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.
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 BryanSimonson.com 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 email@example.com.
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|