In a Facebook post dated October 23, 2018, Democratic candidate for Sheriff Darryl Sheppard posted the above text, we assume in response to Libertarians Endorse Joe Lopez for Orange Sheriff.
Seems everyone wants to call themselves a Libertarian these days, doesn't it? It's a label you can actually be proud of.
We must give him credit where credit is due though - calling to end enforcement of the drug war is actually a fantastically libertarian position and a level of boldness we have to respect. While the Sheriff can't change the existing laws - especially not state or federal - the Sheriff DOES have significant discretion on how to prioritize enforcement resources. A liberty-friendly sheriff would make full use of that discretion for the benefit of our community. Sheppard is exactly right on target here.
In light of this, you may wonder why we did not endorse Sheppard and instead endorsed his opponent Joe Lopez?
The initial answer is that Sheppard is running as a partisan Democrat, and our endorsement guidelines mean that we will almost never endorse a partisan Democrat or Republican absent truly compelling circumstances - we strongly favor independent, third party, and nonpartisan candidates.
Beyond that, Sheppard's personal record gave us significant pause. The core philosophy of the Libertarian Party is the Non-Aggression Principle - the idea that everyone owns themselves and therefore it is morally wrong to initiate force, fraud, or any other form of coercion against others. We also strongly consider not just the candidate's platform and promises but also their "good governance" record regarding transparency, accountability, and potential for corruption.
Review Sheppard's personal record for yourself rather than taking anyone else's word for it. You will likely see why we were skeptical of his commitment to our core philosophy and his ability to actually implement his bold promises.
Update: since this article was written, we saw a WESH news story about Sheppard knowingly sharing a fake tweet which portrayed Mina as being supported by Donald Trump. Despite our many other criticisms of Mina, that one is totally off base. This is a minor example of the various types of items that led to our reservations about Sheppard: https://www.wesh.com/article/facebook-page-of-candidate-for-orange-county-sheriff-shares-fake-trump-endorsement-tweets/24117296
If Sheppard is elected, we hope he proves our concerns totally wrong and does exactly what he's promising here. We'd be glad to admit we were wrong if that happens. However, with all the ongoing news stories we see each day, this seems very unlikely.
Rather than rolling the dice on a risky candidate who says some of the right things, we decided to favor incremental reform and endorse accountability and integrity - Libertarians endorse Joe Lopez for Sheriff.