I appeared on “Libertarian Counterpoint” on May 15, 2014, with hosts Richard Field and Amy Lee, and one of my Republican opponents Ron Gold. Libertarian Counterpoint is broadcast on Comcast Sacramento channel 17, which is streamed online here. A link to an archived version of the show will be posted here once the archive is available.
During the show, the hosts posted a series of questions to the two candidates. The questions and my positions on the issues raised are provided below. This is not a transcript of the show. My answers here may be somewhat different from what I said on the show, but my positions are substantially the same. In some cases I have provided additional comments after further consideration.
1. Do you support law enforcement use of drones? Commercial use of drones?
I support both commercial and law enforcement use of drones subject to essentially the same limits. Law enforcement officers should not have a greater license to use drones than non-officers. Limits on drone use should include protection of natural rights such as the right to privacy, right to quiet enjoyment of one’s own property, and freedom from trespass and assault. If elected, I would seek to develop guidelines and laws to protect drone use subject such limitations. I would like to help California become a world leader in the beneficial and ethical use of drone technology and other promising new technologies for improving the quality of our lives.
2. Should libertarians support the Libertarian Party or should they try to take over the Republican and/or Democratic Party . . . or all three?
All three. And more. Libertarians should do whatever they can to move culture, society, and politics in a libertarian direction. Inside of electoral politics, and outside of it. For me, being active in the Libertarian Party is fun and energizing. But I don’t limit myself to that, nor should anyone else. Although I would like the Libertarian Party to be more effective, and we sure could use more support, I don’t want to discourage all the great work being done by people working outside of the party, too.
3. Do you support jury nullification, allowing juries to rule on the law as well as the facts in a case?
Yes, absolutely. Judges and prosecutors often don’t like it. But jury nullification is an indispensable part of the common law justice system, on which our legal system is based. It is a crucial safeguard against prosecutorial abuse and tyranny. Restoring jury nullification in California is one of my highest priorities for this campaign.
4. Would you support California State Lands attempt to grab beach land at Lake Tahoe and the exorbitant fees and regulatory overkill for buoys and docks?
No. I support public access to public lands, including beaches, and would defend existing easements that enable public access to public beach areas. However, private property owners should not be coerced into providing easements where none currently exist and none are required by law. Private charities, cooperatives, and foundations should be encouraged to acquire such easements at fair market value or acquire easement bequests by non-coercive persuasion. I support allowing tax deductions for the fair market value of granting access easements to public lands. Where structures such as docks and piers involve private use of public lands, fees and regulations may be imposed. Such fees and regulations should be reasonable, in my opinion, but such fees and regulations are generally beyond the reach of the Attorney General if legally imposed.
5. Debbie and Chico Jimenez of Daytona Beach have been fined $2238 and threatened with jail for feeding the homeless. Should that happen in California?
Absolutely not. Providing gifts of food to the poor is a basic human right of both the giver and receiver. It’s part of the First Amendment right of free association, among other things. I elected, I will defend the right of charities and ordinary citizens to serve the poor against efforts by municipalities to drive homeless or disadvantaged people into neighboring areas.
6. Do you support open and/or concealed carry of firearms?
I support both, so long as safe and responsible. However, the reality is that California prohibits open carry, and the vast majority of people here do not understand or believe it to be beneficial. Therefore I would focus my efforts at supporting the granting of concealed carry permits on a reasonable “shall issue” basis, consistent with the recent Ninth Circuit decision in Peruta v. San Diego. This contrasts with the current Attorney General, who is seeking to overturn the decision in that case.