Earlier this morning, Andy Schmookler and I appeared for the 54th time on 550 AM, WSVA. The topics of the day include the looming potential government shutdown, the race to replace Bob Goodlatte in the 6th district of Virginia, and more.
Earlier today, Ron Paul, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (and my boss in 2007 & 2008), endorsed Cynthia Dunbar for the House to represent the 6th district of Virginia. In addition, Dr. Paul ran for president three times, once as the Libertarian nominee in 1988 and also sought the Republican nod in 2008 and 2012.
If I am not mistaken, this is only the second time Dr. Paul has endorsed in a Virginia race, the first being for Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 election for governor.
As Ron Paul states:
“I have given my life to fight for liberty. It is always refreshing to encounter others with the same passion, conviction, and understanding necessary to defend our Constitution. Cynthia not only encapsulates these traits, but also has the integrity and fearlessness to stand up to politicians who wish to expand our government and infringe upon our rights. I have known Cynthia for over a decade now and she has always proved herself to be a stalwart defender of the freedoms guaranteed to us as Americans. Her voice will be heard loudly and clearly across the nation in defense of liberty, and she is the best candidate to represent our shared values in Congress. I am pleased to give her my endorsement and full support in her campaign to represent Virginia’s 6th district.”
Ms. Dunbar faces a somewhat crowded field for the Republican nomination, with four or five likely opponents. In addition, several Democrats are vying for the position as is at least one independent and a potential Libertarian candidate as well.
The Republican convention to determine the party’s nominee will take place on May 19th in Harrisonburg.
On January 3rd, I wrote an article about Matt Waters, a fellow seeking the Libertarian nomination for the U.S. Senate in the 2018 elections. Today, the Old Dominion Libertarian posted an interview with Mr. Waters. As I thought it was a good introduction to Matt Waters, (I still don’t know much about him yet either) I have gotten permission to repost it on my site.
If you’d like to check out the piece on the original site or explore other topics of interest, please visit https://olddominionlibertarian.wordpress.com.
Matt Waters plans to seek the Libertarian Party of Virginia’s nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018 to run against Tim Kaine and an as yet unknown Republican. He is currently collecting signatures to get on the ballot.
Mr. Waters lives in Alexandria, Virginia and has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 2008. He was raised in Hampton, Virginia and graduated from George Mason University. He is married and has five children.
We recently conducted an interview with Mr. Waters and we have included that interview below.
1. Have you run for office before? Why did you decide to run for U.S. Senate and not a lower office?
Waters: No. Never run before. I have been involved in many campaigns, mostly conservative Tea Party Republican, as a fundraiser. I looked at the 8th district here, the Fairfax Co. Alexandria area, and it’s heavily democrat. I would not have had the opportunity to get the message out. I wanted to go big.
2. How long have you been a member of the LP and the LPVA?
Waters: National LP going back to April 2008 (according to my membership card). LPVA, I’m a recent member.
3. Nick Freitas is considered the libertarian-leaning candidate in the Republican primary. He has received the endorsement of Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and a few others. If he wins the primary and runs in the general election, why should a libertarian/Libertarian vote for you over Nick Freitas?
Waters: If Freitas wins, let’s revisit this question. He is an underdog and that is partly why I’m running, to give voters a choice in November. This November here in Virginia is shaping up to be a mirror of what 2020 will look like: a Trump Republican, a milk-toast Democrat, and a Libertarian.
4. Has Trump done anything to advance the libertarian agenda?
Waters: Yes, he has made Republicans look awful, and that may incline disillusioned Republicans to look at Libertarians—but we must be Libertarian—not faux. But we should not bet on Republicans joining us, as if they haven’t gotten the memo yet, I don’t think they ever will. It’s kinda like smoking—if you don’t know it will kill you—well, keep smoking. That’s what Republicans are doing—still smoking.
