Monday, April 25, 2016

US Senate for WA candidate, Michael Luke (L) Interview

The following contribution is from Seattle-based independent journalist, David Malekar; who regularly publishes content to the WashCo Chronicle and other online publicationsThe interviewee, Michael Luke, is running for US Senate for Washington State.  You can find more information on Michael at the website and follow him on Facebook at

Michael Luke, Libertarian speaking at the LPWA convention 2016
Michael Luke speaking at the LPWA Convention 4.9.2016
DM:  Welcome Michael and thank you for taking the time out for our readers to talk about your
platform. Let's start with an introduction on a little about you and what you're doing for this run?

ML:  Thank you David.
I’m 46 and have been a resident of Snohomish County, Washington for the last 20+ years. I have previously been a small business owner in the Edmonds area for 12+ years. I have run locally for Fire district commissioner and County charter review commissioner. I have volunteered and worked on other candidate campaigns for offices such as County Executive, US Senate, and various other congressional, state and local campaigns.

My political experience is mostly from my involvement in the Republican party since 2008 as a delegate, precinct committee officer, legislative district chair and Snohomish County Republican party executive board member. In January 2016 I left the Republican party in favor of involvement in the Libertarian party. The Libertarian party allows me as an individual to be independent and resolved in contrast to my experience in the Republican party, that still by default operates as a top down orders from headquarters business model with just people fighting about being in top jobs in the party and maintaining control of the grassroots, not accepting control from them. Therefore the Republican party is no longer a viable political option in Washington state, even when Republicans win elections or gain legislative majorities they still seem to lose to so called opposition policy to some degree or another by tacitly going along with the status quo for the sake of bipartisanship, demonstrating a lack of substance and resolve.

Regarding what I'm doing for this run. This is a low budget campaign, I don't want anybody else's money to influence anything, I'm not currently taking or authorizing any outside contributions.
(website link:

I'm not going to be a yard sign or bumper sticker candidate. I will make myself and my positions on issues available to the electorate via the internet and social media for them to decide, but I'm not going to chase the voters, they'll either find me and find me to be the better candidate or they won't, it's in their hands to decide based on a lot more than which of us is the better salesman or spends the most money getting elected!
(website link:

DM:  We are noticing a huge shift of people leaving the Republican and Democratic parties over the last couple years.  We have noticed a surge in 2016, while still early in the year.  The Libertarian Facebook page has broke over 600k likes recently.  With the amount of the momentum heading into this years elections for Washington Libertarians, how is this affecting your campaign and those around you?

ML:  I believe a critical mass of people leaving the Republican and Democratic parties in body, mind and spirit has been swelling up for at least a decade. People are far more open to hearing about and from a third party candidate these days. For so long so many simply dismissed and called the Libertarian Party crazy, but that appears to no longer be a consensus anymore. It seems to me that even people in my generation and surprisingly even from generations before me have even ceased accepting the stigma that has been placed on the Libertarian party for far too long by others within the other two parties.

There is now a whole new generation of young voters who could care less about political parties, they don't care about the likes of Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan. These people care about issues, content, substance and resolve in their elected officials and so many elected officials from the two major parties are lacking in. These young people are not influenced by or fooled by hubris filled elites from older generations that simply self proclaim their credentials of authority just because they're old to maintain a dualistic group think status quo that only decays the future for the next generations. These young people communicate via the internet and social media which spreads information exponentially so it doesn't surprise me that there is a critical mass of people attracted to the Libertarian Party and not wasting time their efforts on the self serving impotence and apathy that rules the Republican and Democratic parties.

To answer your question, all this affects my candidacy and Libertarian candidates in a very positive way. I love being able to campaign on the internet to so many open minded, realistic and pragmatic young people that follow, share, comment and even dissent on what is posted. This is a healthy sign for our communities when people are not only participating in the process but actively seeking out more options and solutions than just what the two party system has attempted to force on the people.

DM:  What issues would you plan on handling, during your first six months in?

