Paul Stanton Archives - Florida Politics

Paul Stanton resigns Libertarian Party sparking discussion of white supremacists

The Libertarian Party of Florida is struggling again with its own principal of inclusion, this time leading to the protest resignation Sunday night of Paul Stanton, last year’s U.S. Senate candidate.

Stanton submitted his resignation in a letter alleging that one of the rising stars in the state party is a white supremacist leader who had made threats of violence against him and other Libertarians, and that the party was doing nothing about it.

“I can no longer in good faith continue to ask other Libertarians to support a party which allows its leaders to threaten and intimidate members while repeating violent white supremacist and anti-Semitic rhetoric,” Stanton wrote.

Stanton, of Deland, made those charges against Ryan Ramsey, a Libertarian Party of Florida Regional Representative for Region 4 in North Florida, and Libertarian candidate for the Florida House of Representatives in House District 19 in North Florida.

In speaking with Florida Politics, Ramsey, of Lawtey, unequivocally denied Monday that he is a white supremacist, racist, anti-Semite, or any other form of hate-filled bigot, and also equally denied that he has ever made any threats against Stanton or other party members.

Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman Marcos Miralles of Miami sided Monday with Ramsey, charging that Stanton’s accusations were false and out of line.

All of it has at least some roots in past events, behaviors, rhetoric, and associations, some of it involving former Libertarian and ultranationalist Augustus Sol Invictus, who also ran for the U.S. Senate last year [Stanton beat him in the party primary.] Invictus, of Orlando, was a featured speaker at the Charlotesville alt-right demonstrations in August that attracted supremacists and neo-Nazis, and led to violence in which one woman was killed.

Ramsey and Invictus had been close. Ramsey campaigned for Invictus and shoveled dirt on Stanton’s campaign.

Ramsey also is a leader in a group called American Guard Florida, an affiliate of a national right-wing organization that some critics of the alt-right, notably the Southern Poverty Law Center, have reported has at least roots in the white supremacist movement.

And Ramsey openly acknowledges that he once was a member of white supremacist groups himself, groups he joined, he said, for self protection.

But all of that is past tense he said. Ramsey said he grew up, came to terms, and swore off racism and anti-Semitism, and moved on with an organization that he said has done likewise, American Guard, which he said has a diverse membership, including a gay, black state president in North Carolina.

“There are a number of people who’ve grown up and abandoned this stuff, myself being one of them,” Ramsey said of racist beliefs.

American Guard does have some unabashedly hard-line positions against immigrants, and for guns; declares itself to be “A Pro-American, Constitutional Nationalist community service and action group;” provides security services at some alt-right events; and uses symbology of William “Bill the Butcher” Poole, the brutal, 19th-century New York City street gang leader and radical political figure portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis in the 2002 movie “Gangs of New York.”

But American Guard’s bylaws state the organization to be open to all, and opposed to tyranny on both sides of the political spectrum. The group argues that its security services are not unlike the litigation services that the American Civil Liberties Union provides, done for the protection of rights.

Invictus quit the Libertarian Party of Florida in the spring and joined the Republican Party. After Charlottesville, American Guard expelled Invictus for extremist views and associations with racists. Ramsey also publicly disavowed Invictus.

The Libertarian Party, he insisted, has plenty of room for both right-wing Libertarians from rural areas such as himself, and what he called left-wing Libertarians from more urban areas, such as Stanton and Ramsey’s other critics.

Stanton, Ramsey charged, went after him for personal reasons. Ramsey contended he couldn’t get over his support for Invictus last year, especially Ramsey’s attacks alleging irregularities in Stanton’s campaign finances, and is making false accusations about American Guard or who Ramsey is now.

“I think he was robbed of his identity [as a party conscious opposing Invictus] when Augustus left the party,” Ramsey said. “Now he realizes he has no purpose in life, so he’s just got to quit and take his ball and go home, which is probably better for everybody.”

The Libertarian Party has strongly condemned racism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism, and its national leader told anyone holding such views to quite the party. Miralles said neither he nor the state party’s executive committee believes Ramsey is a racist or anti-Semite, and said he was “disheartened” that Stanton would make the accusations.

“My role is to represent a very diverse group of people,” Miralles said.

