Minor Irritants

A declaration from independents.

And not a moment too soon, apparently. "Counties don't know how to handle third-party registration," agrees Betty Rose Ryan, an activist with the Libertarian Party. To find such obstacles in Colorado is particularly galling for Libertarians, since that party got its start here thirty years ago. And it hopes to make a big finish in the polls in November, as voters grow increasingly discontented with the two major parties, which are sucked into one influence-peddling scandal after another.

Maynard's banking on that, too. "It's corporate control of every institution and every aspect of our life," she says. "All our high public officials have taken money. It's sick, and it's a concerted activity, and that's why I'm a Green."

Even if it's not easy being Green.

Miss October displays the right to bare arms.
Miss October displays the right to bare arms.

The Life of the Party
The liberated Ladies of Liberty.

Rick Stanley, the Colorado Libertarian Party's senatorial candidate, grabs what few headlines that party gets through his willingness to shoot off not just guns, but his mouth. "I don't give a rat's ass what this judge thinks or what he does," Stanley says of the judge who'll sentence him on a weapons-violation conviction next week. "Quite simply, this man is a traitor to America, and he will be getting an earful from me and everyone else in this country for the way that he and most of the judiciary in this country choose to conduct their courtrooms."

So rather than simply wave the flag, Betty Rose Ryan, treasurer of the Victory in Colorado Now PAC, decided to wrap a few comely Libertarians in the flag when she wanted to raise the party's profile -- and, no doubt, a few eyebrows. Inspired by a calendar put out by a group of middle-aged Englishwomen who decided to bare all (or close enough) for a Leukemia Foundation fundraiser, Ryan rounded up her own "Ladies for Liberty."

"We were going to do one just like the one from England," she recalls. "I really wanted to do that, but we had a couple of people who thought they didn't want their party to be associated with it." So Ryan settled for a cover girl seen "repairing the union" -- sewing a flag that's draped over her apparently naked body.

Amber, the September 2002 Lady, poses in a negligee in a library, confirmation that "Libertarians fully support the First Amendment and oppose all government banning of books and the creation of 'reading lists' by government agencies." Pam, Lady July, is wrapped in red tape in the office of Stanley Fasteners & Shop Supply (yep, it's that Stanley), as proof that "Libertarians believe in more freedom for both employees and employers." And just in time for the holidays, a quintet of bare-backed Ladies in December 2003 confirm that "Libertarians believe the government must neither support nor regulate any particular religion."

Besides the politically correct pinup pictures, the seventeen-month calendar includes historic notes unearthed by Ryan and her husband, Tony. The September 3 entry, for example, notes that in 1752, that particular day "never happened, nor the next 10 days as England adopts the Gregorian Calendar. People riot, thinking the English government stole 11 days of their lives." Explains Ryan: "Things we considered freedom-inhibiting are in red; things we considered freedom-expanding are in blue; and things just of interest are in purple."

"Ladies for Liberty" was the talk of the Libertarian Party's national convention earlier this month in Indianapolis. "People came up and said, 'Can we get our girls in it?'" Ryan recalls.

They can talk to her after the current calendar runs out in January 2004. For now, Ryan's concentrating on pushing the premier "Ladies for Liberty" (anyone who donates $10 to the PAC gets one) and, in the process, promoting the Colorado Libertarian Party.

A party that clearly supports all constitutional rights -- including the right to bare arms.

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