ML:  I would like to tackle economic issues and government spending right out of the starting gate. This of course starts with terminating and auditing the Federal Reserve bank which sabotages our livelihoods by it's very nature. When tackling government overspending you have to start with the biggest expenditure, which appears to be military spending and in order to lower military spending to a reasonable level we must scale back the initiatives we have allowed our government to order our soldiers to carry out. Another benefit of scaling back the military's role is a boost to morale, I wish to see our loyal soldiers brought home and charged with defending us, not other nations or policing the world.

I would further like to get the federal government out of any involvement in regulating marijuana and at the very least see it rescheduled it immediately with the goal of lifting the federal prohibition sooner rather than later. Sick people and parents of sick children should not have to risk federal prosecution and extensive incarceration just to obtain relief and healing.

Criminal justice reform must begin immediately, we have allowed the federal government and state/local governments across our nation to subjugate the Constitutional rights of so many just to feed those same people to a prison/police state industrial complex to sustain and grow what is an unthinking and corrupt status quo that no longer cares anything about justice or the people. This is a big issue with a lot to it so I am going to direct people to my website for more details on the issue.
(website link:

DM:  All issues you just mentioned, are in desperate need of dealing with.  Do you believe we will see a larger collaborative effort from the Libertarian candidates this year than in the past, for criminal justice reform?

ML:  I think collaboration in the Senate by the likes of Rand Paul, Corey Booker and I dare say even Bernie Sanders on this issue is already occurring. These folks may not be Libertarians but they seem to care about this issue. I would love to use whatever bully pulpit is available to me to trumpet this cause to build from what has already been swelling up. But to answer the question, yes.

DM:  Let's talk long term plans and goals during your term.  What do you want to see happen down the line?

ML:  Well, right away there are so many Constitutional rights that are in violation by governments throughout our nation as a status quo. I believe a priority is repealing laws that have exempted government servants from many of the same laws that oppress so much of our citizens. When government servants face the same hardships caused by too many laws and too much government interference in our lives I think government servants will take their oaths of service far more seriously to the people, not to the government. I want legislation passed that it is allowable for any person to record interactions with governments servants without informing the servant and even further if any government servant takes action to prevent the recording or threatens consequences that would be a felony. Proper monitoring of our servants will breed accountability and I'm not just talking about cops, I'm talking about tax officials, DMV personnel, any government servant. This type of policy may help to self correct so much misconduct by government servants.

The other priority is auditing but more importantly terminating the private Federal Reserve bank that has looted our nation's prosperity for around a century. They have sabotaged our economy and once they are terminated so many things in our economy will start to self correct.

Honestly, long term my goal is everything on my issues webpage:
(website link:

DM:  What information can you provide for readers who would want to become more involved with your campaign in your area?

ML:  Obviously to start, visit the website and make your way to my Facebook page via the website. I can be contacted through the FB page or through the website.

It's really about people sharing and tweeting the website with people they know. Even more about liking, sharing, inviting and commenting on the Facebook page and other social and local media venues and the word will spread like wildfire.

DM:  It's been a very informative interview, Mike.  Many eyes will be on your campaign and we'll be sure to follow up with you.  In closing out, what information would you like to leave with our readers and any other thoughts you may have for them?

ML:  I think it's important to observe that Libertarian candidates are not just elements of the other 2 parties but are a completely different approach to government than the other two parties are. Libertarians are individuals first and foremost, I hope to see people vote as individuals for individuals.  Thank you!

Monday, April 18, 2016

State Senate, 41st District candidate for WA, Bryan Simonson (L) Interview

The following contribution is from Seattle-based independent journalist, David Malekar; who regularly publishes content to the WashCo Chronicle and other online publications.  The interviewee, Bryan Simonson, is the State Senate, 41st District for Washington State.  Additional information on Bryan can be found on his Facebook page and website.

Bryan Simonson
Bryan Simonson
DM:  Bryan, it's a pleasure having you on the Liberty Chronicle Independent.  What can you tell the readers about your background and what inspired you to run for Washington State's Senate, 41st District?

BS:  Thank you, David! The pleasure is all mine.

I've been interested in politics from a very early age, but for a long time I had such little faith in politicians that I tuned it out completely. Like many libertarians, that all changed for me when Ron Paul ran for president. For the first time in many years, I had a belief that, as rare as it was, there actually was such a thing as a principled politician. And not only that, his message was resonating strongly with so many people. I realized I had to get active again.

