Today, September 29, 2014, the Libertarian Party of Collier County (LPCC) in Florida issued its “2014 November General Election Liberty List” for voters. For the November election, the Libertarian Party of Collier County weighed in on seven races (Governor, Attorney General, US Congress D19, Soil and Water Board Group 4 and 5, School Board District 3, and Marco Island City Council) and endorsed nine candidates. The LPCC has also included its recommendations for the three Florida Constitutional Amendment ballot questions. Their decisions were based on qualifications, performance and dedication to the principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual rights.
For Governor of Florida, the local Libertarian Party of Florida affiliate endorsed Adrian Wyllie. Wyllie is a husband, father, small business owner, military veteran, radio personality, and community leader and a third-generation Floridian. As the group states, “He is an honest, principled man who understands what his oath to defend the Constitution means. Adrian’s consistent stances in support of civil liberties and 2nd Amendment rights truly set him apart from the Democrat and Republican candidates. He has been a leading voice against the REAL ID act, as well as the crippling regulations that have afflicted the craft brewery industry.” Wyllie has submitted an economic plant which cuts the state budget by 30 percent while offering homeowners the elimination of property taxes. This should give the average homeowner an extra $200 per month to spend, save or do with as they wish.
The local political party also stated, “As Governor, he will continue to defend all Floridians’ life, liberty and property from excessive taxation, overbearing regulation, invasions of privacy, and all unconstitutional interference from the state and federal governments. He will invigorate Florida’s struggling economy by cutting taxes and red tape and getting government out of the way of small business. He will launch innovative free-market ideas that will help ensure that Floridians have a solid fiscal plan to weather any national debt crisis.”
For Florida’s next Attorney General, the LPCC would like to see Bill Wohlsifer in that position. Bill Wohlsifer is knowledgeable, principled, and a compassionate advocate for the individual. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in 1991, and Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from St. Thomas University School of Law in 1996, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class. His experience ranges from real estate and infringement cases to researching the subjects of environmental impact, medical marijuana (he wrote the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act), prison reform and patient rights. Bill has worked as a Senior Assistant to the General Counsel for the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
For Florida’s Congressional District 19, the LPCC has chosen Ray Netherwood to represent that district. Netherwood is a strong proponent of liberty and of smaller government and served our country in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. He has a proven track record for leadership and he understands there needs to be a true connection between our representatives and the people. The LPCC is confident that Ray Netherwood will adhere to our Constitution and truly represent our fellow citizens in District 19.
The LPCC endorsed Jared Jones for the Collier County Soil and Water Conservation District in Group 4. While this office is relatively unknown to the public, the Board has an annual operating budget of over $200,000. Jared is a proven and passionate activist for fiscal conservatism and limited government here in Collier County. Jared has a background in construction engineering inspection (CEI) and has first-hand experience with soil and water through his work in earthworks as an inspector. He’s been a consultant for Collier County, Florida Department of Transportation and the F.A.A. The LPCC stated, “Thanks to Jared’s dedication and principles combined with his expertise in the field, the LPCC has full confidence that Jared will serve the best interests of Collier County taxpayers on this board.”
William Tolp was also endorsed by the LPCC to be elected to Group 5 of the Collier County Soil and Water Conservation District for many of the same reasons mentioned above. The LPCC said of Tolp, “Tolp is bright, articulate, passionate, and dedicated to the principles of limited government. We trust William Tolp to find and eliminate redundancies and unnecessary expenditures in the Board’s bloated budget and to defend the interests of Collier taxpayers while ensuring that all necessary functions are handled appropriately. We believe that his voice is much needed on this board.”
The LPCC feels the Collier County School Board in District 3 will be in strong hands with Erika Donalds. The group endorsed her election to the Board because she is the driving force behind Parents R.O.C.K., Donalds has demonstrated the ability to energize parents about getting involved in their children’s education. In addition to Parents R.O.C.K., Donalds has been on the frontlines of the battle against Common Core, warning about the dangers of increased top-down bureaucracy in education. Her background in finance and dedication to fiscal responsibility will provide the keen eye necessary to keep the budget in check by reducing waste and redundancy, a service that all taxpayers in Collier County will surely appreciate. Donalds is also the mother of school-aged children, so every decision made by the School Board will be felt at home, an important addition to a government that is so frequently lacking in elected officials who must live by their own rules. Donalds is approachable, smart, and energetic.