5. Would you support a constitutional amendment pertaining to term limits or a balanced budget? Why or why not?
Waters: Yes on both. George Will had a great column on this the other day, where he pointed out the two professors at Harvard who have a sound plan towards getting our books to balance. I’d support anything Will is saying—as he may be the most respected Libertarian in the country. On Term Limits, yes, got to take the professionalism out of this. But the only risk here is you have a deep state of professional bureaucrats who never leave Washington. I’d think we need to term limit public service in certain departments at certain levels. We sort of do that with political appointees, but take a deeper dive here. Needs to be looked at.
6. Do you agree with Gary Johnson, the 2012 and 2016 Libertarian Party nominee for President, that our immigration system needs to be streamlined to make it easier for people to come here legally?
Waters: I lean that way. I also lean towards cutting up the welfare state that may be having a disproportional impact on illegal immigration. I would also want to encourage our Latin American friends to focus on rule of law, private property rights, regulation reform, all of the things that make it hard for individuals to succeed. The Acton Institute did a study on how long it takes for an ordinary Hatian to open a business – a person not connected to government—about 260 days. Yet, someone connected to government, who knows someone, took them like a week. These governments are bankrupt, corrupt, and hurt individuals. They need to get their own houses in order.
7. If elected, who would you caucus with? How would you be able to work with other elected official in Washington, D.C. if you are the sole Libertarian candidate?
Waters: The others would caucus with me! I’d remain independent and attempt to be as non-political as possible—meaning, if R’s do something that makes sense, I’d vote for it; same with D’s. At some point the Libertarian Party will send a representative to Congress, and just like others in smaller parties who went to Congress before us, with the hope that one day the independents in this country will decide to do something different. They did it with Trump.
8. You have already spoken with members of the LPVA State Central Committee (SCC) about your candidacy and they seemed receptive. How do you feel about receiving the nomination to run as the LPVA candidate for U.S. Sentate in 2018?
Waters: I am excited about it, as we need to offer an alternative to the status quo.
9. Do you have petitions up online that volunteers can download to help get you on the ballot? How many signatures do you need?
Waters: I do have a petition on my Facebook page, and on signatures, we need to capture 400 signatures in each of Virginia’s Congressional districts, so 4,400 valid signatures in the 11 districts, and 10,000 overall.
10. What will be the issue(s) that your campaign will focus on?
Waters: If you ask Americans what the number one concern is in this country, they will tell you that their government is. They love the country, they are afraid of the government. If Libertarians cannot capitalize on this, then we may as well pack up and go home. The IRS was weaponized against the Tea Party; the Department of Education is making us dumb and dumber. The FDA is a failure that is responsible for millions dead. The Defense Department is anything but. I think of the snow days here in DC – they tell federal workers – “all non-essential employees” no need to come in to work. If you are non-essential on a snow day, you are non-essential every day. Cut Commerce, Education, HUD, Energy—all a total waste. I ask friends to “Name one thing the federal government gets right?” Blank stares. And all that for $4.5 trillion a year. C’mon, it’s time to wake up and cut spending. My budget would cut spending $1 trillion a year, and would eliminate all federal personal income taxes for all Americans through the Liberty Amendment—eliminating the 16th Amendment and replacing the income tax with NOTHING.
12. How can volunteers contact you if they want to get involved with your campaign?
Waters: Go to, it points to my facebook page, and the webpage is going live soon.
13. A lot of times we hear that voting for a Libertarian candidate is a “wasted vote” or that it will help the Democrat or Republican win (depending on who you talk to). What would you tell voters who are concerned about your candidacy affecting the election in a way that they perceive as negative?
Waters: I think Democrats and Republican voters are wasting their votes; after all, what has Tim Kaine done in the US Senate? Name one thing. These voters are on their way to becoming non-voters because they know nothing changes.
14. It has been reported that you are pro-life. Can you elaborate on this a little bit? Would you seek to have a “Personhood Amendment” added to the Constitution?
