Briefly tell us about yourself and why you’re running for president.
I’m a Pittsburgh native, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and a Christian. I grew up in a Democratic area and household but registered as a Republican in college. After serving as a U.S. Naval Officer, I returned to Pennsylvania and taught myself computer programming. I used those skills over the next 30 years to build technology startups into companies. Along the way I had an amazing woman take me as her husband, and together we adopted three incredible girls. I enjoy reading, writing, teaching, and urban hiking/photography.
After watching year after year of failed promises, I finally said, "Enough!" in 2012 and switched my party registration to Libertarian. I don’t think that either major party (Democrat or Republican) has a real interest in changing how they do business or addressing any of those issues.
I am running for President because I am tired. Tired of seeing our government grow year after year. Tired of seeing the government, time and time again, choose to restrict and limit individual liberty. Tired of the government spying on its citizens, supporting questionable foreign policy, and funding endless wars. Tired of seeing the government run up spending and increase the debt every year, jeopardizing all of our children’s futures.
#1 : Decrease the size and scope of the Federal government.
Everybody has some part of the Federal government that they particularly dislike - and usually for good reason. Maybe it’s the IRS, the DEA, the ATF, the VA, the TSA, or even just the DMV. We all want to reduce SOME part of the government. Admitting that is the first step in realizing that it’s not just the one agency that’s rotten - it’s the entire federal bureaucratic structure.
#2 : Eliminate taxes for a majority of Americans and small businesses.
Income taxes on people earning under $50k/year and on small businesses earning under $5M/year account for less than 10% of federal theft... excuse me, “income”. If we can reduce spending by that much, the vast majority of Americans - especially those working blue-collar jobs - will not pay any taxes whatsoever. That will benefit the economy enormously, and provide people with a direct demonstration that “less taxes and less government” means prosperity, not chaos.
#3 : Immigration and naturalization reform.
Our immigration system is beyond busted. It routinely accomplishes the exact opposite of its stated intent. If we want our country to be a “light on the hill”, to stay the land of the free and the home of the brave, then we need immigration reform. This is an issue that reaches across the party divide. Both Democrats and Republicans have their own vision of what proper “immigration” means. A return to an “Ellis Island” model of immigration appeals to both bases.
What would your pitch be to a lifelong Republican who is unhappy with Trump? What would your pitch be to a lifelong Democrat who is unhappy with Biden?
Democrat: “I can completely understand. Biden, well - he’s just a symptom, isn’t he? Bernie got tossed two elections in a row now. Look at what they did to Tulsi, just because she’s anti-war. The DNC may have been interested in changing the world once. They don’t act like it any more. It’s all about power games... and when someone like you or Tulsi really does want to change things, they use their position and power to stop it. You want to change the world? The first thing you’re going to have to do is get the government out of the way so people can make it happen.
Not from past campaigns, but from writing: “Your villain is always a hero in his own eyes.”
There are a few truly rotten, evil people in the world. Chances are that guy who’s asking you a heated question about abortion or ranting at you about Muslims or jumping ugly about corporate bailouts isn’t one of them.
They’re human beings, doing their best, even if they disagree with me. I can treat them as a villain and maybe feel smug for a moment by showing them how “wrong” they are. Or I can recognize that, like me they have their own hopes, worries, and concerns - and do my best to show them I am trying to understand because I want to help.
One way wins arguments. The other wins allies.
Tell us about your campaign organization.
I’ve got volunteers in eight states and growing. I also have some “friendlies” here and there who aren’t volunteers but are willing to advise me on specific issues. COVID-19 has had a serious impact on growth. As a new face in the party, I’ve relied on in-person conversations to find team members. Cancellation of state conventions, lockdown and isolation have made connecting with prospective LP volunteers much more difficult.
How will nominating you impact Libertarians running viable campaigns for lower office?
They are the very obvious points of contact within their communities and states. As such, they are critical to growing the party and spreading a consistent message of liberty. I would want to work with each of them to reach potential voters, both for my benefit and theirs. Each and every voter that we can work together to win over for them translates into a potential LP voter in the national election as well.
The Libertarian Party’s 2016 ticket received 4,489,341 votes, 3.3%. Will you improve on this in 2020, and how? Please be specific.
Libertarians have a lot of great ideas. Unfortunately, a lot of those great ideas involve big changes. Huge changes that affect a lot of people... and change is scary. Despite what some politicians seem to think, scaring the crap out of people is not a winning strategy.
I intend to show the American people that a Libertarian President won’t mean a complete upheaval in their lives. That while there will be changes, my administration is not going to “cancel government”. That I am going to be very serious and methodical about making sure that existing obligations are met and people are cared for.
On top of that, I intend to run a positive campaign. Yes, the conventional wisdom is that attack ads work. I believe that the American people are tired of being threatened and frightened by scare tactics. I intend to give them someone to vote for, instead of vote against.