Friday, August 31, 2012

My "Republican" Resume

I'm getting some nice press in the local newspapers regarding the question of my "authenticity" as a Republican.  I think I've been pretty open about my somewhat adversarial relationship with the party hierarchy of the state and county Republican Party apparatus.  This has often been misinterpreted, unintentionally I hope, as hostility towards the party's voters and the party's values.  It IS a misinterpretation.  I bear no animosity towards Republicans and I believe that many members of the Republican Party hold libertarian values, values which we share and which are very important to me.

My opponent would have you believe that because of his party registration with the State of Delaware and his refusal to talk to people associated with the Libertarian Party, he is the more authentic Republican.  Let me tell you a little bit about my history in politics, and you can decide for yourself whether it is your party registration or your actions and the values that you carry with you that define who you are.

When I first became interested in politics, George W. Bush was president and we were going to war in Iraq.  I was skeptical of the justifications for our invasion and even more skeptical of our "plan" for the aftermath.  I was skeptical of the rhetoric the president and the Republicans controlling congress used, implying an outsized role for the Federal government beyond that which should be the role of a national, central government.  Democratic politicians were no better, but they didn't run things and that allowed them the convenience of pretending to care about civil liberties and open government.

So I registered as a Democrat.  Had to to vote in their primaries, can't say I necessarily supported their candidates in November though.

Think about it.  If you are only going to be allowed to vote in one of two taxpayer funded primaries, why not vote in the one too weak to win based on what they've BEEN doing, especially if being out of power suddenly makes them care about the majority (not them) overreaching and abusing civil liberties and government process?  I mean, this is a two party system isn't it?  You have to pick one or the other, right?  I didn't write the rules, I just follow them.

Of course, I was young and naive, and was just a single voter who didn't even realize that there were two DIFFERENT primaries in Delaware, one for president and one for everything else (this year on September 11th!).  I didn't have much of an impact before power shifted and before the Republican Party got itself an infusion of liberty through the 2008 campaign of Ron Paul.  By the time I realized I wanted to vote for him, the registration blackout had passed and it was too late for me to change my party registration to Republican, but I did it after the 2008 election and hoped that there would be a libertarian leaning Republican like Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential primary I could support.

In 2010 I became involved with the Libertarian Party of Delaware.  They had a strategy of establishing an independent block of legislators not answerable to either of the two major parties, two major parties which had demonstrated that despite some libertarian tendencies, they were NOT libertarian.  The Libertarian Party was eager to bring new people into the political process and educate them in the ways of politics.  Not only did I become their nominee for the 32nd Representative District (the same office I'm running for now in the Republican Primary), but they also elected me Kent County Chair and a national convention delegate.

2010 was fun, I learned a lot, and considering how much we knew and that we were running under a Libertarian-Independent fusion nomination instead of one of the "two party" ballot lines that get all of the press attention, I was happy with 6.1%, but obviously a different strategy for electing libertarians would be needed in the short term to shift the inertia of the electorate and the multitude of institutions responsible for selecting and promoting their election choices.  The major parties must themselves be reformed or supplanted.  Alternative Parties should operate as special interest groups with ballot access, encouraging and engaging in primaries when they can, nominating their own candidates when they can't.

I was elected Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Delaware in 2011 on a platform of engaging the Democratic and Republican Parties on their home turf, in their primaries.  As the year progressed and the GOP presidential primary field coalesced, the vast majority of Delaware's registered and active Libertarians preferred Ron Paul.  Many of us changed our party registrations and assisted with the circulation of petitions among registered Republicans to secure Dr. Paul's ballot access in the Republican Primary.  Many of us engaged in the Republican committee meetings ultimately responsible for selecting the state and national delegates sent to Rehoboth in April and Tampa this week.  I was a state delegate in Rehoboth and put one of the US House candidates into nomination for the convention's endorsement.  Many of us also supported Governor Gary Johnson, who was also a candidate in the Republican primary even though he was often excluded from debates and given no attention by major TV news outlets.  He will now be on the ballot in November as the Libertarian nominee along with Judge Jim Gray.

I was a registered Republican heavily engaged in the presidential primary process, attempting to align the preferences of the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party, so that we could work in coordination to reduce the size of government and protect the civil liberties of the people.  I stayed involved with the Republican Party.  I have also stayed involved with the Libertarian Party, even though I resigned my position as Vice Chair in what has turned out to be a vain effort to get my opponent to agree to a debate about values instead of party registrations.  I have also formed a number of new political parties, on paper anyway, at the Department of Elections.

Party registrations aren't important.  Your values and your actions are.  I believe that I share the same values as many Republican Party members, values which have been ignored by Republican Party politicians and party leaders.  I have been involved with the Republican Party, attending their meetings, and working in their primary elections.  If you care what letter I put next to my name on a day to day basis at the Department of Elections, there's a link to my opponent's website (his real one!) on the right side of the screen.  If you care about the values I care about, if you care about changing the way Dover runs Delaware, I hope you'll support me on the 11th of September at your local polling place, maps are linked right here.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Campaign Finance Comparison

Delaware's campaign finance laws require candidates participating in primaries to file reports 30 days and 8 days prior to the election.  The 30 day reports were due earlier this week and they have since been posted to the Department of Elections' website.

You can compare the campaign finance reports for my opponent and myself.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What's the Excuse Now?

