Libertarian Issues in the Republican (2nd VA) Primary

The Tidewater Libertarian Party has not made an endorsement in the 2nd District Republican Primary, but we have an interest in the outcome. To that end, we sent a questionnaire to all of the candidates seeking their positions on issues important to us. We did not sent the generic, softball questions typical of media, which allow a candidate to posture and conceal their positions on matters of principle. Answering our questions knowing their answers would be made public required some degree of courage on the part of the candidates, and those who answered deserve credit for doing so. Those who declined should be asked why they are not willing to give clear answers to hard questions .

The questions and the answers we received are present below, in the order in which we received them:

First to reply, by over 2 weeks,

Ben Loyola

1. Will you co-sponsor the FairTax, as a replacement for all income based taxation, and the companion bill for repeal of the 16th Amendment? If not, why not?

I would proudly add my name as a co-sponsor. The tax code is a drain on business, job creation, entrepreneurs and our economy. It’s also a drain on individual filers who spend too much time and money trying to comply with a burdensome, complex tax code. The tax code is anti-growth, anti-job and contrary to everything our founding fathers fought for when they threw tea into Boston Harbor.

2. Do you view the 2nd Amendment as applying to the States under the 14th Amendment in the same manner as other rights specified in the Bill of Rights? If not, how is it different?

I see no difference. It doubles the Constitutional support to the right to keep and bear arms.

3. Will you support blocking the EPA from imposing restrictions on CO2 emissions without direct authorization by Congress? Do you support subsidies of any kind for “green energy?”

I disagree with the EPA’s ruling concerning CO2 emissions and feel Congressional authorization would be an important check on power. I would vote to block such restrictions, but I would be open to hearing debate concerning the restrictions. While I would not support subsidies for green energy, I would support tax credits for research and development in a wide range of areas.

4. Will you support a phased transfer of the functions of Social Security and Medicare to private, equity based, funding? If not, how would you propose making the current systems solvent?

The current systems have two choices: either raise taxes while cutting benefits, or broaden the choices people have to include private individual personal retirement accounts. I oppose raising taxes, and I will not allow the program to collapse, so broadening it for younger people to have greater options seems the best option.

5. Do you support Real ID or any form of biometric identification? Please provide your reasoning.

I am not a supporter of national ID cards.

6. Should the Federal Government defer all law regarding victimless crime, including drug use, to the States? If not, why does the 10th Amendment not apply?

With so many federal overreaches occurring in areas of health care, income, economy and the like, the last thing I’d spend time working for is drug legalization. I oppose efforts to legalize drugs, and feel there is a federal interest in interdiction of drug trafficking.

7. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment restricting the use of eminent domain to actual public use and not public purpose? If not, why not?

I would be saddened that the Supreme Court wouldn’t understand that in the Fifth Amendment, “public use” means “public use.” I’d support an amendment re-emphasizing that if needed.

8. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment restricting all bills considered by Congress to a single purpose? Justify any exceptions.

I think the rule works well in Virginia and would support it in Congress.

9. Does the Federal Government have any role in the economy beyond the exclusion of force and fraud from the marketplace? Would you have supported the recent financial sector bailouts?

I would have opposed the bailouts, as I think they undermine the strengths of a free market system. We creep toward socialism if we want to take all risk from capital investment and make everyone “winners.” Government does have a role in economic terms of working to avoid hyperinflation and devaluation of the currency, and government’s increasing levels of debt will create economic turmoil if not corrected. To begin to truly address these issues we need transparency in full and open accounting of the Federal Reserve for starters.

10. Would you support limiting US Military action to defensive and punitive actions, and barring the use of US Military forces for ‘nation building’ or other meddling in the internal affairs of other nations?

I believe in the separation of powers. I believe that only Congress can declare war, but the President is the Commander in Chief. We really don’t want 535 Commanders-in-chief fighting a war. I’d hesitate to limit our military actions to retaliations only, in this age where a first strike could be the last strike.

Bert Mizusawa

1. Will you co-sponsor the FairTax, as a replacement for all income based taxation, and the companion bill for repeal of the 16th Amendment? If not, why not?

Yes.

2. Do you view the 2nd Amendment as applying to the States under the 14th Amendment in the same manner as other rights specified in the Bill of Rights? If not, how is it different?

Yes

3. Will you support blocking the EPA from imposing restrictions on CO2 emissions without direct authorization by Congress? Do you support subsidies of any kind for “green energy?”

Yes; yes – best to wean ourselves off of dependency on foreign oil and the necessity to secure the source with military action.

4. Will you support a phased transfer of the functions of Social Security and Medicare to private, equity based, funding? If not, how would you propose making the current systems solvent?

