The following is an e-mail interview with Michigan Libertarian Senate Candidate Scotty Boman that occurred over a period of several weeks. If you wish to learn more about him, visit his official website.
Ryan: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me Mr. Boman. Your name is not as well known in Michigan as Debbie Stabenow's, yet. What is the main thing you are trying to do to change that?
Boman: I have done some common things such as creating a website and sending out press releases, but I have also had to think outside of the box at times. The key is to be flexible and view every failure as an opportunity.
Switching parties and running as a Republican raised the profile of my campaign, got me into more forums, and got me more interviews. I was finally included in state-wide polls and, I also had a chance to reach out to people who had not heard the Libertarian message presented in terms they could relate to. On the other hand it was disappointing not to qualify for the primary ballot. This failure became another opportunity. Backing an opponent for the primary and changing party again, turned some heads and gave journalists something to write about, again.
Having done all of the above has translated into some lasting benefits. I have been included in two more candidate forums (one of which was cancelled due to my opponents backing out). The forum that was held was attended by everyone except Pete Hoekstra. Hoekstra backed out because I was included, and WJR AM Radio host Frank Beckmann made sure listeners knew this.
I have also kept journalists awake by challenging conventional wisdom and proceeding with a recall against Senator Carl Levin (For his roll in the detainee provisions of the NDAA). Michigan law explicitly allows us to recall our Senators, but there is an unofficial dogma among the political class that says otherwise. This has resulted in Levin's cronies doing everything in there power to avoid complying with the law.
You seem to hold traditional Libertarian views, then. Much different than the incumbent Sen. Stabenow, who has repeatedly supported many positions opposite the traditional Libertarian's; health reform and "Obamacare" being the most recently spotlighted. What is your thoughts on the Supreme Court upholding The Affordable Care Act?
Boman: Most of the attention is on the law itself. It is a bad law as are all Federal laws that seek to run health insurance; it replaces the voluntary market with systemic violence, and is an exercise of un-enumerated powers by Congress.
This court ruling sets a much more sinister precedent. By relabeling the unconstitutional fine a "tax," in order to make an unconstitutional law appear more constitutional. In other-words he literally legislated from the bench by re-writing a law without being in the legislature.
The door is now open for every law, no matter how unconstitutional, to be called constitutional and to be given an entirely new meaning without the approval of anyone other than a single justice who happens to vote with the wrong-headed majority. If a law banning use of the word "ice cream" on Sunday made it to the Supreme Court, the judge could rule that it is Constitutional because it actually means that the Salaries of Supreme Court Jesters are to be paid in gold bullion (1 OZ per dollar).
As a Senator, I would only confirm justices who read the Constitution using an understanding of basic English, through the lens of original intent.
Interesting point. These will be my final two questions. Recently, I did a piece on the failure of the Senate to pass a bill causing the labeling of GMOs. What do you believe should be the role of government concerning GMOs and with food in general?
Boman: “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” ~Thomas Jefferson
Truth in labeling is important. To misrepresent the contents of an item is fraud. If an organism contains human and carrot genes, it is fraud to call it a carrot. Food that is exchanged within state lines is not subject to the commerce clause, so it is up to the states and the people to establish truth in labeling standards. The Boxer Sanders amendment to allow states to require GMO labels was redundant since states don't require the Federal governments permission to do so. My opponent Debbie Stabenow made a rather stupid remark in defense of her "no" vote:
"Consumers certainly need to have available information. We need to make sure it's accurate according to the FDA after they determine that and I would make one other point," said Stabenow. "You know American farmers are feeding the world with 7 billion mouths to feed this is harder every day. Science innovation is very important to that."
The implication seems to be that the way to ensure sufficient crops is to keep people ignorant. Perhaps this is also why she supports continued Federal involvement in education. Either way states don't require the Federal government’s permission to exercise their tenth amendment powers.
