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,