Yes; could be debt or equity based – debt is less volatile, ie a less risky investment.

5. Do you support Real ID or any form of biometric identification? Please provide your reasoning.

Individual decision to opt in only.

6. Should the Federal Government defer all law regarding victimless crime, including drug use, to the States? If not, why does the 10th Amendment not apply?

Yes, but first we must clearly define “victimless;” some involve interstate issues (illegal immigration, trafficking, etc)

7. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment restricting the use of eminent domain to actual public use and not public purpose? If not, why not?

Yes, but there could be a problem of the government deciding to own the land and manage it rather than turning it over to public-private management. I would be interested in helping to define use versus purpose.

8. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment restricting all bills considered by Congress to a single purpose? Justify any exceptions.

Not sure this could be enforced, or even defined, so probably a fruitless exercise. Eg, the defense bill includes military construction, intelligence, etc. the House requires amendments to be germane to the original bill; the Senate does not. What is germane or nor is determined by the party in power. “Raising and supporting Armies” is a legitimate constitutional purpose, and inoculating America’s youth to one day man those “armies” would be consistent with the “single” purpose, but one can see how such an amendment would get us nowhere, except tie up the legislative branch, which could be good.

9. Does the Federal Government have any role in the economy beyond the exclusion of force and fraud from the marketplace? Would you have supported the recent financial sector bailouts?

Tough question. Take tariffs. I am worried about global competition, and whether other countries’ subsidies will put us at a disadvantage.

No, but we need to prevent certain systemic failures that could bring our country down, but ensure no individuals, especially executives, benefit.

10. Would you support limiting US Military action to defensive and punitive actions, and barring the use of US Military forces for ‘nation building’ or other meddling in the internal affairs of other nations?

Yes; but if you think about it, there is very little in the way of “defense” we actually do. We did not defend Hawaii or the World Trade Centers; we reacted by having long overseas wars that were no longer defensive, or even just punitive. I favor intelligence-based preemption because it serves to prevent long-term military operations and involvement. There is a trade-off based on probabilities and assessments, and the key is to have civilian leaders who will use our military judiciously and effectively. As a military man with three combat tours, and numerous deployments, I have paid the price – both as a person and as a taxpayer – so understand the costs. Moreover, I will have real credibility when it comes to decisions involving war and peace.

Scott Taylor

1. Will you co-sponsor the FairTax, as a replacement for all income based taxation, and the companion bill for repeal of the 16th Amendment? If not, why not?

Yes

2. Do you view the 2nd Amendment as applying to the States under the 14th Amendment in the same manner as other rights specified in the Bill of Rights? If not, how is it different?

Yes

3. Will you support blocking the EPA from imposing restrictions on CO2 emissions without direct authorization by Congress? Do you support subsidies of any kind for “green energy?”

Yes, I will support blocking the EPA from imposing restrictions on CO2 emissions without direct authorization. No, I do not support subsidies of any kind for “green energy.”

4. Will you support a phased transfer of the functions of Social Security and Medicare to private, equity based, funding? If not, how would you propose making the current systems solvent?

Make the current systems solvent…

Medicare

A. Set attainable goals and a clear achievable measure of success.

B. Hold the line on the percentage of GDP Medicare takes up. The Heritage Foundation puts this at 1.3% (close to 2007 number) to keep Medicare solvent. Pass legislation with a trigger that mandates action if broached and that mandates a Congressional review every 5 years.

C. Medicare should remain as it is today for current beneficiaries. But at a date certain, Medicare should be transformed into a defined-contribution system in which the government contribution for benefits is adjusted for age, income, or health status.

E. Encourage and implement chronic disease management and disease prevention.

F. Encourage HSA’s

G. Medicare accounts for over 50% of the Government’s improper payments. More auditors (who traditionally pay for themselves) should be hired.

Social Security

Everybody will have to share the burden.

A. The age will have to be raised

B. Congress has to stop stealing from the fund. (currently 4 trillion)

C. Congress should review every 5 years.

5. Do you support Real ID or any form of biometric identification? Please provide your reasoning.

No

6. Should the Federal Government defer all law regarding victimless crime, including drug use, to the States? If not, why does the 10th Amendment not apply?

Yes

7. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment restricting the use of eminent domain to actual public use and not public purpose? If not, why not?

Yes

8. Would you support a Constitutional Amendment restricting all bills considered by Congress to a single purpose? Justify any exceptions.

Yes

9. Does the Federal Government have any role in the economy beyond the exclusion of force and fraud from the marketplace? Would you have supported the recent financial sector bailouts?

No and No

10. Would you support limiting US Military action to defensive and punitive actions, and barring the use of US Military forces for ‘nation building’ or other meddling in the internal affairs of other nations?

