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Volume 68, Issue 46, Wednesday, October 30, 2002


Libertarians visit UH

By Christian Schmidt
The Daily Cougar

Libertarian candidate for Texas governor Jeff Daiell told students at a meeting of the UH College Libertarians that, if elected, he would work to minimize the role of the state government. 

Daiell was late to the Tuesday evening meeting after being caught in traffic.

"I just spent one hour and five minutes on the highways, and people laugh about privatizing the roads," Daiell said.

Libertarian Party governor candidate Jeff Daiell speaks to a small audience Tuesday about his goals if he is elected governor. Striving for a minimal government is the main philosophy of Libertarians.

Jim McCormick/The Daily Cougar

Libertarians support privatizing many aspects of the government, including the highway system.

This is Daiell's second time to run for the governorship. In 1990, Daiell received 129,000 votes statewide, or 3.3 percent of all votes.

Daiell supports separation of school and state, or privatizing all education.

He also supports legalizing so-called victimless crimes, including drug offenses and gambling. The Libertarian Party believes that only "crimes of violence and theft" should be illegal.

Daiell stressed the need for locally based law enforcement.

"It's very impractical to try to centralize law enforcement in Austin," Daiell said. "You're not going to have a central agency that has enough information to be able to decide what's best for 254 counties and several thousand cities and towns."

The final plank of his platform is support for civil liberties, which he feels have been eroded away by the government, particularly in the War on Drugs.

"I want to make sure that we protect civil liberties in Texas," Daiell said. "Increasingly, civil liberties are being attacked; it's getting very scary out there. Part of that is the War on Drugs. It's to the point where the War on Drugs has become an exception to a lot of constitutional guarantees."

Daiell declined to speculate about his chances of winning the election, although he said even if doesn't win, he hopes to advance the Libertarian agenda.

"The question is whether you are going to use your vote to make a difference by serving notice on the two major parties that things need to change, or whether you are satisfied with things the way they are now, or whether you are not satisfied with the way things are now and you are going to pass up a chance to do something about it," Daiell said.

Daiell closed by encouraging the audience of about a dozen people to go out and vote.

Several Libertarian candidates were at the meeting. Drew Parks, candidate for U.S. representative for District 7 and a UH physics researcher; Bob W. Townsend, running for state representative from District 143; and Monica Granger, candidate for Harris County Clerk, were all at the meeting. Granger is also the president of the College Libertarians at UH.

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