Libertarian endorsement?

Hi Harmeet,

  Yes, Tom mentioned you to me. Thank you for reaching out to seek the
Libertarian Party's support, as well as that of the Pink Pistols. I'm
copying our local LP activist list on this message, in case any of
our other members on that list would like to get in touch with you. I
am glad to see that you state a belief in limited government and
opposition to regulations that impede personal freedom and increase
government power, and we would be happy to hear from you and consider
recommending a vote for you. We will most likely not be formally
speaking with candidates and making our recommendations until
September/October, but please send me your phone number and we will
make sure to invite you when we have more details on when, where and
how that will take place.

  Looking at your positions as listed on your website, I see a lot
that Libertarians would cheer. Your views appear to be those of
someone who is more pro-freedom than most members of your party,
especially among elected Republicans. However I do see some issues of
potential concern for us, including:

"Ensuring Public Safety" (http://www.dhillon08.com/positions2f.html)

You write that "The state should continue to implement incarceration
policies that protect the public from recidivist violent and sexually
predatory felons." Some current incarceration policies are very
abusive of individual rights and constitutional protections. For
instance, over 700 "registered sex offenders" who have *completed
their sentences* are being detained against their will at a so-called
medical facility in Coalinga, CA (see http://www.sexgulag.org).

You also write in this section that, "Drug dealers should be subject
to stiff penalties as drugs are a scourge on California’s
productivity and the quality of family life." To this I might ask,
what about television? Isn't watching too much television also a
scourge on California's productivity and quality of family life?
Therefore, to be consistent, shouldn't you advocate banning TV, or
at least imposing criminal penalties on people with families who
spend too much time in front of the tube? Of course I'm being
facetious -- my point is that decisions like taking drugs, watching
TV, eating fast food, etc., should be left to the *individual* to
decide. The U.S. and California constitutions do not give government
the power to control these aspects of life -- you also mention the
importance of "maintaining strict adherence to the Constitution of
the State of California and the Constitution of the United States" --
and for them to do so is a violation of individual human rights and
civil liberties. I hope you will consider revising these stances.

"Growing the California Economy" (http://www.dhillon08.com/
positions1a.html)

In this section you write that "I support the building of new or
expanding freeways, roads and rails to help alleviate congestion,
save fuel and improve commerce," and also "I support building new
infrastructure for water recycling and developing new sources of
water..." Hopefully this doesn't mean you support government spending
more taxpayer money to do these things. If not, I urge you to clarify
that you are referring to voluntary efforts, not more government action.

"Access to Quality Health Care" (http://www.dhillon08.com/
positions2a.html)

You write that "All Californians should be required to have some form
of catastrophic health insurance." What about earthquake insurance?
Renter's insurance? Liability insurance? Flood insurance? Homeowner's
insurance? Should these also be required? Again I am not advocating
such forms of insurance be mandatory too, merely pointing out that
like using drugs or watching TV, buying insurance should also be an
individual choice. I understand the concern that many people without
insurance end up providing a rationale for aggression against
taxpayers by receiving government health care they cannot pay for,
but instead of committing a different form of aggression against
taxpayers by forcing them to buy insurance, a better solution would
be to end or at least reduce taxpayer funding of health care, and
leave support for indigent people with medical needs to voluntary
charity.

"Achieving the 'American Dream' Through Legal Immigration" (http://
www.dhillon08.com/positions2c.html)

Here you write that "I call for the strict enforcement of current
immigration laws, including sanctions on employers who knowingly or
recklessly employ illegal immigrants." Again please allow me to
remind you of your support for "strict adherence" to the U.S. and
California constitutions. These documents do not give government any
authority to control migration -- the U.S. Constitution only gives
government the power to regulate *naturalization* i.e. who becomes a
citizen, not who enters the country. Telling someone that he or she
cannot hire a person because that person does not have a particular
piece of paperwork from some government is also a violation of the
individual rights of both the employer and the prospective employee,
and whenever employers are denied the ability to hire strictly on
merit it hurts the economy.

"The Right to Bear Arms" (http://www.dhillon08.com/positions4b.html)

Although your general agreement with the Second Amendment is
admirable, you write that you support "limitations on the private
ownership of automatic, 'assault' weapons." Any weapon can be used in
an assault -- the labeling of certain weapons as "assault weapons" is
largely an attempt by gun rights opponents to demonize these weapons,
and by government officials to infringe on the right to keep and bear
arms. I believe that history shows the framers of the Constitution
wanted to protect the individual right to carry all firearms, and it
is important for the maintenance of liberty that ordinary people have
access to the same personal weaponry as government agents.

  Again, these constructive criticisms should not be taken as
opposition -- I think much of your platform is quite libertarian, and
I especially appreciate your stances on privacy, federalism, property
rights, and the rights of political parties. I just wanted to give
you some food for thought and encourage you to rethink positions
you've stated which Libertarians would probably tend to see as less
pro-freedom than many of your other ideas and in danger of
encouraging the growth or power of government.

  I would be happy to further discuss your candidacy or policy
positions, and look forward to meeting in person. Please let me know
if you have any questions.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco

P.S. - May I list you as an endorser of the measure to decriminalize
prostitution (see http://espu-ca.org/wp/?page_id=173) which will be
on this November's SF ballot? We also have Libertarians running for
Congress against Nancy Pelosi (http://www.choosepeacenow.us/home/)
and Jackie Spier (http://www.kdpeterson.net). Would they have any
chance of getting your endorsement?

Michael,

  Normally I'd say sure, but we have a procedure for making
recommendations for non-Libertarian candidates, and it would probably
be better if we follow that and give everyone the same opportunity
unless there is some pressing reason to do otherwise.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Starchild,

Yes, let's give everyone the same opportunity.

Best, Michael

Yes, that's what I was suggesting. I do think Rob has a valid point
though about the desirability of not embarrassing ourselves by having
more candidates show up than there are of us to hear them. Therefore
I suggest we solicit peoples' pledges to either attend a candidate
night, or donate a certain amount of money to the LPSF. If it doesn't
look like we'll have a decent number of attendees, then I suggest we
invite *all* the candidates to one of our regular meetings, or
multiple meetings if there is not time to hear from all of them in
one month.

  I agree that a candidate's efforts to reach out to us should be
taken into consideration when making recommendations, but I think it
will potentially keep things simpler and give us a greater appearance
of fairness to outsiders if the process for hearing from candidates
is generally as even-handed as we can make it.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))