Conservative Patriots Group Q&A

Questions below were sent to all candidates for 2014, by the Wasilla based Conservative Patriots Group. I am in no way affiliated with this group. I am glad they are helping their members and the general public be more involved and informed in the political process.

Andrew C. Lee
Candidate for Lt. Governor
Alaska Libertarian Party

1. Do you believe in the written Rule of Law as expressed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by the founding fathers and reject the idea of a living Constitution? Please explain.

Yes. We are a society of laws. Laws must be obeyed and enforced; if they are not worthy of either, then they must be repealed. If people want a law to be changed, then they must go through one of the legal processes to change it. No selective enforcement, no living documents.

2. Do you believe that government is best when it governs least? Please explain.

Yes. Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re controlling what someone else is doing. As a Libertarian I am the opposite, I am most unhappy when I am in charge of controlling what someone else is doing. I don’t want to use government to force others to conform to my position. Governments must be limited only to governing those aspects of society that cannot be effectively governed at a more local level of government all the way down to an individual governing his or her own self. As Milton Friedman put it: “Libertarians want the smallest, least-intrusive government consistent with maximum freedom for each individual to follow his own ways, his own values, as long as he doesn’t interfere with anyone else doing the same.”

3. Do you believe in the individual’s right to life, liberty, and property? Please explain.

Yes. I believe each individual has natural rights, including life, liberty, and property. The Bill of Rights simply recognizes and legally protects these rights from interference by the Federal Government.

4. Do you believe in the sanctity of the individual from conception (Pro-Life)? Please explain.

Most of your members would probably say that I do not. I cannot fathom electing for an abortion. But I do not have a uterus, so I will never face that decision. But I cannot find a basis for government to interfere. I believe an individual’s body is their sovereign territory and government laws should not penetrate inside. At conception a new and distinct human life is created, this is scientific fact. This life, however, is not an individual. You cannot separate that life from the life giver without the new life perishing. I hope for a future where there is no demand for abortion, where new life is valued by all who could create it, where personal responsibility and respect are the norm.

5. Do you believe our freedoms and rights are God-given natural rights, not given by the government? Please explain.

Yes. I believe each individual has natural rights, nature itself is the origin of these rights; whether or not there is a God. Government derives it’s powers from the rights of the individual. We cannot empower the government to do anything that we as an individual cannot do. We recognize that if an individual cannot force another to give up their life or property, then the government cannot either. If it’s wrong for you to do it, then it’s more wrong for government to do it.

6. Do you have compassion for the poor but oppose policies, such as socialism, that encourage people to remain on public assistance? Please explain.

Yes. Tax dollars should only be used to provide the required essential services of government. Tax dollars should never be redistributed to individuals. I believe in charity. I believe in free will. I cannot justify using the force and violence of tax collection by any level of government to take from one person and give to another; that is not compassion, that is theft. I believe that compassion must be a personal choice. I believe that private charities, when unbound by excessive regulation, are the best avenue for helping those in need, and are the best arbiters for determining who the needy are and are not. I believe that social programs run by governments become self-perpetuating, bloated, inefficient, and damaging to the people they purport to be attempting to help.

7. Do you believe in a strong military and have a great respect for those who have put their lives in peril to protect freedom? Please explain.

Yes. A strong national military is a critical need for a nation, a well defined Constitutional duty of our Federal Government, and cannot feasibly be done at a lower level of government. A portion of individual citizens’ natural right to self defense can and should be invested into a collective power of national defense. Likewise we have a collective duty to not abuse this power nor to abuse or neglect those that wield it on our behalf.

8. Do you support HJR 1? Please explain.

No. I am completely opposed to using tax dollars to fund private organizations, or private vouchers. Taxes are a necessary way to fund government, and should only be used to fund necessary government functions. Local districts and individual schools should have more control over spending priorities and curriculum, and not be forced into national one-size-fits-all schemes. Taxes should (almost) never be used for the private benefit of individuals. So I oppose vouchers when funded through taxation. Taxation is force, putting a tax collector’s gun to someone’s head and saying “help pay for my child to go to a private school or you will go to jail” would violate my ethics. However, Alaska is an owner state. Royalty revenues from resource development belongs to all; we as a people can decide how to divide that money up. We can say we want equal shares to each, like we do with a portion of it now through the PFD. But just as easily we can have another fund that provides Education Fund Dividends to people who meet certain criteria, such as students of a certain age. Those people could then use that money toward whatever they want, including any school of their choice.

More thoughts on schools and education:
http://safonatt.com/public-schools/

9. What infrastructure development would you support and why (projects such as Knik Arm bridge, coal, hydro, road etc.)? Please include project(s) of your choice.

