As the election approaches, I feel it my civic duty to research the candidates and offices being decided on during this “mid-term” election. (Truthfully, this feels less like a mid-term and more like a full-blown election.) Today I started by researching the folks running for governor. While I’m sure most of you know of Charlie Crist (the Republican candidate who’s also the current Florida Attorney General) and Jim Davis (congressional representative from the 11th district of Florida, Tampa), the candidate who’s most gotten my attention up to this point is the Reform Party candidate, Max Linn. (Link goes to candidacy website.)
Here’s a little background on the guy, according to his website:
Max earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Louisiana Tech, and was recruited by the nationally respected investment firm A. G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. After becoming Vice President of Investments for A. G. Edwards, Max went on to establish his own registered investment advisory firm, Linn and Associates, one of the largest and most successful firms of its kind in Florida.
Before devoting his attention entirely to public service, Max took on many charitable causes. He was the Director of Planned Giving for the Florida Holocaust Museum and a volunteer philanthropic planner with the American Cancer Society. He is an alumnus of Leadership St. Petersburg.
His running mate
Max Linn’s running mate for Lieutenant Governor is Tom Macklin. Again, a bit of this guy’s background:
Tom Macklin’s career in public service began … in 1996 when he was first elected to the Avon Park City Council … During his term, Tom brought a number of new industries into Avon Park and more than tripled the size of the city, providing the underpinnings for future economic development.
As a [Republican] mayor from one of central Florida’s small cities, Tom Macklin faced the tough issues and challenges that usually confront only the mayors of larger cities. Illegal immigration, urban blight, and overcrowded schools were changing the social fabric of Avon Park as transient workers and immigrants packed the city’s single-family dwellings to the bursting point, especially during harvest seasons.
The enormous social service burdens generated by this flood of poverty-stricken illegal immigrants stretched the city’s budget and its social service capabilities far beyond the small community’s ability to cope.
After eight years in office, the soft-spoken mayor of Avon Park sparked national controversy and garnered widespread support when he tackled the enormous problems that illegal immigration brought to his community. His solution was the Illegal Immigrant Relief Act — a measure that was designed not to punish the illegal immigrants, but to manage and control the city’s immigration issues by regulating businesses that hired illegals and landlords who rented to them. The act also would have made English the official language – not for private businesses or individuals – but for the municipal government.
Where he stands on the issues
Here’s where they stand on some key issues:
- Education: Get rid of the FCAT, attract higher quality teachers by raising salaries.
- Immigration: This is a national issue. As such, bill Washington for all the services Florida tax payers have to pay for which go to illegal immigrants. Make sure that legislation passed by Washington doesn’t destroy Florida businesses.
- Development: A three-year moratorium on condo development to allow Florida’s infrastructure to catch up with the pace of development.
- Insurance: A couple of things. (1) stop government-funded charity for millionaires. Our state-owned Citizens Insurance Company should only insure homes valued at less than five hundred thousand dollars (excluding land). Because Citizens is backed by the taxpayers of this state, it has no business insuring high-risk, high-value homes and commercial projects along Florida’s coast. (2) Ensure that low and middle income Floridians do not lose their homes due to skyrocketing insurance rates. I will veto any proposal that does not protect average citizens.
- Prison Reform: 2-tier prison system with strict segregation between violent and non-violent criminals. Outsource violent criminals to Mexican prisons to save Florida money and help create Mexican jobs.
- Energy: Invest in alternatives, especially solar.
- Offshore Drilling: Fight any measure that calls for the expansion of oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida.
- Gun Control: Support the right of all Americans to own firearms and to carry firearms with a permit.
- Prescription Drugs: Support every Floridian’s right to purchase safe prescription drugs legally wherever they are cheapest. That means safe prescription drugs from advanced, first world countries, like Canada, that have instituted and enforced proper drug production safeguards.
- Social Issues: Religion should not dictate government policy. Government should stay out of our citizens’ private lives, as much as possible, in matters of personal freedom. Women have the right to choose whether to bring a life into this world; uphold the abortion laws as they now stand.
While I’m not particularly in favor of that last one (when it comes to abortion, at any rate) the rest of the message doesn’t just seem good, it seems very good. Maybe it’s just me, but this all just makes a lot of sense. Pay teachers more, invest in infrastructure of the state, increase personal freedoms, and get government out of people’s lives. All very good, very worthwhile goals.
Does he stand a chance? (How has he been advertising?)
Of course, the question is whether this guy can actually do anything. After all, I’ve only seen one commercial for him, and it wasn’t recent. (Then again, I don’t watch much TV.) Still, it looks like the guy’s been getting the word out, at least somewhat. Was there a debate somewhere I missed?
At any rate, the following comes from a Bay News 9 piece on third-party candidates:
Max Linn said his first priority would be getting big interests out of Tallahassee. As a member of the Reform party, he’s trying to keep the governor’s mansion away from Democrats and Republicans.
Florida, more than any other state in the country, is ready for a third party candidate. But USF government professor Judithanne McLauchlan said it’s not that easy.
“It’s extremely difficult for a third party to win a seat,” McLauchlan said.
Unless you’re rich like Ross Perot or famous like Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura.
“Jesse Ventura, who I had lunch with two days ago, didn’t raise the money and he split the two parties in half,” Linn said.
Linn is vowing to invest a million dollars of his own money into the campaign. And he said Ventura will come out to help him, rubbing off some star power.
Linn may have the name recognition along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, but he’s still considered a long shot in the governor’s race. He is safe for the primary, however, and has until November to win over voters.
Why you shouldn’t vote for Crist or Davis
And according to Linn, here’s why you shouldn’t vote for either Jesus’ brother or the guy that draws Garfield:
Charlie Crist has been in elected office for over twenty years. He was the education commissioner and, as Attorney General, he was a member of the Florida cabinet representing insurance interests. Yet today he’s telling us how he’s going to improve education and the insurance crisis.
Jim Davis missed more votes than anyone else in Congress but he did show up to vote for the Patriot Act, which in my opinion is in direct opposition to our Bill Of Rights and Constitution. He also voted against allowing the purchase of drugs from Canada at a lower cost.
Now, if you support the PATRIOT Act, then by all means, vote for Davis. And if you like things just the way they are — with sky-rocketing costs of living and an educational system so bad it compares to that of third world countries — then go ahead and vote for Crist.
As for me, I think this state is doing a lot of things right and a lot of things way wrong. That’s why I’m putting my vote behind Linn, and you should, too. While I like Jeb, and Crist will probably win (lots and lots of advertising), I might as well vote my consience.
By the way, if all those previous issues didn’t sway you, maybe this one will:
If elected governor, Linn says, he’ll accept no salary.
The guy’s already rich enough, why take the salary, right? Can’t give yourself a raise if you don’t have a salary. (Maybe we should… Congress… nah.) Besides, it goes well with my philosophy of voting for the person who raised the least amount of money. That way, when they get into office, they’ll owe the least amount of favors.
As a side note
All this aside, the one thing I like about third party candidates is wacky-yet-pointed ads. Here’s one for the Linn campaign, although I still can’t figure out how many cups of shroom tea it would take to come up with this.
A little about myself
(Note: For the record, I am a registered Republican, a centrist-conservative who’s tired of all the BS the big boys in the Republican party have been putting out, the growing deficits, and the constant fear-mongering coming from the far right.)