Stanton’s not buying it though, saying Ramsey has numerous associations with others who’ve been identified as white supremacists and has himself posted what Stanton called “crazy conspiracy theories” on his blog,

“Libertarians deserve better than the Libertarian Party of Florida,” Stanton declared in his letter.

Ramsey also points to his blog as evidence that he is not racist or anti-Semitic, including posts that disavow Richard Spencer, the Charlottesville rallies, and others advocating racism.

Bobby Olszewski hauls $21k in first month of run for HD 44; set for special election

Republican Bobby Olszewski raised more than $21,000 in April, his first month, in a campaign that now will be abbreviated to just a few months to win the seat opening up for House District 44.

Olszewski is one of three candidates who had filed for the HD 44 seat before Republican incumbent state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle got picked Monday to fill a vacancy on the 5th Appeals Court District, opening the seat to a special election that will happen this summer, rather than in November 2018.

So far, Olszewski, a former Winter Garden commissioner who made a close run for Orange County Commission last fall, is the only one of the three who has reported raising any money. Dr. Usha Jain of Orlando – another Republican, who also ran for that Orange County seat last year, losing in the first round of balloting – has reported not raising any money through the end of April. Democrat Paul Stanton has not yet reported his April campaign finance numbers, but raised no money in his first report in March.

There’s no word yet when the special session might be set, but it would have to be at least 60 days away.

Olszewski said he’s been preparing for the prospect of running in a special election this summer from the beginning, and indeed has said so in campaign materials, including on social media, for several weeks. Eisnaugle applied for the the appeals court appointment in March.

“My campaign team, along with my volunteers and donors, are engaged, organized, and are hitting the ground running,” he said in a statement to “I am personally very excited for this special election because I am already so involved in our community. I have a new pair of walking shoes to knock on doors as well as being stocked up with plenty of sunscreen and water for the unrelenting Florida summer!”

Olszewski’s campaign finance report shows he received $20,410 in donations, and lent his campaign another $1,000. Expenses in April were been limited to $246 paid to an Arkansas fundraising consultant.

“After announcing our candidacy for Florida State House with over 30 endorsements, we are absolutely thrilled that in just three weeks, we were able to raise over $21,000 for our race during the busiest time of session in addition to not having a special election date,” he stated. “We really see the enthusiasm and momentum building every day.”

Domestic violence report, lawsuit threats, video complicating Augustus Invictus-Libertarian Party bonds

Update: On Friday morning, about 12 hours after this story was originally posted, the Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman Char-Lez Braden issued the press release Augustus Invictus said he wanted, retracting statements made in a 2015 press release that had accused Invictus of supporting eugenics and state-sponsored murder. The new release indicates the party found Invictus had disavowed eugenics on several occasions prior to the original release, and that “state-sponsored murder” is ambiguous. The full text of the LPF press release is added to the bottom of this story.

Faced with new allegations of domestic abuse including sexual battery, Libertarian Party lightning rod and avowed ultranationalist Augustus Sol Invictus has been both lashing out at his “enemies” for what he calls slander and pursuing a deal he says will heal his reputation and his relationship with the party.

Invictus, who ran as a candidate for the Libertarian Party of Florida’s U.S. Senate nomination but lost in the primary, was accused in a March 21 report filed with the Edgewood Police Department by an unidentified woman. She said that during their 15-month relationship that ended early this year he repeatedly verbally, physically and sexually assaulted her, and even held a gun to her and threatened to kill her.

The allegations come at a time when Invictus is almost simultaneously trying to repair both his reputation and his relationship with the party, and launching a self-described war against his enemies, including against some in the party he says are out to destroy him, with an anger-filled video he posted on Facebook.

The police report allegations include her description of a March, 2016, incident in which she alleged, “Mr. Invictus got angry, beat her until her eyes were shut, dragged her into the closet and put a gun to her head, asking her why he shouldn’t just kill her … A similar incident happened again in January/February 2017 where he dragged her into the closet and put a gun to her head, beat her and attempted to suffocate her. This went on for several hours. explained that he then proceeded to sexually assault her.”

Of the unidentified woman who filed the report, police redacted her name and other information from released copies.

