When I reported last summer that Eric Brakey had made the claim State Legislators had threatened him with physical violence, he was only the chairman of Defense of Liberty PAC. Since “PAC Chairman Claims Legislators Threatened Physical Violence” was published, he has announced his candidacy for State Senate and mounted a strong campaign that has raised record amounts of money.
One thing that has not changed since however, is the fact that Brakey has not named these Legislators who feel intimidation is justified and excusable. Why?
When Brakey made the claim, he stated it was related to his questioning of votes. Is questioning votes a bad thing? Absolutely not. It’s not surprising a backlash occurred however, given a massive campaign was mounted by the liberty movement on “Constitutional Carry” legislation. This campaign targeted not only Democrats, but also Republicans as well.
Now months later, the liberty movement faces a major problem in the name of Erick Bennett, a primary challenger to Senator Susan Collins. The three-term Senator seeking a fourth (who only pledged to serve two) is unlikely to be ousted by Bennett. The damage threat is to the liberty and tea party movements who risk being labeled as supporters of domestic assault.
Bennett was convicted of domestic assault, a case that went all the way to Maine’s top court, where the conviction was upheld. He refers to the fact he beat his wife as evidence of his strengths as a candidate. It’s a delusional state of mind, one that is undeserving of any elected office, let alone United States Senate.
The media has had fun with this one, labeling Bennett as the challenge from all the right-wing groups and thus making them responsible for his candidacy. It makes conservatives, libertarians, and tea partiers all look bad. Many have disavowed him, and even the Maine Republican Party has taken great lengths in contacting the media to create distance with him.
Now to be clear, it is extremely unlikely Brakey supports Bennett’s challenge, given he stated last spring that he supports the reelection of Senator Susan Collins. The greater issue is stopping violence and taking a stand against it.
One of the major principles libertarians believe in is the Non-Aggression Principle. Whether it be the wife you pledged your love to, or a voter who has a right to hold his legislators accountable, violence towards such is uncalled for. This is for the simple fact that the wife and voter were not physically aggressive towards the husband or legislator.
Brakey thankfully wasn’t harmed, but it could have happened. Worse, it could happen to someone else. Because we are unaware of who these Legislators are, we cannot be sure this intimidation is not occurring towards other individuals. This should not be happening because legislators are elected to serve the people, and also because violence is wrong.
As a true test of his principle and readiness to be a State Senator, Brakey is now faced with the decision to either continue withholding these names or offer them for public scrutiny. Violence and intimidation to any degree towards any individual should not be excused. It is time to take a stand.
The question is does Eric Brakey agree?