A little over a week ago, I resigned my position as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Delaware in order to satisfy the demands of my primary opponent, who had been refusing the people of the 32nd District a debate because I held that position.  Since then, I have received no response from my opponent other than a brief note from his campaign manager letting me know that my opponent probably would not be comfortable with an online debate.

First of all, I think an online debate offers the voters of the district the best information.  Rather than needing to find time in their busy schedules to come out to an event on a single night and hope they get an opportunity to ask a question or that their question might be asked, they could ask all the questions and follow ups they wanted from the comfort of their own homes, at their convenience.  Rather than needing to record a public event and then distribute it to anyone interested, it would be an ongoing public event that could be joined by anyone at any time.  I think that's the kind of discussion our district, our state, and our country need at this point in our history.

Beyond that, having refused the people of the 32nd district the debate they should have, I have still gotten no response regarding having a debate at all.  I know the Kent County Young Republicans have offered a venue for the more limited event.  We could arrange for a BlogTalkRadio call in event.  I would even be willing to let the GOP official who recruited my opponent into the race, Kent County GOP Chair Hans Reigle, moderate a debate.  My opponent can set up the most unfair, biased, and hostile debate venue he can imagine for me, and I will be there.

First, he needs his surrogates to stop comparing an intellectual discussion of the grave issues facing our state between two people who seek to represent the 32nd district to an arm wrestling match and agree to participate in this process.  It's a lot easier to run around the district slinging mud and mischaracterizing my positions than it is to actually stand up to me in person and discuss these issues like statesmen, but I think the district, the state, and the Republican Party deserve better.

Please let Mr. Parrot know if you agree.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Resignation as Vice Chair of the LPD, Effective Immediately.

To Whom It May Concern:

As many of you may know, on June 21st I sent an email to my primary opponent inviting him to engage in an ongoing online debate to allow the voters in the 32nd District to make an informed choice on primary election day this September 11th. As part of an ongoing pattern which began before I even declared my candidacy in the Republican primary, he completely ignored me. Nevertheless, he eventually engaged in a discussion with the Kent County Young Republicans regarding a more limited forum on a single evening in late August.

Then he backed out. The excuse he offered up is that my allegiance is not to the Republican Party but to the Libertarian Party, as if allegiance to a party trumps allegiance to the obligation to protect and serve the 32nd Representative District and the people of Delaware, and that therefore he would not debate me and give the voters an opportunity I believe they deserve. Through various people who have been able to corresponded with him, I have been told that he WOULD participate in a debate if I were to resign my position as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Delaware.

In my heart I have always been a libertarian (that's a small "l"). I believe that people have the right to be left alone when they're not bothering anyone. Given the tendencies of government both nationally and in the State of Delaware, such a belief makes me something of a radical, I guess. Nevertheless, I've registered as a Democrat and a Republican over the course of my life, usually when the party I registered with was out of power, as part of a vain hope that my vote in Delaware's closed primaries would somehow lead two parties whose actions I cannot regularly agree with to see the light.

Then I went to a Libertarian Party state convention in 2010 and I was shown a light. I was shown how easy it is to become active in local politics. I was shown how easy it was to have an impact in a two-party system that IS very much rigged to keep outsiders on the outside and insiders nice and comfortable. The Libertarian Party has been my home since then. They welcomed me into Delaware politics while the Democrats ignored me and the Republicans threatened me with criminal charges.

This, however, is not 2010. In the last two years, a young software engineer wandering into a small gathering of Delaware Libertarians became an activist dedicated to a cause beyond a party and beyond a single election, studied in Delaware politics and the issues that faced the 146th and previous General Assemblies and the things I'd have done differently if I'd have won two years ago. I believe that the government at both the state and national level is broken, and it needs a new perspective to fix it. It needs someone who will question the old way of doing things and offer up solutions that involve REPEALING old laws instead of CREATING new ones. It needs less interference in the economy and in the educational choices of parents and students. It needs more transparency and a more open process that does not trample on the real lives of people with interests more important than the political posturing our General Assembly works most of its leisurely schedule performing. I believe that cause deserves a fair hearing in front of the voters who will have the option of choosing it on September 11th regardless of the faith placed in me by the Libertarian Party of Delaware and the less friendly reception I have received from the leaders of the DEGOP.

I therefore announce my immediate resignation as the Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Delaware. I will no longer perform the official duties of the office and encourage the Executive Committee to appoint a suitable replacement at their convenience. The people of Delaware and of the 32nd Representative District deserve a debate, and if resigning some title will satisfy the ridiculous demands of a man who I cannot in good conscience trust to defend the rights and liberties of my friends, family, and self, a man who has ignored my efforts to secure that trust, then I will do it. I already shelled out the same $834 filing fee he did to appear on the September 11th primary ballot.  What's in a title like "Vice Chair" when unemployment in Kent County is up, the quality of education is down, and trust in government is eroding?

I hope that my opponent will now grant the 32nd District, the people of Delaware, and the members of the Delaware Republican Party the privilege of actually seeing two of the candidates trying to represent them to the Delaware General Assembly contrasted in an ongoing, open, public debate, on the internet, open to all via Facebook and If he will not engage in such a forum, at the very least the original event proposed by the Kent County Young Republicans should receive the participation it is due. I look forward to Mr. Parrot's response.

Will McVay.