“The police report is 100 percent false,” Invictus replied to

Invictus insisted the woman — as well as another woman he would not name — were part of a conspiracy that included at least a couple of people within the Libertarian Party of Florida. This included the man who defeated him in the August U.S. Senate primary, Paul Stanton, and the party’s former state chairman, Adrian Wyllie.

In the video posted on Facebook, Invictus threatened to sue for slander.

No charges were pursued against Invictus as a result of the police report because the incidents allegedly occurred in another jurisdiction — Altamonte Springs. Edgewood police urged the complainant to seek an injunction against Invictus and to re-report the allegations to the Altamonte Springs police. A recent check of Orange County Clerk of Court records and the Altamonte Springs Police Department indicate she had not done either yet.

Libertarian Party leaders declined to talk to about Invictus, the police report, or discussions with him, except to note they are in mutually-agreed-upon mediation regarding complaints and demands he has made to the party.

Stanton and Wyllie each denied any conspiracy and said they do not know the woman who filed the report. Both dismissed his claims, though both acknowledged they are unhappy that he is still in the party, or that anyone pays attention to him.

“It’s typical of the kind of lunacy he comes up with,” said Wyllie, who resigned as LPF chairman last year over Invictus’ standing and candidacy.

“It’s ridiculous,” Stanton said. “He’s just making fantastical, bizarre claims, just like he did in the primary, just like he always does. I think a lot of us are getting tired of it.”

Invictus is the Orlando-area lawyer who made his fame by defending neo-Nazis in criminal court cases. Then, as he ran for the U.S. Senate, publicized his penchant for behaviors like drinking goat blood or writing journals while on LSD.

Since then he’s charged that opponents — he blames anti-fascist groups called “Antifa” — have been threatening him, disrupting or preventing his rallies and appearances, and resorting to violence on some occasions. He also claims his family is being targeted. He has young children. And he claimed police are harassing him too, saying he was pulled over and harassed by deputy sheriffs in South Carolina this week for no reason.

He blames a news release the party issued in 2015 disavowing some of his political and philosophical positions. That release, he charges, falsely accused him of believing in eugenics and state-sponsored murder, and helped spread a false allegation that he is a white supremacist.

He has been demanding the party publicly retract those statements, and last week filed notice that he intended to sue the party for defamation. That led to the offer of mediation.

He told the mediation is over, and that the party has agreed to his demands, with just legal details to be worked out. He said he’s expecting the party to issue a news release soon, retracting things it said about him in the 2015 news release. And he believes that will solve some of his problems.

“We’re all very motivated moving forward to having this resolved so we can move on with our lives,” he said. “I expect it is going to clear my name in a big way. Of course, it won’t solve all my problems, but a correction of the original false allegations are going to clear my name in a big way.”

He said he is expecting total vindication, and that it would be an embarrassment to Stanton, who he said was the only key LPF official still opposing him.

Stanton, who is on the LPF executive committee, said whatever the party does, it does not mean that most of its members don’t dislike Invictus.

“Unfortunately, there is a small segment in the party that does support him. It is very troubling. However, the vast majority of the Libertarian Party both in Florida and outside Florida finds him to be appalling, to say the least,” he said.

Stanton said the police report reinforces his worst concern.

“Augustus Invictus advocates violence toward and subjugation of vulnerable people,” Stanton said, noting that’s what the police report says he did to the woman. “That is entirely antithetic to the Libertarian message of peace and nonaggression.”

In the Facebook video posted last week, Invictus vowed vengeance and made references to violence. However, in talking to, he downplayed those references as largely metaphorical about hardball politics.

He also said the vengeance he promised against the Libertarian Party of Florida would be waived when the news release he wants is issued.

In the video, he announced his “William Tecumseh Sherman” scorched-earth campaign against his enemies.

“The Antifa, the crooked cops, the Libertarian Party, the slanderers, the traitors, they all are finding out as we speak that my patience has run dry. I am setting fire to every goddamn thing in my path,” he declared in the video.

“Nothing will satisfy my anger now.”

Charging that they have involved his family, he warned: “I will involve your families. I will attack your reputations. I will authorize my people to attack your events. I will let my people know where you live.”