Many food producers are willing to go beyond minimum government requirements to accurately describe the food being sold. They have a natural right to educate their consumers as much as they want. This right is protected under the first amendment.
Ultimately, the voluntary choice by producers to label their food as "GMO free" provides an idea alternative to label mandates since consumers who disapprove of GMO food can simply select food bases on positive labeling (GMO free) rather than having to reject food that has a label indicating the presence of Genetic Modifications.
There is a related matter which I must address here. Certain agri-businesses, such as Monsanto, routinely abuse the courts and copyright law to deprive unwitting third-world farmers of their property. There is a great deal of graft involved in many of these cases. We must be careful to ensure that patent laws, which are good in principal, are not used as a legal tool to separate poor farmers from their birthright. Here, farmers are sued into poverty, because patented seeds sprout on a Farmer’s property. Often seeds are planted and traded in good faith by farmers who have no idea their crops have been contaminated by patented genes. Federal subsidies for GMO corn is destroying traditional farming in Mexico (in conjunction with NAFTA) further tightening Monsanto’s monopoly. This also shines some light on the difference between Laissez Faire Capitalism and graft (Sometimes called “crony capitalism,” “corporatism” or “crapitalism”). Older terms that describe systemically similar configurations include “mixed economy” and “fascism.”
One of the most blatant distinctions between crony capitalism and Laissez Faire can be found in S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act; it would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. This is the exact opposite of the free market. It was signed into law in 2011, making many gardeners and farmers into criminals. In the name of protecting the common citizen, their rights are taken away.
The reason some corporations can pose a threat to liberty, is that they get privileges or favors from the government. If the Federal government were as limited as it was designed to be, the capacity to dispense favors, and the adverse consequences for the common people would be limited to the same degree. Monsanto is one corporation that has exploited extra-Constitutional Federal power embodied by the Food and Drug Administration. For instance, former deputy commissioner of the FDA, Michael Taylor, previously worked as an attorney for Monsanto. He was able to push through approval of GMO crops with little prior testing and a lack of accurate labeling, in spite of warnings from FDA scientists. Other people to move between Monsanto (or subsidiaries) and critical positions in the Federal government include Donald Rumsfeld, Clarence Thomas, and Mickey Kantor.
The FDA seal gives consumers a false sense of security since their decisions are often influenced by political cronyism rather than sound science. In many cases, FDA regulations kill people. For instance, Propranolol was found to be helpful for the treatment of angina and hypertension, but 10,000 people died needlessly for the first three years of the FDA approval process while it’s use remained illegal. The alternative is to let people consume the food and drugs of their choice, while having independent consumer protection organizations offer their seal of approval to products they deem safe. Precedents for this type of private regulation include Underwriters Laboratories, JD Power and Associates, Consumer Reports, or other organizations. If they fail to screen their products properly, consumers will not have confidence in products approved by them. Without the FDA monopoly, other organizations can step up to replace those that fail to protect consumers.
Farmers hurt by crop contamination or land poisoned by herbicides An appropriate legal remedy for people damaged by harmful products, are lawsuits, but graft results in rulings that are biased. Keeping government limited limits the consequence and attractiveness of graft.
Finally, President Obama recently signed a bill that will keep student loan interest rates at the same level. What is your position on student loans and federal involvement with higher education?
Boman: Subsidizing tuition or otherwise manipulating education is not among the enumerated powers of Congress, thus laws that do this are unconstitutional. In the Michigan Presidential debate, Ron Paul correctly noted that as the government subsidizes products, the quality goes down, and the prices go up. The results are tragic. In the 1950s my father was able to pay for a year at University of Michigan by delivering mail and working in the school cafeteria. Now, after decades of subsidies, it is almost impossible to pay for a college education out-of-pocket. Colleges keep increasing tuition rates, because they know most of their consumers won’t have to pay for it, or payment is delayed so much that it plays no roll in a young persons decision making. In the later case students find themselves to be debtors for years, without the huge boost in income that education propagandists promise them.