Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Bart Hinkle writes today about Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for Virginia governor.
Hinkle says about Sarvis, "He is, to put it mildly, smart –- having earned degrees in math from Harvard and Cambridge, then a law degree from NYU, then a master's in economics from GMU. He is a native Virginian. Half-Asian, with an African-American wife, he is bulletproof on diversity grounds. He is wonkish: As a fellow at GMU's Mercatus Center, he co-authored, among other things, a paper on America's historical experience with fiscal stimuli. And he is a technological innovator: He was a winner of Google's 2008 Android Developer challenge for mobile apps."
Leesburg Today covers Patrick Hagerty's entry into the Virginia race for House of Delegates, District 33.
Hagerty will face a Democrat and a Republican in the November 2013 election.
Hagerty comments, "The government is too big and has too much control. They try to micromanage everything and it’s counter productive.”
Jonathan Parrish is the Libertarian nominee for Virginia House of Delegates, District 23. The election will be on November 5, 2013.
District 23 is in the Lynchburg area.
Jonathan Parrish has an active Facebook campaign page: go there, read about him, and give him a Like!
Ballot Access News reports that Libertarian Robert Sarvis, running for Virginia Governor this November, turned in almost 18,000 signatures for ballot access.
It's hard to run for statewide office in Virginia. To be allowed on the ballot, candidates are required to get 10,000 petition signatures. (Sarvis collected nearly 18,000, but many will be invalidated for various reasons.)
It's so hard, the article notes that Sarvis "will be only the fourth minor party nominee to get on the Virginia ballot [for governor] in the last 40 years."
In 40 years, only four alternatives to the Democrapublican monopoly. Wow.
The El Paso Times carries a story on the "Merry Christmas" bill passed by the Texas Legislature this year.
According to the article, "The governor on Thursday plans to sign into law a bipartisan bill removing any legal risks of saying 'Merry Christmas' in Texas public schools."
Score one for the pro-religion faction. Unfortunately, this battle will never end. Since most parents don't have the option of sending their children to private schools that match their religious views, they end up fighting each other over control of public schools.
There's only one path to peace, as Libertarians have pointed out for many years: separation of school and state.
The Austin American-Statesman reports on the increase in urban organic farming in the Austin area.
It sounds like a great business decision, especially when you can get large taxpayer-subsidized loans from the government!
The article notes that the Farm Service Agency offers these local farmers rates as low as 1.25 percent. Can't beat that!
Read the article for some interesting comments rationalizing the situation. And visit the Cato Institute to see some good commentary about why we should get rid of farm subsidies.
Libertarians oppose farm subsidies, whether they are for massive agribusiness, or for hip urban organic microplots.
The Texas Tribune reports on the Texas Legislature's special session for redistricting. Because of pending lawsuits, the state and federal districts will probably have to be redrawn, maybe multiple times.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think there's such a thing as "fair" redistricting. There isn't. District lines will always be arranged to enhance the power of the majority.
It would probably be better if computers could just draw compact districts without regard to factors like race or party, but even that doesn't guarantee "fairness." No matter how the districts are drawn, a lot of people will be unhappy with them.
We could get rid of districts and have a legislature based on proportional representation. That would get rid of redistricting, although it could introduce other problems.
The best thing would be to do what Libertarians have always called for: greatly reduce the size, scope, and power of government. Then politicians and special interests wouldn't worry so much about the districts, and the district lines wouldn't matter so much.
The Amarillo Globe-News reports on a federal HUD/VA grant going to Amarillo to provide assistance to homeless veterans.
It's a shame that so many people have left U.S. military service in a condition that increases their likelihood of homelessness. That's a side effect of the vast U.S. military-industrial complex. In a nutshell, America should not be generating so many veterans.
Libertarians support ending foreign wars and making big reductions in the size of the military. Then maybe there wouldn't be so much demand for these federal grants.
Since gas taxes and tolls aren't generating enough revenue for new government roads, Texas legislators are looking for creative ways of financing them with sales taxes and property taxes. The Texas Tribune reports on these "Transportation Reinvestment Zones." Uh oh.
Roads are a tough issue, since lots of people want more of them, but nobody really wants to pay for them.
It's a shame that Republicans and Democrats never talk about the possibility of competitive privately-owned roads. (Not privately-managed government toll roads!) In some situations, that could be pretty easy to arrange, and it would be a free-market solution to the demand for more roads.