On Friday morning the Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman

The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has conducted a review of a press release regarding Augustus Sol Invictus that was published on October 5th, 2015, and has concluded that it exceeded the mandate of the executive committee as discussed in its monthly meeting on October 4th, 2015.

The LPF, in accordance, has withdrawn this press release. Further, two items regarding “eugenics” and “state-sponsored murder” are mentioned in the press release. For example, “unwillingness to reject eugenics”, “call for eugenics”, and so forth.

Upon review of current information, the LPF concluded that Mr. Invictus, has on at least one occasion before the press release and several times after, disavowed government eugenics programs. And the item of “state-sponsored murder” is ambiguous.

Finally, the LPF would like to note that Mr. Invictus has always been a member in good standing, is a past Chair of the Libertarian Party of Orange County, a sponsor of the 2016 and 2017 LPF State Conventions, as well as a dedicated volunteer on the Legislative Review Committee.

uthorize my people to attack your events. I will let my people know where you live.”

On Friday morning the Libertarian Party of Florida released the following statement to the press:

The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has conducted a review of a press release regarding Augustus Sol Invictus that was published on October 5th, 2015, and has concluded that it exceeded the mandate of the executive committee as discussed in its monthly meeting on October 4th, 2015.

The LPF, in accordance, has withdrawn this press release. Further, two items regarding “eugenics” and “state-sponsored murder” are mentioned in the press release. For example, “unwillingness to reject eugenics”, “call for eugenics”, and so forth.

Upon review of current information, the LPF concluded that Mr. Invictus, has on at least one occasion before the press release and several times after, disavowed government eugenics programs. And the item of “state-sponsored murder” is ambiguous.

Finally, the LPF would like to note that Mr. Invictus has always been a member in good standing, is a past Chair of the Libertarian Party of Orange County, a sponsor of the 2016 and 2017 LPF State Conventions, as well as a dedicated volunteer on the Legislative Review Committee.

Former Lake County School Board Chair Randy Wiseman to run as Libertarian candidate for Governor in 2018

Randy Wiseman, a small business owner from Mount Dora and the former chairman of the Lake County School Board, will formally announce his run for Governor of Florida on the Libertarian ticket in 2018 this Saturday in Lakeland.

Wiseman served as the Lake County School Board chairman from 1994 to 1998, while also running for Mayor of Mount Dora and Florida State House. He changed his party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian (LPF) in 2016.

He pre-filed with the state in December and says he’ll qualify by filing officially next year.

“I think Florida is at the tip of a political paradigm shift,” Wiseman said in a statement. “We’re finding out that the two‐party system just doesn’t work anymore. They’re looking out for each other for mutual benefit, but not for the benefit of the people. I’d like to bring the focus back to the people and their Liberty. From what I am seeing and hearing, people are tired of the focus on the parties battling it out. In the past 10 years alone, more than 1.2 million more registered voters in Florida have declared themselves unwilling to be Democrat or Republican, shifting into the ‘other’ category. We aim to reach out to them and pitch our message of Liberty.”

Wiseman’s announcement will take place at the Libertarian Party of Florida Regional Coalition Conference at the Cleveland Heights G.C. this Saturday at 4 p.m. That’s at 2900 Buckingham Ave. in Lakeland.

In last year’s U.S. Senate race, Paul Stanton finished with 197,000 votes running on the Libertarian ticket, while Adrian Wyllie finished with 223,000 in running for Governor in 2014.

Marco Rubio up over Patrick Murphy, 44%-38%, latest survey from PPP polling shows

Another poll of Florida’s U.S. Senate race shows Republican incumbent Marco Rubio with a solid lead over Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.

The Public Policy Polls survey released Friday afternoon shows Rubio leading Murphy, 44 percent to 38 percent. Libertarian candidate Paul Stanton gets 6 percent.

Removing Stanton from the list of available choices doesn’t improve things much for Murphy. In a one-on-one matchup, Rubio leads 48 to 43 percent.

Murphy has been blasting Rubio for standing by his endorsement of Donald Trump, even in the wake of his lewd sexual remarks from 2005 that rocked the presidential race in the past week.

When asked if that makes one more likely or less likely to vote for Rubio, 32 percent say more likely, 39 percent say less likely, 25 percent say it doesn’t make a difference, and 4 percent aren’t sure.