So I went to work volunteering for the Ron Paul campaign. I went out and caucused with Republicans, and I became a Ron Paul delegate.

In my precinct, a very nice older gentleman was present and gave me some advice. He pulled me aside and told me how important it was that I was there, and that there were so many young people out caucusing. He told me to make sure I came back the next time because the next generation will be in charge soon, and it's very important our voice is heard.

But it was not to be. Because as nice and accepting as the rank and file members of the Republican party are, the leadership refuses to accept anybody who will actually stand up against big government. No sooner than we libertarians gained our voice, Republican leadership took it away through a series of rules changes. These shenanigans were particularly egregious in King County, where Lori Sotelo repeatedly disavowed Ron Paul delegates, and even kicked them out of at least one caucus venue.

I left the Republican party.

And if that same gentleman were to ask why I am not showing up to the Republican caucuses, I would have to tell him to ask Lori Sotelo.

My final inspiration to get onto the ballot arrived with the I-405 tolling scheme. Everything there is to hate about government is featured front and center in this deal: Crony-corporatism, taxes upon taxes, and a "solution" which not only doesn't help traffic congestion, but made it worse.

The incumbent in my district played a key role in this nightmare. And he happens to be Republican.

The chance to take down a typical big government Republican is all the inspiration I need.

DM:  Sounds like you're coming out strong as a fighter.  Many Libertarians are still looked at as the "underdog."  However, we can see a dynamic shift in the political scene as you mentioned, during the Ron Paul campaign.  In the Libertarian spirit of Ron Paul's campaign, what truly sets you apart from your Republican incumbent counterpart?

BS:  That I am, David! It's certainly true that I will be an underdog in terms of funding. My opponent is likely to raise upwards of half a million dollars. However, when it comes to ideas, he is as bankrupt as any established politician.

For example, as a sitting member of the Senate Transportation Committee, he has had several chances to stop the now infamous I-405 tolling disaster. Common sense would tell anybody that reducing the number of general purpose lanes would slow down traffic. Now that this entirely predictable consequence has come to pass, he and other Republicans are falling all over themselves to blame Lynn Petersen and the WSDOT. They aren't entirely blameless, certainly. But you can hardly blame them for the fact that 65% of toll revenue goes directly back into the pockets of the toll system operators. Or the fact that Steve Litzow sponsored new gas taxes that have just gone into effect, and will increase yet again before the year is out.

So basically he's just another big government tax-and-spend-and-tax-again Republican. All I have to do is walk the walk on lowering taxes, and reducing big government bloat, and I can beat his ideas.

But we can do better. I'm shooting for the moon!

DM:  What information can you give our readers, about long term actions during your term?

BS:  Besides repealing the I-405 tolls lanes, there are a lot of initiatives I'd love to get passed. In no particular order:

  •     End the de-facto monopoly of Comcast by requiring that all fees generated by publicly owned infrastructure be given directly back to the people. This will encourage smaller competitors who cannot afford ludicrous usage fees imposed by municipal authorities to piggyback on existing underground wiring.
  •     End the Washington State Liquor Control Board's unfair discrimination against the cannabis industry.
  •     Lower the insane 75% excise tax on marijuana businesses. It kills jobs, and only encourages the more dangerous drug known as alcohol.
  •     End the legalized local monopolies of car dealerships by allowing the direct sales of vehicles all over Washington state. This will save car buyers an average of $1,500 dollars on their purchase, and could be much more!
  •     Empower justice through jury nullification by passing a law requiring judges to instruct juries to pass a not-guilty verdict in cases where passing a guilty verdict would be a miscarriage of justice.
  •     Nullify the drug war by barring the DEA from executing raids in the state of Washington on legalized drugs.
  •     Nullify domestic surveillance by prohibiting the state of Washington from aiding and abetting the activities of those 4th-amendment scofflaws at the NSA, CIA, FBI, DEA, and IRS.
  •     Promote economic and social justice by adopting a basic income welfare system, rather than our current system which disincentivizes-- and sometimes disallows-- any progress to move out of poverty.
  •     Improve education by allowing more school choice. Continue to build upon our charter school progress, and move beyond the never-ending testing paradigm.
There is SO much more where that came from, David!

