corner."

Livingston, 33, said possession of marijuana or amphetamines by an adult using the drugs in a private residence should be legal, "If you're not hurting anybody and no one complains."

But all other anti-drug laws should stay on the books, he said.

Cook, however, said Livingston's philosophy on drugs still is too liberal for an Independent Party endorsement.

"His ideas of not enforcing drug laws are abhorrent to me personally and I will not be involved with a party that advocates that," Cook said.

Tingey, meantime, said the fracas had its roots in his misspeaking himself on Saturday. He said he meant to open the convention by listing local candidates the party was prepared to discuss, not necessarily endorse.

"I meant to say discuss and I said endorse," Tingey said.

Tingey also said he intended to tell the convention following Livingston's speech that the party couldn't endorse him, but "Merrill (Cook) beat me to it."