Updated October 2nd, 2012
Libertarian Party of Collier County issues "Liberty List," makes recommendations and endorsements for the November 6th, 2012 general election ballot.
Naples, FL - The Libertarian Party of Collier County ("LPCC") has prepared a "Liberty List" reference which contains recommendations and endorsements determined solely by the LPCC for voters. Endorsements have been issued in races where there is a vetted Libertarian candidate running or on Constitutional Amendments while recommendations have been issued in races where there are non-partisan races, races with no vetted Libertarian candidate, or other non-Constitutional amendment ballot questions.
The following candidates (followed by office sought) have received endorsements:
- Peter Richter (Florida House, District 106) - Peter Richter is the only fiscally conservative, socially accepting candidate in this race. He will stand up to protect our liberties, both civil and economic. He is also the clear choice for the Pro-Life voter. He is not a typical Politian that will say anything just to get elected. He will stand by the principles of liberty.
- Gary Johnson / James P. Gray (President & Vice President) - Gary Johnson was the most successful 2-term governor of any state in the U.S. He had the best jobs record, balanced the budget and even left New Mexico with a 1 Billion dollar surplus, all in a state that was 2:1 Democrat. Not only does he know what to do, but how to get it done.
The following Constitutional amendments have received endorsements:
- Amendment 1 - YES
This is an obvious 10th Amendment issue and the state should have the full authority to nullify any Congressional act not authorized by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. This nullifies Obamacare and would keep Romneycare at bay as well.
- Amendment 2 - YES
The LPCC's position is that taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated entirely. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title. While the LPCC maintains that all laws should be applied equally rather than the laws being designed to selectively benefit or harm certain groups, in this instance the opportunity to reduce the tax burden imposed by the state is a step in the right direction towards total elimination of the property tax. A reduction in collected property taxes, even though directed at a certain group, will result in limiting the size and scope of government which will benefit all individual Floridians. The LPCC will continue to work to reduce the property tax with the ultimate goal of complete elimination.
- Amendment 3 - NO
This Amendment would water down the existing state revenue increase limitations and gives the state legislature more authority to bend and break their own rules. It gives them a green light to dramatically increase spending by making their baseline based on government spending as opposed to private sector growth as it is now.
- Amendment 4 - YES
While this amendment is not perfect by any means it will have the effect of reducing real property taxes, or at least slow the rate of tax increase, for most residential and commercial property owners in Florida.
- Amendment 5 - NO
There is a very good reason for requiring a 2/3 majority to overrule the Florida Supreme Court. Eliminating that provision would mean that any legislation passed by a majority of both houses of the state legislature would effectively become immune to court oversight. This amendment decimates the courts as a check and balance to the other two branches of state government.
- Amendment 6 - YES
Regardless of your position on abortion our tax dollars should not be used toward that end.
- Amendment 8 - NO
Thomas Jefferson warned us that allowing the government to fund religious institutions would inevitably lead to the government controlling those religious institutions. By allowing the state to fund religious institutions we open a Pandora's Box of unintended consequences and litigation. Though we firmly believe that faith-based charities and organizations provide a valuable benefit to Florida and the Nation, we also strongly reject those same organizations being funded with tax dollars. If the State of Florida wants to ensure that churches, synagogues and mosques and other faith-based charities are well funded, perhaps they should cut taxes so that the people of Florida would have more disposable income to donate to the faith of their choice.
- Amendment 9 - YES
For the same reasons stated in support of Amendment 2, the LPCC recommends a "YES" vote on Amendment 9 in order to continue to reduce the property tax burden on Floridians resulting in a less taxes collected by the state and a limiting of the size and scope of government. The LPCC will continue to work to reduce the property tax for all Floridians with the ultimate goal of complete elimination.
- Amendment 10 - YES
While ad valorem taxes should be completely eliminated, increasing the exemption from $25,000 to $50,000 is at least a step in the right direction. The exemption increase will help many Florida small business owners. Since ad valorem taxes apply to all business who have tangible property, raising the cap does not single out any specific group of business owners. It applies equally to all. It is still the goal of Florida libertarians to eliminate the personal property tax on Florida businesses.
- Amendment 11 - YES
This amendment is slightly different than Amendments 2 and 9 because it only authorizes the Legislature to allow (rather than mandate) counties and municipalities to grant additional homestead exemptions to low-income seniors who meet certain conditions. The most efficient and accountable form of government is that which is most easily accessible by the people, the smallest, and closest to home. This amendment will result in a grant of additional authority to our counties and municipalities. By placing this decision into the hands of our local governments the citizens of Florida will have a greater ability to express their opinions to their local elected officials through petition and via the ballot box. The LPCC believes that the property tax should be eliminated entirely rather than bit by bit to certain groups; however, the LPCC supports continued reduction in the property tax burden of Floridians as we continue to work towards total elimination.