DM:  Quite an extensive list, especially if it keeps going.  Let's expand on schooling a little more.  This is a hot issue for your area.  What are your plans, such as interaction with the community to help them build a better schooling system?

BS:  We absolutely need to empower a union of parents out there to be able to do what's best for their families. One way to do that is to allow "parental triggers," which give parents the ability to change the administration of a poorly performing public school-- including the ability to turn it into a charter school. And who would object to a fail safe measure like this?

DM:  One would see the validity of your point.  How can our readers get involved that want to see more from your campaign?

BS:  Thanks for asking! They can Like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter @bryan_simonson. Visit and subscribe to email updates, sign up to volunteer for canvassing, or just send a small donation for liberty. And, they're always welcome to message me directly at

DM:  Bryan, it's been a pleasure having you here.  Following up with you on your campaign will be a must.  What final thoughts would you like to close out with to our readers?

BS:  Thank you, David!

The most important thing to remember is that we don't have to stand by idly while our liberties are taken from us. There is another option: Fight!

There is no better place to fight than Washington state: Our top two primary means you can-- and MUST!-- vote your conscience without regret.

There is no better time than NOW: The Republican and Democratic front runners have are universally reviled. Libertarians offer a better option now, when it is needed most.

We alone align good intentions with good results. We alone will get the government out of your business, and your bedroom. We alone stand in defiance of the rampant corruption of crony corporatism and special interests.

And we will take this fight local until we win back our liberty, inch by inch.

Bryan Simonson speaking at the LPWA 2016 Convention
Bryan Simonson speaking at the LPWA 2016 Convention

Friday, April 8, 2016

48th District candidate for WA State Rep, Michelle Darnell (L) Interview

The following contribution is from Seattle-based independent journalist, David Malekar; who regularly publishes content to the WashCo Chronicle and other online publicationsThe interviewee, Michelle Darnell, is the 48th District Legislative Libertarian Candidate for Washington State.  You can find more information on Michelle at the website and follow her on Facebook.

Michelle Darnell
Michelle Darnell
DM:  First question is the one many are buzzing about.  In the event that you win, you would be the first ever elected U.S. Libertarian Woman in History?

MD:  Yes, I would be the first female Libertarian elected to a legislative office. I am told it can't be done, but I see that as a challenge. It is time for women to lead a political and spiritual revolution in this country. Our homes, our children, and if I may say . . . our men are under attack.  I am hearing from women all over the country, that for the first time in their lives they are getting involved in politics. No disrespect to our male counterparts, but enough is enough.
With respect to the Libertarian party, Women can offer a resilience and a compassion that the party has been lacking. The party has been a bit too cerebral. You must change the heart before you change the mind and women can have some perspective that the party has lacked.  Frankly, I believe the LP is the place for feminists but a new kind of feminism; one that elevates men, women, and the family (rather than put anyone down). 

Yes, I aim to be the first female libertarian elected and I reserve the right to be a Woman!

DM:  Have there been many challenges thus far, with having so much to stand for as the potentially first elected Woman Libertarian?

MD:  No. There is a challenge with drawing women to the party and getting the libertarian message across. There are a lot of misconceptions. For example, it is often thought that we don't care about the poor and that we would dismantle the safety net immediately upon taking office, but that is not the case. There are of course some extremists, but for most of us we are familiar with the struggle and recognize many people are still suffering from the consequences of the recession. We just don't believe that the government can respond with the agility and efficiency of small private organizations and individuals; and if we were allowed to keep more of our own money in our wallets and in our communities, we could find our own solutions. 

The reality is that we care so intensely, that we sacrifice our time and resources to try to change the world and politics in our state. We see the damage being done. The homeless are spilling on to our street, our children are suffering as a result of a broken education system, our health care system is out of the reach of many (particularly the working poor).  Our freeways are a gnarly mess.  Our businesses that support 52% of the work force, are burdened by unnecessary taxation and regulation; while the largest corporations corporate welfare. We are 2.4 B short on education and we give companies like Boeing $8.7 B  in tax relief, shifting the burned burden to elsewhere.

It would seem most of the leadership on the left and the right are out of touch. In 2014, I had an elected official tell me that the recession was over, to which I responded, "We ain't feelin' it."