I do not believe in nation building. However, if meddling consists of matters that have to do with this nations defense I do support it.

So, where are the others?

Should replies be received prior to the primary election, they will be added to the list and the heading edited to indicate an updated list.

10. Would you support limiting US Military action to defensive and punitive actions, and barring the use of US Military forces for ‘nation building’ or other meddling in the internal affairs of other nations?

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6 Responses to Libertarian Issues in the Republican (2nd VA) Primary

  1. Republicans want want failure, they want things like the insurance companies to continue to rake in billions and to keep the unwealthy at a disadvantage. The infrastructures portion was what we needed to get us going in advancing our country to come into the present but the old conservatives who want to go back to the “simpler times” (ie. slavery, and racial discrimination via lower education). Our country and everyday people need help due to bad financial policy and they are just not getting it. Who is getting it? Big business. God bless America.

  2. thebaldsoprano says:

    thanks for asking good questions

  3. Robert Lawson says:

    Clearly those candidates fall WAY short of being anywhere close to earning the LP’s endorsement. The opposition to legalizing victimless crimes like “illegal” immigration and ending Drug Prohibition should be deal-breakers for the TLP.

    I want to know where the questions are on social issues?! If all I cared about was economic freedom then I’d be a Republican. However, I care about social freedom as well and am thus a libertarian. Where are the social planks?! …or is the TLP just another version of the GOP?!

    …and can we just be done with all those wild conspiracy theories about “Real ID?” The government isn’t going to plant chips inside our bodies and the ID cards aren’t “the mark of the beast” or anything crazy like that.

  4. Britt Howard says:

    Health Insurance – nice name. That takes lots of guts hiding behind that. While we Libertarians will agree with you that big companies shouldn’t be getting bail outs or corporate welfare, don’t expect us to buy into your socialized medicine ideas or wealth redistribution. Theft is morally wrong whether the rich do it, or the poor.

    Mentorship, education, hard work, and free will assistance of others is what is needed. Once the government stops robbing Peter to pay Paul……or Goldman Sachs, we’ll be far better off.

    Robert, you ask for a social issue, but then you disqualify one. So, you favor Real ID? I believe in privacy. Considering that you are Pro-Choice and probably agree with Roe v. Wade, you would think you would have appreciation for privacy. Considering that you appear to take a strong open border policy in regards to immigration, again one would think you might appreciate privacy. There is more opposition to Real ID than just “End Times” thinking.

    Further, illegal immigration is not really a victimless crime when it interrupts the rule of law, national soverign control of one’s borders, and our socialists representatives open our wallets to people that came here and broke the law in doing so. It no longer becomes a victimless crime when Mexico dumps its poor and criminal element on us filling our prisons and killing our citizens that are actually legally here.

    The present system of making it hard to immigrate legally, and ignoring the law when they break it to enter, all exacerbate the problem.

    Personally, I would make it much easier to immigrate legally. It is a slap in the face to honest people when we slam doors in their faces and happily watch law breakers cross the border illegally. Further, ALL nations would get a chance to immigrate here and not just those from Mexico. The hypocrites calling for ignoring the rule of law in the name of humanitarian concerns turn a blind eye to those in Hati, China, the Philipines, eastern europe, and African Nations. Guess what Robert, those are real people too. Human beings, not country specific special interests being whored out to Democrats and Left Wing Republicans like George Bush.

    You may not like the fiscal conservatism you complain about hearing so much of, but stop kidding yourself about calling us Republican lite. There was no damn fiscal conservatism in George Bush. The result was a screwed up economy and massive debt. There is no fiscal conservatism in our socialism loving president Obama. Our current economic woes are due to Bush & Obama. We have REAL problems and they are fiscal in nature. Thus the fiscal focus that you seem so put off by.

    I agree that marijuana should be decriminalized and that the war on drugs hurts more than it helps. That being said, legalizing pot or other drugs just isn’t on the top of my list. The LP still suffers today from past embarrassments where LP candidates ran on nothing, but legalization. That said, I totally agree that if you’re not driving or depriving others of their natural rights, drug use harms none, but the person taking them and should be legal. We Libertarians believe that you have sovereignty over your own body. That doesn’t mean however, that an employer can’t refuse to hire you if you won’t/can’t pass a drug screen.

    I could have supported Loyola or Mitsusawa, but given Rigell……I’m not so sure. I just might prefer Glenn Nye. He did vote to protect us from socialized medicine. Except for his stimulus vote, he was with us on every big issue. I’m not sure that he shouldn’t be rewarded for that.

    Does the 2nd amendment count as a social issue? Or do you disqualify that one too, because the GOP agrees with us. Well, not all of the GOP, but you get my point.