- Amendment 12 - NO
Through many decades, education has become a state monopoly. It is assumed the proper role of government is to provide educational institutions a privileged position, including, in many ways, monopoly powers. However, along with these monopoly powers come problems of cost, efficiency, and a bloated bureaucracy. A symptom of this bureaucratic bloat is the general populace having to decide via constitutional amendment questions about a state university advisory board. Such questions rightly belong with those running the school, or by private clients of the schools voting with their enrollments. The best solution for government regulation is open competition no matter if it is the economy, politics, business, ideas, or education.
The following candidates (followed by office sought) have received
recommendations because they are not vetted Libertarians (or were
running in non-partisan races) but the LPCC felt that they were the best
choices amongst the available options. Only vetted Libertarian
candidates or constitutional amendments were eligible for official LPCC
- Connie Mack (United States Senator) - Congressman Mack certainly has his flaws but has been a reliable vote against surveillance state measures in the House. Mack has voted against the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA"), which allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens, and the PATRIOT Act reauthorization. Mack also supported the Audit the Fed bill in the U.S. House.
- "None of the Above" (US Congress, District 19) - NPA Brandon Smith has not responded to repeated inquiries, Trey Radel, while saying many of the right things, refused to debate his opponents and cannot be trusted enough with a recommendation, and Jim Roach despite his support for bringing our troops home, his service to our country in Vietnam, and his support for many fiscally conservative measures, still is an ardent supporter of Obamacare. Therefore, the LPCC recommends "None of the Above".
- Sheriff - Collier County - We cannot recommend an incumbent (Rambosk) who has demonstrated a lack of support for the Second Amendment, who has refused to acknowledge the dangers of the NDAA, and who is a supporter of the red light cameras in Collier County. Therefore, we recommend that voters register their disapproval with the current Sheriff by either writing in another candidate, skipping over the race (None of the Above) or registering a protest vote with the No Party Affiliation (NPA) candidate.
- Russell Kish (County Commissioner, District 1) - Kish would bring a fresh look to the Board of County Commissioners. Kish has a plan to eliminate the county debt in 8-10 years (and thus reducing taxes on businesses, impact fees, and tangible taxes).
- Tim Nance (County Commissioner, District 5) - Tim Nance understands the proper role of government in the lives of free people; he will work toward the elimination of excessive taxes, impact fees, and regulations that will allow our free market the liberty to improve our local economy. Tim will demand a more limited local government where spending is managed with discipline and efficiency. Tim is humbled and honored by our support and vows to be a public servant of the people and not special interests; he is not a career politician and promises only to serve a maximum of two terms.
- Matt Novak (Mosquito Control, Seat 4) - As a life long resident of Collier County and a Biology major, Matt brings a fresh and knowledgeable perspective to this office and wants to look at less invasive procedures to control mosquitoes that will minimize the harmful chemicals into the environment without having to continually increase the millage rates.
- Amadeo R. Petricca, Larry Sacher, Kenneth E. Honecker, Duane Thomas (Marco Island City Council) - A fresh start. The MI City Council needs new blood who are willing to look at budgetary issues, taxation, and water/sewer rates from the perspective of the residents who are responsible for paying for it. Therefore, we are not recommending retaining any of the current incumbents running for reelection and instead are recommending four challengers.
- NO - Renewal of Flexible Funding for Collier Public Schools - In 2008, voters in Collier County chose to approve a referendum to move funds of about $17 Million from the capital fund (regulated by the State to only use for School District debt management, building maintenance, and other such costs) to the operating fund (regulated by the State to only use for salaries, in classroom, and other operating costs). Though the District has made some cuts, more opportunities for reduced costs appear to exist. Using this 2012 voter referendum to move another $17 million in order to subsidize the operating budget once again is unwise with a near $490 Million debt and an unstable economic future.
NOTES: Public Schools throughout the United States continue to spend per student far above the national average for
private schools . While, Districts currently point to the No
Child Left Behind legislation and the 2010 class size amendment passed by FL voters as responsible for the extra
cost, careful review of District budgets present many possibilities for further cost savings, high debt service
expenditures, and an imbalance in funds spent on instruction compared to other costs. Collier County is no different
with an annual 2012/2013 budget of $847 Million
[2, page 11], student population of 43K
[2, page 11], and annual cost per student at
$19K, down from last year's $21K per student tuition. Average cost per student for K-12 private school remains around
$10K per student . In Collier County School District, 35% ($300 Million) of the
annual budget (capital and operating funds combined) is allocated to expenses related to instruction while costs like
transportation, building maintenance, travel, staff, administration, food services, special needs, etc. take the
lion's share of the budget at 65% ($547 Million) [CCSD Budget Book, part 1, page 11].
For questions or comments on the Liberty List please email secretary@CollierLP.com
or to learn more about the Libertarian Party of Collier County please visit www.CollierLP.com.