Marco Island City Council positions by Joe Batte, Bob Brown and Victor Ross were all endorsed by the LPCC. According to the LPCC, “Joe Batte has demonstrated a clear and proper understanding of the role of government, that is, to protect the individual rights of the people, when he took a courageous stand by supporting the efforts of the Libertarian Party of Collier County when he voted in favor of the Resolution in early 2013 that stated that “no city resources be used in the implementation of any Federal law, executive order, or executive directive that infringes upon established Constitutional rights.” Victor Rios has also been at the forefront of spending issues throughout Collier County, articulately advocating against a recent MSBU bailout for La Peninsula on Isles of Capri, in addition to defending community interests at Collier County School Board meetings. Bob Brown has been a leading voice for fiscal responsibility, advocating for controlling the debt and limiting spending, in addition to listening and responding to the needs and concerns of voters. There are still many issues that need to be addressed on Marco Island, and the Libertarian Party of Collier County believes that Batte, Brown, and Rios are the three candidates who can most effectively lead the City while maintaining the proper role of government in the lives of free people.”
The LPCC believes Amendment 1, while touting “no new taxes,” hides its true agenda under layers of political framework. Amendment 1, named Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, will dedicate 33% of net revenues from the existing excise (stamp) tax on documents to the “Land Acquisition Trust Fund,” taking necessary and earmarked funds away from other projects such as housing and transportation. Amendment 1 does not ensure there will never be a tax increase. Amendment 1 could also be used to send “treated” water to the Everglades. Given the government’s dismal track record on protecting lands and resources they own, the group believes this action could potentially further damage the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades. While the LPCC strongly supports environmental protection, a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of natural resources, they believe the wording in Amendment 1 is far too broad and does not belong in the Florida Constitution. The also believe the acquisition, preservation and environmentalism in Florida was sufficiently covered in the landmark 1999 “Forever Florida Act.”
Amendment 1 does not promote the ideals of responsible ownership nor meet the criteria for a constitutional amendment. It only deepens the pockets of the government while advancing the idea of state rather than private ownership. The LPCC urges voters to vote ‘NO’ on Amendment 1.
The LPCC endorses the passage of Amendment 2 because it believes there are both practical and principled reasons to support the legalization of medical cannabis. First and foremost, they do not believe that it is the role of government to determine what an individual may put into his or her mouth any more than it is their role to tell individuals what may come out of it.
The local political party stated today, “Though this is strictly a state measure, we must remember that it is also unconstitutional to prohibit any substance at the federal level (there is no enumerated authority in the Constitution). Remember, prohibition of alcohol required a constitutional amendment. Twenty-three (23) states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Practically speaking, medical cannabis has been shown to be a very safe and effective treatment for hundreds of ailments. In states that have legalized medical cannabis, overdoses from prescription painkillers have dropped significantly, and teen usage rate has not increased relative to states where medical marijuana remains illegal. Many people with painful and debilitating diseases like ALS and cancer have found medical cannabis to be the only effective treatment. Continuing the prohibition of medical cannabis is therefore akin to torture of the people that could benefit from its use. It is our view that government ought not to be involved in medical decisions – period. This is an issue that both the right (limited government, no government involvement in healthcare) and the left (civil liberties) should be united on. We cannot afford to look at this ballot amendment in terms of electoral politics but rather as an issue of individual rights. We therefore very strongly recommend that everyone vote YES on Amendment 2.”
On Amendment 3, the Libertarian Party of Collier County is recommending a “NO” vote. Amendment 3, if passed, would give the Governor the authority to prospectively fill a vacancy in a judicial office prior to the completion of the judge’s term. Currently, the Governor must wait until the judicial term is over before the vacancy can be filled. The Florida Constitution is clear at this time that a vacancy does not occur until the judicial term is over.
The LPCC stated today, “This change reeks of political opportunism rather than sound constitutional policy. Yes on 3 supporters are asking us to allow a Governor, who has either lost a reelection bid or is termed out, to make judicial appointments (for terms that have not yet expired!) on the last day in office to prevent a newly sworn-in Governor from making those appointments at the time the judicial term is actually over. One question we should ask ourselves is whether or not we would want a new, incoming Governor, having just been given an electoral mandate by voters, to be bound by the politically-motivated appointments of his predecessor. This change is unnecessary and unwarranted, and is being driven by an effort of politicization of our judicial system by the establishment for short-term goals without proper consideration of the long-term consequences. Vote NO on 3.”