    If you want to throw another social issue out there, I’ll respond to it. If you just want us to stop marketing libertarian philosophy to like minded people in the GOP, forget it. Just where do you expect us to grow our numbers from? We have to get them from the Democrats and the Republicans. If you object to the fact that they will probably be conservative democrats and small government Republicans, I just don’t know what to tell you.

    Why not put up a positive arguement for libertarian ideals that you have appreciation for? This is not the first time you simply pointed a finger at Republicans sharing ideals and ranted over it. Are you a Libertarian, or really just a Democrat trying to steer us away from like minded people in the GOP? I guess you would have us abandon the Ron Paul Republicans too? Are the Log Cabin Republicans off the table too, because they’re Republican. Is there anyone you would allow us to form relationships with even if the have an “R” after their name?

  5. Robert Lawson says:

    Illegal immigration is no “crime.” The “problem” of so-called illegal immigrants receiving benefits and such from the government is not that they’re immigrants, it’s that government is giving them something. As usual, all the problems associated with people crossing an invisible line in the dirt are merely symptoms of another, larger problem (like the welfare state). I suggest you search the online datatbase of the Freeman, put out by Foundation for Economic Education, for more information on how unfettered immgration can be restored and result in more freedom and prosperity for America. http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/the-benefits-of-immigration/#

    Yes, there is legitimate grounds for opposition to the REAL ID standards. What I don’t appreciate is that a lot of the questionable Alex Jones-type stuff gets mixed in with the actual credible reasons.

    As far as Drug Prohibition is concerned: it may have been true in the past that too much focus was put on the issue but it seems the TLP has swung a little too far the other way in avoiding the issue altogether. A middle path is possible. The TLP should especially be concerned about addressing this issue now as the topic of the legitimacy of Drug Prohibition is frequently coming up for discussion among more mainstream outlets. If you wait until it becomes more of an issue then it will be too late – the Democrats will already have seized the opportunity and solidified their monopoly on legalization advocacy (thus assuring less Republican support for repeal than if the momentum to end Drug Prohibition were to come from Libertarian/small-government/Tea Partier quarters).

    Again with the paranoia, this time about “liberal infiltrators?” I’ve got news for you, most liberals are only Democrats for one thing: the social issues. The majority of youth label themselves as “liberals” because they think that is the only choice they have for a socially tolerant political party. Rick Caldwell and I have discussed that very same thing at a recent Young Libertarians meeting. How about marketing the LP as much to them as you do to the GOP and Tea Partiers? Why isn’t the TLP going to GLBT-Rights organizations and actively engaging? Amid all the adoration, where is the outrage over Cuccinelli getting a judge disbarred because she “broke the law” by being a lesbian? You’re missing opportunities to recruit from a base of people who are generally anti-war and very likely to be supportive of a voluntary society if someone could only approach them and put the conversation into the right terms they’d understand.

    No need to talk down to me by “explaining what libertarian believe.” I’ve been a libertarian since 2005 and have been active in the TLP and TYL in the past. I’m familiar with every principle and political current within the Libertarian Movement from the LP to minarchy to Agorism to everything else.

  6. Britt Howard says:

    Robert, I like the tone of this last post of yours much more. Yea, I was getting a bit heated at what I viewed as attacks for being too friendly to the GOP and questioning whether we were GOP lite, so “talking down” goes both ways.

    As far as the disbarred judge, I thought that was McDonnell, and I don’t think she was actually disbarred for that particular thing(being gay). I thought that she wasn’t renewed as a judge because she propositioned litigants or something like that. A straight judge should not be propositioning the opposite sex either. So, that is HER fault. If I am incorrect in that belief, please point me to evidence on the web or something.

    I will say, I love Cuccinelli, but dislike his views on people that are gay. You’ll be happy to know some of us are looking at approaching such groups. A table for “Out in the Park” is being considered. I’ll get into more detail on that if a certain something happens in the next couple of days. Until then, I don’t want to say much more other than that this is coming more from the Peninsula LP. Would you want to help man the table and hand out lit?

    And I do agree that the problem with immigration is more from current law and welfare state issues, but that must be corrected BEFORE we just swing open the border door. Over crowding of poorer people leads to crime and ghetto formation. We need to streamline legal immigration as well as take steps to accomodate new immigrants. Were immigration streamlined or guest worker programs installed AND laws against illegal immigration enforced, commericial entities would have incentive to help with that(adequate temporary housing, reporting incomes/paying taxes, services etc).

    I also agree on the drug thing. Certainly a focus on medical marijuana use would at least be an easier start for even us Virginians that were so embarrassed by our candidate for Lt. Gov. among others.

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