The following article appeared in the June 9th edition of the Bulverde Standard, the Canyon Lake Week and the Comal County Beacon. It is written by Doug Kirk, the editor of these newspapers.
Will The Libertarian Party Make History In Our Backyard?
By Douglas Kirk
I don’t think there is any question that the voting public is upset and that in November we are going to see some remarkable changes in the way our government is run. Most people agree that it is time to take out the trash.
The Republicans handed the presidency to Obama after the tax and spend performance of their stint in power and Obama is going to hand it right back to the Republicans when the public realizes just how messed up he made an already messed up situation. Taxpayers are usually asleep, but not any more. They have awakened and they are pretty upset with just about everybody in office, no matter what the political stripe.
We were all told in grade school that American politics is a two party system. That turned out to be a lie. America does have two dominant parties and power has been handed back and forth between the Democrats and the Republicans so many times that it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between them. When the Republicans can out-spend the Democrats, you know something is amiss. Yet, if you examine the facts, it seems like every new administration outspends the previous one, despite the party platform--some planks of which call for less spending.
A few years ago I met a guy by the name of Wes Benedict at an conference in Austin. Wes was then the Executive Director of the Texas Libertarian Party which he served between 2004 and 2008. I asked him why he was a Libertarian and he explained that for years he had been a Republican but then one day he realized that the Republican party no longer stood for less government and lower taxes. He went searching for a political party that believed in the constitution and in liberty and he found the Libertarian Party. “We are for smaller government and freedom on all issues,” he said on FOX’s Freedom Watch just this year.
Wes is now the Executive Director of the National Libertarian Committee after demonstrating his leadership in Texas. While he was in Austin he recruited record numbers of candidates and they received record numbers of votes at the ballot box. He said that every vote for a Libertarian is a vote for smaller government on all issues. One of the things he said when he was in Texas was that the Libertarian Party is the third largest party in America and that as more and more Americans realize that there is a viable alternative, they will be supporting more and more Libertarian candidates.
Right here in our own county we have a fascinating race brewing between Republican incumbent Doug Miller as District 73 State Representative and Libertarian challenger Robert Nowotny.
I know Representative Miller as the freshman Texas Legislator who tried to make a name for himself by pushing the Douglas Kirk Law. The bill did not pass, but Miller was actually hoping to help his buddies in New Braunfels by passing a law that was specifically written for me--according to what County Judge Danny Scheel told the media, including the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. The law was intended to stop me from using the Public Information Act to gather documents, to restrict my liberty and to cripple anyone who is trying to make their government transparent. Amazingly, that bill was carried forth by a Republican, the guy who was elected to office by a mere 38 vote margin in 2008 (against Nathan Macias, who had won his seat from Carter Casteel in 2006 with a 46 vote margin!)
If anybody wants to say that Miller has the election sewed up in November 2010, they obviously know nothing about politics.
The Libertarian candidate Nowotny could actually defeat Miller in what would be the upset of the century. Examine the facts:
Miller will spend a bunch of money as he has demonstrated his ability to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interest groups. Miller, however, has alienated freedom-loving people within his four county district (Comal, Bandera, Gillespie and Kendall) with his anti-freedom stance on the Douglas Kirk Law.
Miller’s base is preciously small (a 38 vote margin is not a landslide) and probably getting smaller as voters get to know him. Miller did not even carry his home County of Comal when he ran against Macias.
Miller is, by trade, an insurance man.
Nowotny, on the other hand, just for starters, has a much more interesting background. He’s a film producer with a pile of awards, including such notables as a Primetime Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Barbara Jordan Award For Excellence in Communication on Behalf of the Disabled, a CINE Golden Eagle, Wilbur Award (Best Religious Film Of The Year), Best American Film Of The Decade (The International Festival of the Arts--shared with SHINDLER'S LIST and GETTYSBURG) and others. As a film producer, Nowotny certainly knows how to raise money, since that is part of what producers do. And, for every dollar Miller raises, Nowotny will certainly match that with a more creative and clever way to get his message across--at less cost.
Nowotny is all about freedom, and while Miller was spending his time the last two years trying to shut liberty down, Nowotny was in nearby Boerne making a film and encouraging free expression. Born and raised in Comal County, a fifth generation local, Nowotny will likely do well in the same area Miller couldn’t even carry.
The real question then becomes, can a Libertarian actually beat a Republican?
The answer to that lies in two things. One, just what kind of Republican is State Representative Miller (and we know the answer to that by his effort to pass the Douglas Kirk Law) and two, are voters so mad at the “two party” political system that they will vote for someone in the third largest party? Nowotny is betting “yes” and is building a campaign designed to unseat Miller from the spot he barely took from Macias.
It’s pretty clear: A seat that unstable is up for grabs and any mistakes on the part of Miller (trying to pass a law to stop reporters from getting the facts about government shenanigans) could likely make the house of cards fall.
If Nowotny were a dummy maybe he couldn’t do it. But Libertarian Party nominee Nowotny has risen to the top of his profession, has run his own business the last 28 years, has an MA from the University of Texas and has campaigned publicly about lowering taxes and shrinking government.
Miller’s campaign speeches go like this: “Hi, there, it’s such a pleasure to serve you...”
He’s smooth, but, is there any substance?
So can Nowotny really win? People want to know if Comal County will make history in this race by electing the first Texas Representative who sports the (L) behind his name. Wes Benedict did the groundwork. He demonstrated that the party is growing, and that it is just a matter of time as the American people continue to get fed up with business as usual. So the ball has been tossed up near the net. Now all Nowotny has to do is jam it through the hoop and send Miller to the penalty box for ever considering something like the Douglas Kirk Law.
November is on the way, and Miller’s days as an elected official just might be numbered. Mark Nov. 2 as the day to take out the trash all across America.