Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Logan Fleckenstein -L State Rep. Candidate for Michigan 60th Dist. Speaks on Medicare, Education and More

The following contribution is from Seattle-based independent journalist, David Malekar; who regularly publishes content to the WashCo Chronicle and other online publicationsThe interviewee, Logan Fleckenstein, is running for the 60th's State Representative in Michigan as a Libertarian.  You can find more information on Logan at the website www.logandistrict60.com and follow on Facebook at facebook.com/LoganFleckenstein.

Logan Fleckenstein Libertarian Michigan State Representative Candidate
Logan Fleckenstein -L Michigan State Representative Candidate
DM: Thanks for sitting in with the Liberty Chronicle Independent, Mr. Fleckenstein. Let's introduce you and your campaign to the readers. What are you running for and what brought you to this year's election?

LF: Thank you for having me. I've been interested in politics since around the age of 13 when I helped campaign with the local Republican party. Even back then I knew I had a future in politics. However, I didn't become a libertarian until the Ron Paul revolution in 2012.

I graduated from Western Michigan University this past December with a Bachelor's in Political Science with minors in Sociology and Philosophy. Yet, what makes my graduation unique is what 1 in 68 people in this country have in common, Autism. As a baby my mother was told that I would never talk, have an imagination, have a social life, and that my best hope would be living in adult assistance care for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I had a teacher who was able to stand in defiance of the status quo of the day and paved the way for my mother to be able to raise me properly. News of my graduation has been on various local and internet news outlets. I have had so many tell me that my story of beating the odds has inspired them and people in their lives. If I can do one thing in this election, I want  to further inspire others to not only pursue their dreams but fight for the liberation of others to do the same.

The government needs to be reduced in size and scope. It is failing to protect our natural rights. Michigan is perhaps one of the worst offenders when it comes to abuses in power. Michigan has a history of a broken criminal justice system. For example in Kalamazoo (the district I'm running in) a study found that in 2013 blacks were twice as likely as whites to get pulled over by police.

Of course there are entire books that talk about the issues facing Detroit and Flint (and Kalamazoo). A core of the vast majority of these issues continues to be systematic racism and big government. A top priority of mine is to combat both of these head on, and with no mercy.

DM:  What issue in your Michigan District is being ignored the most by other candidates, that you will address and act on?

LF: The problem with my district is part of the same problem Flint and Detroit have had for decades now, government bureaucracy. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and I can tell Michigan has been paving that road for a long time. For example the current state representative in my district is pushing a bill that will require insurance companies to cover wigs for kids with cancer. Of course anytime a company has a new cost to cover they are going to simply pass it down to their employees or the customers themselves. On the other hand I want to get rid of mandates on insurance companies and let people pick the best insurance that works for them. I believe getting rid of mandates will help bring insurance costs down and make it easier for consumers to gain access to the best insurance for them.

Another problem in this state that also greatly affects my district is beer distribution. Kalamazoo is known for its variety of micro breweries. Micro brewers aren't allowed to have retail or wholesale licensing. Any brewing company that wants its beer to be distributed has to go through a handful of distribution centers that are the only ones legally allowed to do so. To make matters worse brewers aren't even allowed to sell beer directly to retailers.

DM:  What about criminal justice reform?  Your thoughts for the area and how to help relations with both public servants and citizens?

LF:  Firstly any serious discussion about criminal justice reform has to include the end of the war on drugs. Cannabis legalization has hit a recent obstacle in Michigan. MIlegalize worked tirelessly in order to get enough signatures for cannabis legalization to get on the ballot this November. However Governor Snyder has recently signed a bill that limits petitions to 180 days for signature gathering. This made half of the signatures gathered for the cannabis legalization petition invalid. Hopefully MIlegalize will be able to fight this in court and get cannabis legalization on the ballot this November. If it cannot I will work on legislation that will legalize cannabis. I also will work on legislation that will at the very least decriminalize (if not outright legalize) all drugs.

Secondly, I would take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that juries are told about their right of jury nullification. For those unaware Jury nullification is when a jury acquits a defendant not because they believe the defendant didn't break the law but rather because the law itself is unjust. Jury nullification is key to giving some power back to the people. With it unjust laws can essentially be made null and void. As far as I'm concerned without the option of jury nullification there cannot be a fair trial.

As far as improving the relationship between public sector and private sector, I think the best way to improve that is to simply make the government serve the people. Government's most basic role is to defend the individual's constitutional rights. Right now our government in DC and Lansing is failing at doing so. The public sector has overstretched its influence and as a result it has become very bad at doing a lot of things. A government that is true to the word of law strives to do as few of things possible but do them very well.

DM:  What improvements do you wish to bring to Education locally for students?  Such as Charter School options and more choices?

LF:  More options, more competition, and decentralization is key to improving education. Yes this means giving vouchers for charter schools and this means taking the authority of what and how children will be taught away from D.C and Lansing and give it to the parents and teachers (not the teacher unions). Parents need choices. The bureaucracy that is the public school system needs to be transformed.

As someone who has had first hand experience with the special education system I must say that the special education system is just as bad if not worse than the rest of the education system. The only reason I'm here today and was able to get the proper training to deal with Autism is because the teacher I had stood up to her bosses and did what was right in helping me deal with Autism.We need good successful teachers like her and an education system that encourages the sort of innovation that she brought to the table, which to this day is still light years ahead of the conventional methods.

Logan Fleckenstein Libertarian Michigan State Representative Candidate
Logan Fleckenstein -L Michigan State Representative Candidate
DM:  What changes can people expect in local medicare, under your guidance?

LF:  Once again like education its all about putting the power back into individuals hands. So really its less about me guiding the system as much as it is about allowing individuals to simply make their own choices in regard to what, if any, sort of health insurance they have. If free markets can enable someone to make smartphones or even up-life billions out of poverty imagine what it can do for healthcare. If I can change one thing about Medicare in general let alone my local area it's simply that there needs to be an opt out option and anyone who chooses to opt out doesn't have to pay into the program.

DM:  Mr. Fleckenstein, thank you for providing so much helpful information to our readers and the voters in your area.  What final thoughts would you like to leave with everyone for this year?

LF:  This is the year of the rise of the Libertarian party. With both parties hitting all time lows in their selection of presidential candidates and with Congress having a popularity level that's laughable it's only a matter of time before the party breaks the glass ceiling minor parties face. This party is going gain a lot of legitimacy if it learns how to act like a political party. If this party can put aside its petty infighting and learn to be more pragmatic in its approach in reaching a wider audience the Libertarian party will no longer be considered fringe. Simply saying taxation is theft and preaching the non-aggression principle isn't enough.

In order for this revolution to really take hold the party has to convey a message that comes from a place of humanity. What I mean by this is that the party has to show the country that liberty is the centerpiece to being human. Without liberty there's no art, academics, science, philosophy, and technology (just to name a few). Liberty is truly a beautiful ideal and even more so is the necessary ingredient that we ,as species ,will need if we ever hope to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.