The poll comes just three days before Murphy and Rubio will debate for the first time, in an hour-long forum broadcast live Monday night at 7 p.m.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 985 likely voters on Oct. 12-13. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percent.

U.S. Senate candidate Steven Machat sues to get himself and other indie candidates into Monday night debate

Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are poised to participate in the first debate of the Florida U.S. Senate race Monday night in Orlando, but independent candidate Steven Machat is still pushing to get himself, Libertarian candidate Paul Stanton, and the three other non-party-affiliated candidates on the big stage as well.

In papers filed with the 11th Judicial Circuit court in Miami-Dade County Friday, Machat is calling for a temporary restraining order to prohibit the debate sponsors — Cox Media, Leadership Florida Statewide Community Foundation and Capital New Company (the parent company of POLITICO) — from putting on Monday night’s debate without including the other Senate candidates.

The FCC is also listed as a defendant.

“I’m trying to sue on behalf of all the candidates who have qualified to appear in this debate,” Machat told WMNF radio on Thursday. “What happened is our society — and I call it political payola — they’ve created a world where the Republican and Democratic parties are the only two parties that get the commercial advertisements to promote and market a platform, which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the people’s parties.”

Machet initially filed a complaint against the sponsors Sept. 28 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Christina H. Burrow, an attorney with Cox Media and Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, wrote back to Machat Oct. 4, informing him the sponsors are using a 15 percent polling threshold as the cutoff for inclusion in the debate — the same criteria used by the the Commission on Presidential Debates, which precluded Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein from being part of the presidential debates.

“Because you do not meet WFTV-TV’s minimum eligibility standard, you are not entitled to participate in the debate,” Burrow wrote.

In his filing, Machat is calling for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the debate sponsors from hosting Monday night’s debate unless they allow himself, Stanton, and the three other independent candidates — Bruce Nathan, Basil Dalack, and Tony Khoury — to be allowed to participate. He’s also calling for the independent candidates to be allowed to debate in Davie on Oct. 26 “and any other future debates for the election set in November 2016.”

Earlier this week, Murphy and Rubio agreed to participate in a potential third debate which would be broadcast on Univision, though no date or time has been announced yet.

Monday night’s one-hour debate is scheduled to take place at the University of Central Florida on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and will be moderated by Jonathan Karl, ABC’s chief White House correspondent. WFTV anchors Greg Warmoth and Nancy Alvarez, and POLITICO’s Marc Caputo will join Karl in asking questions on ABC affiliates throughout Florida.

Paul Stanton ousts Augustus Sol Invictus from Libertarian Senate primary

Libertarians have rejected goat-blood-drinking, LSD-dropping, neo-nationalist candidate Augustus Sol Invictus of Orlando and picked Paul Stanton of Deland to be their nominee this year for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat.

Stanton beat Invictus 74 percent to 26 percent in Tuesday’s Libertarian Party primary for the U.S. Senate.

Stanton, a computer programmer and “pro-peace” Army veteran, entered the race in May after Invictus’s penchant for shocking people with his behavior and statements became too much for Libertarian Party leaders. Stanton quickly picked up almost all Libertarian endorsements, starting with presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Stanton pushes much of the Libertarian Party’s general platform, including ending U.S. military involvements in the Middle East, decriminalizing drugs, and overhauling the tax system.

Paul Stanton leads in Libertarian Senate primary in Florida, but most undecided

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is polling at 7 percent in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac survey released Wednesday. But what about their Senate candidate?

That won’t be decided until Aug. 30, but a new St. Pete Polls survey shows Paul Stanton leading Augustus Invictus in the Libertarian Senate primary, 22 percent-12 percent, with 65.8 percent undecided.

The 31-year-old Stanton resides in DeLand. He says he would seek to end the U.S. involvement in the Middle East and advocates for an end to the “War on Drugs,” as well as an overhaul of the federal tax system.

The 32-year-old Invictus is a more controversial figure. As reported by’s Scott Powers, revelations about his admitted previous use of LSD and and journals that include “fantasies of rape and murder” have led the Libertarian Party of Florida to disavow his candidacy.

The poll of 180 registered Florida Libertarian party voters was conducted July 13 by an automated phone call polling system. It has a 7.3 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level.


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