2014 is an election year in Ohio, and yeahstub.com is sitting down with some of the candidates for key races so that the voters will be able to make informed decisions. The next in this series is a phone interview with congressional candidate Dave Harlow, the Libertarian Party nominee for Ohio’s Tenth District.
Harlow has been politically active since the sixties, being both involved in the Civil Rights and Antiwar movements of that era. He was an ardent supporter of Ross Perot. He is strongly opposed to candidates taking money from Wall Street, and has vowed to never do so himself.
We spoke with Harlow in a phone interview regarding his run for United States Congress.
Why are you running for office?
I am disgusted with what’s going on in the country. I’m just absolutely fed up with everything.
What are your qualifications?
I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve been politically active since the sixties, as a supporter not as a candidate. I was in jail for civil rights in the sixties. I’ve never held office.
Third party candidates have a reputation for being spoilers for the two major parties. Do you agree with this assessment?
I think it’s very debatable. I’m really more of a Ross Perot supporter. It can happen, but it’s not very often.
Why do you think that you have a better chance than past third party candidates?
I don’t know whether I have a better chance. This time I might make a splash because everybody is fed up, look at congress’ approval rating. If I can get that percentage, this will be a ramp up act for 2016. I’m trying to put together that database of independents and libertarians.
Same-sex marriage appears to be heading toward legalization in most states. What is your stance on this issue?
My stance is not a strong stance. It’s becoming accepted to where it’s not really an issue anymore.
What is your opinion on oil fracking?
I don’t have a strong stance. It’s obviously a good source of energy. There are some risks involved in it. In Ohio their doing some now and they may be doing more. We need the natural gas and oil, but we need to take precautions on the risks and so forth.
Do you support an increase in alternative forms of energy, including green energy such as solar and wind?
I do for the long term. In the short term it’s not particularly efficient at the moment. It would be a very good idea, for a variety of reasons. If every home had a solar panel on their house that would be a big help that maybe we’d see by mid century.
Do you support the legalization of marijuana/cannabis/hemp?
Yes. First of all, all libertarians do. We can certainly decide to treat it more like alcohol, you can’t be running around totally high, then you might have some explaining to do.
Do you have any any lasting concerns about the regulation or safety of marijuana?
Some, yeah. The stuff they got now is stronger than what we had back in the sixties. They say there are some health risks, but what about the health risk of throwing kids in jail for mere possession?
What is your opinion on gun rights?
I’m in favor of gun rights. I’m no gun nut, but I want people to be able to get guns, they have to have that right.
What action, if any, will take with regard to the Affordable Care Act?
A good chunk of it’s going to have to go. It looks like another government boondoggle. I have no problem with some parts, if parents want kids on plan until they’re 26 they can have that. It’s not very affordable and I’m not sure how much health care will get delivered.
Do you support school choice in the form of vouchers?
Yes, that’s got to be looked at. The public school is totally failing.
Do you support an increase in the minimum wage?
No, the federal government has to get out of that.
How would you handle the current immigration situation?
Immigration is going to have to be limited to those skills that we need. This thing where we’re letting in all kinds of people has got to stop. The borders have got to be secured. These kids are eventually going to have to be deported, admittedly to some bad areas. We can’t take this many refugees. It should be handled as humanely as possible, but we’re broke. We can’t handle anymore people.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
My main thing is the economy. We’ve got to get the jobs back that they sent overseas. Our infrastructure is going to have to be modernized, some on the power grid and so forth. Make it harder to protect from sabotage and mass coronal ejections. That’s going to be a problem. Education needs to get back to the STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and math. We need electricians and so forth.
Washington has got to be cleaned up from the revolving door. We need better politicians and regulations, the lobbyists have got to be controlled. I’m asking congress to reform itself, not sure how far that’s going to go. They love it. Citizens United has got to be reversed, corporations putting unlimited money into campaigns. Money is corrupting the system.We need control over lobbying contributions in general.
Entitlements are going to have to be reduced. That’s politically unpopular but it’s got to be done. We need to give up the empire. We have bases all over the world we can’t afford. End affirmative action, it’s got to be a meritocracy. Global warming is coming, but there’s not much we can do at this time, we’re too broke.
Government has got to be phased out the housing business also. I’m not sure they had any business there anyway. 90 percent of that is owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If you’re on welfare no new kids. We’re building a permanent underclass with that. Tort reform also. Loser pays at a minimum, maybe some restitution also. We’ve got to stop this thinking where everybody sues over everything.
We need the re-industrialization of the U.S. We’ve got to get jobs back. We’ve got problems now, we’re going to have more. Make the prison system go to a labor camp system. Prisoners producing their own food and fiber. We can no longer afford 35 thousand a year for each prisoner. We need the phoneticization of the English language as far as possible. Spelling is awful.