Waters: Yes, 100% pro-life, more so than any of the Republicans running. I have worked for and with multiple pro-life organizations over the last 25 years. I became pro-life in the mid-80’s reading Jesse Jackson and Al Gore’s statements—both were pro-life at one time—and both sold out their principles seeking higher office. I won’t do that. I’m encouraged that the Democrats—the party of Death according to Ramash Ponnuru’s book, are actually entertaining supporting pro-life candidates. So on personhood, on a Life Amendment, etc, yes, I would support nearly anything that protects life. That is at its very heart what it means to be an American—after all, its life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life is first on the list. The life position also falls under the Libertarian banner of “do no harm”.
The 2018 General Assembly session is upon us, kicking off today, Wednesday, January 10th. In recent years, I’ve written about several important pieces of legislation that either expand or degrade freedom in the Commonwealth of Virginia which have come from both Republican and Democratic legislators, such as Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), Delegate Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge), and Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax). I’ve noticed that these legislators usually craft one or two exemplary bills that all Virginians who value freedom, regardless of party affiliation, ought to support.
However, this year, Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) is sponsoring some truly fantastic legislation. Not content with one, two, or even three bills, his list of patronage on Virginia’s Legislative Information System is, quite frankly, amazing.
Highlighting some of my favorites, we have HB 534, a repeal of the so-called incumbent protection act (which stifles political competition by allowing incumbents to select the nomination method of their political party).
Next, there is HB 539, which requires political parties to pay for their own nomination contests rather than forcing the Virginia taxpayer to pick up the tab for their primaries.
Then, there is HB 540, which lowers the threshold for the state to recognize new political parties from the rather onerous 10% in a statewide contest to a far more reasonable 3%. Doing so would likely result in more contested elections and more candidates for voters to choose from. Thus, it should more accurately reflect the political preferences of Virginians rather than the present system of either being presented only one choice or often choosing between the lesser of two evils.
Following that, we have HB 553, ranked choice voting, which will permit voters to rank their choices on the ballot (assuming they have more than two). Doing so would eliminate the so-called spoiler effect and mean that voters could actually vote for their preferred candidate without worrying about the idea of “throwing their vote away”.
Lastly, there is HB 900, civil asset forfeiture reform, which means that if you are found innocent of a crime, law enforcement doesn’t get to keep your property that they seized during the investigation. It seems like common sense, but some politicians and law enforcement agencies support this theft (and it truly is state-sponsored theft) as a way to pad their operating budgets.
That’s a lot of great stuff coming from Delegate Nick Freitas, isn’t it? The only other issues that I can think that I’d like to see resolved this session are a lowering of the signature requirements for ballot access in both statewide and congressional races and an end to the observance of Daylight Saving Time.
Although I normally don’t feel it necessary to mention this detail, given recent events please note that the opinions expressed in this article are my own and this piece has not been paid for nor authorized by either Delegate Nick Freitas or his 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate.
If you value liberty, please thank Delegate Nick Freitas and his staff for these bills!
In 2018, Virginia will hold elections for U.S. Senate. On the Democratic side, barring any major surprises, current Senator Tim Kaine will be the nominee. For the Republicans, so far we have Corey Stewart, Nick Freitas, E.W. Jackson, and Ivan Raiklin vying for the nomination. And, as of 15 hours ago according to Facebook, we also have a Libertarian seeking the position too.
A fellow by the name of Matt Waters has now begun to collect the 10,000 signatures necessary to appear on the Virginia ballot. Although I first heard news of his possible candidacy shortly before the new year, it seems that he has decided to go forward with the plan. At this point, I cannot say I know anything about him, other than I’m told he is pro-life (which is exciting!).
Even when there is only one candidate running for the party’s nomination, getting the Libertarian stamp of approval isn’t a guarantee, as delegates to their state convention can vote for none of the above if the person seeking the position doesn’t share enough of their principles. I believe that this is a position that both the Republicans and Democrats ought to adopt given the positions of some of their nominees over the years).
Who is Matt Waters? I’m told by some of the Libertarian leaders in Virginia that he will be a strong, credible, and value-focused candidate, but I’m looking forward to finding out for myself.