First things first. I oppose any unsustainable or deficit budget. We must first fund all things required by law, then we can discuss discretionary spending such as capital projects, which may be zero for several years until we recover from the past several years of excessive budgets. Maintenance on existing infrastructure would get priority, then development of new projects. I believe the State of Alaska should focus on empowering private enterprise to pursue the projects that it deems worthy. Empowerment of private sector takes very little State money, merely streamlining regulations and compliance burdens, providing prompt action on necessary regulation and enforcement, and fighting Federal overreach that places undue burden on progress.

10. Do you support SB 90? Please explain.

I am not well enough versed in this bill and the related issues to have a strong opinion on the specific language of the bill. In principle, we must keep all the promises that we have made, and stop making unsustainable promises that we will not be able to keep.

11. Please describe your top three legislative priorities.

1) Reduce the State’s gross overspending, bringing spending within levels that maintain or increase our savings plans (these plans are like retirement plans for TAPS, when that funding stream goes away; depleting them now will be devastating to Alaska within 8 years.)

2) Reduce and streamline the burden that regulations and laws impose on the people. This includes working to reduce laws and enforcement expenses for crimes against oneself (such as drug laws).

3) Fight Federal overreach, including nullification of excessive Federal laws, enforcement of the original Alaska Statehood compact (such as 90%/10% split for resources from federal land), drastically reduce federal oversight and law enforcement within the state (such as BLM and NPS).

12. Do you support SB 21 as originally voted by our elected officials? Please explain.

Sure. I voted on 1; I want Alaska to keep the new oil tax plan created by SB21. Every expert I value says the immediate difference in revenue between the old Palin ACES law and the new laws is slightly more or slightly less depending on markets. A majority of legislators were voted into office on a platform to pass this legislation; we owe it to those voters to see this through. The best way to increase revenue is by increasing production, or we will very shortly find ourselves with a frozen and shutdown oil pipeline.

13. Have you or will you take funds from public employee unions to help finance your campaign? Do you see any conflict of interest if you accept such funds? Please explain.

Absolutely. I’ll take as much money from anyone and everyone that is allowed by law. There is no conflict. Honest. Campaign contributions may be sent to “Andrew C Lee for Alaska” PO Box 1370, Nome, AK 99762

14. Would you support legislation that prohibited the state from withholding public employee union dues from an employee’s paycheck? Please explain.

Maybe. If the administrative costs for providing this service to the unions is significant, then the cost should be born by the private beneficiary and not paid for by public funds. If this cost is minimal, then I’m not going to exert a disproportionate amount of time to change the law. We have bigger things to deal with.

15. Do you support the legalization of marijuana? Please explain.

Yes. I’ve never tried that crap and I don’t have any interest in it. But I’m tired of our government and society wasting money and lives on that plant. Anti-drug laws keep illegal drug dealers in business.

Right now we have all these unlicensed pharmacists dispensing unregulated drugs in secret and shadow. Now the unlicensed and unregulated parts don’t bother me so much; it’s the secrets and shadows that cause the problems. Lets bring drugs all out into the open, so the consumer can be informed, so the sellers can have and build reputations for the quality of their products and service. That would solve most of the issues with drugs today; and the issues that decriminalization does not solve are already with us today and are being made worse by bad laws.

I hope no one misunderstands. I don’t think people should smoke pot, or anything else, but that is a very long way from thinking pot should be illegal or that my views against drug use is a justifiable use of force to collect tax dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for disagreeing with me.

16. Will you assist in reducing the budget, even if this means less money to your district for non-essential projects? Please explain.

Absolutely. TAPS won’t last forever, we are destroying our TAPS retirement accounts, we are increasing the infrastructure dependant on State funds. Unless we do everything legal to bring the budget under control, the consequences will be severe. The longer we delay in enacting fiscal sanity, the sooner and harsher the austerity measures will be. Right now it’s 8 years away. Another two budgets like we had the last two years and it will be much sooner. If we don’t act, this would force major austerity measures and state income taxes.

17. Why do you think you best represent your constituents?

I’m on the ballot and they aren’t. :) I’m just a regular person, I’ve lived a life much like theirs, I share many of the same concerns and hopes. I don’t say I’m the best person to represent them. I say that I hope I am good enough to represent them. Of course it helps that I am smarter and better looking than average.

18. Do you think Alaska has a sustainable budget? Please explain.

No. You cannot call depleting our State savings accounts and increasing spending faster than revenues “sustainable” by any definition within the realm of reality.

19. Do you support an increase in the minimum wage for Alaska? Please explain.

No. I do not think the government has any standing to interfere with private contracts such as wages. What we need to do is reduce the government imposed barriers to entry that would allow an individual to start their own business and compete. The only reasons people take low paying jobs are: they are not valuable enough to the business to command a higher wage, the low wage is more than they would otherwise make at another job or through self-employment, and/or they get other benefits such as training and education (like an internship) that the employee values.