DM:  Let's get to the core of your campaign.  What are your major points to address for 2016?

MD:  To reiterate. transportation, education, relief for small business so that they create jobs and increase wages, and repealing the Deed of Trust Act to stop non-judicial foreclosure in our state.

DM:  What are going to be the biggest challenges for those and how do you plan on overcoming their obstacles?

MD:  Funding. Funds are needed to get the message out, and I don't expect funds from the same sources my opponent will draw from. My funds will come from the people and small businesses, many of whom are struggling financially them selves.  Many feel their vote or dollar can't possibly make a difference, but I know that's not true. I would rather have ten dollars a month from 1,000 people, than $1,000 from 10 people.
We will be running a tight campaign. I am used to operating on a shoestring! I had 3 teenagers during the recession!

The main thing is that I want people to engage. We have been told that we must vote the lesser of two evils and that our vote and participation doesn't count.  These are lies to keep us from engaging; and apathy and complacency are enemies of justice and freedom. At the end of the day we can't blame the government, big labor, or the big corporations for the demise of our state; the blame lies with us.  If we accept responsibility, we can reclaim the power we actually have! I am an example. I am just a Woman from Ferndale; but because I chose to engage 7 year ago, I have had some amazing successes and experiences, and have met some incredible people along the way. Together, we can change the world; one heart at time.

DM:  You speak a lot on the foreclosure issues and the repeal of the Deed of Trust Act; how does the person who is currently living on the street know that your plans will put him into a home?

MD:  It may not put him immediately in a home, but it will stop the practice of turning homeowners in to renters.  That is causing an increase in rents, by leveraging the banks to negotiate modifications from people who should legitimately qualify. Banks who benefited from tax payer bailout should not be kicking tax payers out of their homes, or tricking them in to foreclosure.  Since our AG [Attorney General] is not shutting down the foreclosure mills, we must do so by repealing the Deed of Trust Act.

It also should be noted that there may be money on the table as banks should reimburse our state for the recording fees they avoided paying by creating the MERS system, and side stepping out 200 year old title recordation system.

To get that fellow in a home, we need to reduce the costs associated with building affordable housing by reducing regulation, taxation, and zoning rules.  We need to recover some of those recording fees that were supposed to go toward building affordable housing.  Banks have sucked the marrow out of our communities and we need to stop that from happening. Repealing the Deed of Trust Act and making it hard for banks to foreclose, is one way to to this.

DM:  You've laid out quite an intensive plan so far.  What do you want to see happen within your first six months in office?

MD:  Like Sonny Bono, repeal as many unnecessary laws as possible! Work to get government out of our bedrooms, out of our businesses, and out of our way.  Identify areas of waste and excess.  Repeal the Deed of Trust Act and leverage the banks to negotiate fairly with people, and not disrespect our laws. End double taxation (tolls).  Work to break up the monopolies by loosening up regulations.  Increase school choice via charters schools, and a voucher system.

I am in communication now with policy advisers from the left and the right perspective; to identify specific laws that I can change to achieve these goals and that will likely pass muster.

I would hope to do everything I can to free up the market and free up people so that they can enjoy increased liberty, justice and opportunity. That is my goal, anything I do will be measured by that intent.

DM:  What will be your target long-term goals in office?

MD:  I want to be the first Female Libertarian elected. After that, I am not sure. I am pretty focused with that goal.  I have never really wanted to be a politician. I just want to BE the change. I suppose what I do next will depend upon what the people want. I am inclined to want to take a break from politics as I have been working extremely hard for over 7 years and miss my life and family, but I will go where I am called.

DM:  Thanks for all the information we were able to cover today, Michelle. A lot of eyes are on your campaign. What finally thoughts / points would you like to leave for our readers?

MD:  I really appreciate the support and the energy of my campaign volunteers. It is a challenge to prevail in a two party system and I can not do it will out a passionate team behind me.

I thought long and hard how to run and decided I had to be true to my heart and all those who are  valiantly working to restore power, justice, and liberty to the people of my state. They call themselves Libertarian, and I am proud to carry the flag for them.

Together we can be the positive change Washington yearns for. BE the change and join my team!

Thank you,