Our Revels (for) Now Are Ended

My thanks to all of you for your commitment to my campaign. I am truly honored to have had it.

As I am sure you know, on Election Day I received an amazing 25,856 votes. I say amazing because, as my lovely wife Christine posited, “We don’t know 25,000 people!” I agreed. Unfortunately, my opponent, Senator Florence Shapiro, received 135,945 votes. (I am sure she doesn’t know 135,000 people either.)

My total represented 16 percent of the vote. In a quick survey of the election data (in other words this could be wrong) it looks like I received the second highest total percentage for a Libertarian in the State of Texas. Sixteen percent is six percentage points higher than the base vote for Libertarians who run straight up against a Democrat or Republican and one point higher than my goal of 15 percent. I am very proud of this. Again, thank you!

More importantly, I believe my campaign has had an impact (at least for now) on the nature of the dialogue. As Senator Shapiro said in a gracious voicemail to me, “I certainly think there are issues and that you brought to the table that I think were very valuable and I will take them to heart.” I have noticed that she seems to be taking a more fiscally conservative stance on the upcoming budget. If this is the case, I am thrilled as it signals the true success of the campaign.

As with all Republicans, however, I remain reticent and skeptical about how the Senator will conduct herself once she gets to Austin in January. For me, anything short of shrinking the size of the state government by at least 20 percent is failure. I am hoping the electorate will not be like Charlie Brown and once again wind up flat on their collective backs as Lucy moves the football… AGAIN!

Here is the video of my concession speech on Tuesday evening.

 

Pictures from the poll watching party (and my birthday party) can be found here. (Apparently Picassa still does not play nice with blogs other the Blogger.) My thanks to Jessica Karlinski for taking and posting the photos!

There may be another post or two on this blog, but after that I intend to let it fall dormant, but will keep the URL just in case. (No that is not an announcement.) I will continue to post occasionally about matters political at my personal blog. If you are interested, please take a look at it and sign up for the feed if you like what you see.

Really Senator Shapiro?

This week on her monoblog (I call it this because it does not allow comments), my competitor, Senator Florence Shapiro writes:

As your Senator, my philosophy has always been—and will continue to be—that the role of government should be a limited one. Government cannot and should not be allowed to continually expand its role.

Really, Senator Shapiro? Then how do you explain:

  • Your 47% economic ranking with the Heritage Alliance in 2009.
  • The fact that under your party’s control the size of the Texas Government doubling in the last ten years. And, yes, as I pointed out in our candidate forum this takes into account population increases as well as inflation.image
  • The $21 billion shortfall in the state budget and worse the $193 billion unfunded liability that the state has racked up under you and your cronies from both parties.
  • The fact that more members of the North Texas Tea Party, a group known for their true fiscal responsibility, thought that I was the better candidate.

If you are a true fiscal conservative, I challenge you to sign and the same pledge I have – a pledge to resign if you ever “vote for increasing the tax burden or increasing spending.”

Oh, yeah, and allow comments on your blog, someone on your staff should have told you how embarrassing that is.

OK, so that is not exactly what she meant!

During the Allen Area Patriots Candidate Forum last Thursday, my opponent, Senator Florence Shapiro, was being facetious in speculating on what Texas might look like if Libertarians were in power. The response, however, was not what she planned. I would love for FoxNews to do one of their “body language” assessments.

PS – Word  comes today from the League of Women Voters of Plano/Collin County that the Senator will not be attending the Candidate Forum scheduled for October 7. No reason was given and I will not speculate as to why.

A Confluence of Two Ideas

In an article on texting while driving in the Christian Science Monitor yesterday, two ideas that I talk about on this blog came together.

First, the idea of politicians not understanding unintended consequences of the laws they pass. I have no doubt that most politicians (including my opponent Senator Shapiro) truly want to help their fellow human beings. My questions of course are a) is it government’s job to protect people from a safety perspective and b) what are the possible unintended consequences of any law?

In the case of texting while driving, I think it is clear that these laws are not needed. Distracted driving is already illegal why pass a special law about texting. If a cop sees someone texting while driving, simply pull the person over and issue a summons for the law that is already on the books.

The unintended consequences are also obvious if you give it some thought. Instead of not texting, people will continue to text, but hold the phone lower so as to elude getting caught. This in turn increases the number of accidents because the driver in now looking down farther and the line of sight is more impeded.

The second idea this article mentions is anticollision devices in cars which are part of driverless car technology about which I have written. A video from Kelley Blue Book demonstrates this idea.

 

The problem is that some laws prohibit the operator not been in control of the vehicle at all times. This might make this technology, which would actually improve safety, illegal. (BTW – I would not be in favor of requiring this on all cars.)

Ultimately though, this is a rights issue, not a safety issue. We could have a law that would reduce traffic fatalities to near zero and would be simple and of little cost to implement. If the purpose of government and laws are to protect our safety, simply pass a law requiring all steering wheels have a huge metal spike attached which is aimed at the chest of the driver.

Traffic fatalities would plummet, but the impact (pun intended) on our freedom would be disastrous and unacceptable.

Video from the Allen Area Patriots’ Candidate Forum

Special thanks to Michael Openshaw from the North Texas Tea Party for posting video of the first two parts of the candidate forum from last Thursday. I think I held my own against the well-spoken, five-term incumbent State Senator.

I plan to edit this down to the best three minutes in the future. This is the raw footage (diskage?) of the event.

Part One


 

Part Two

“Missed It By That Much”

Well, the results are in I am not “Tea Approved” by the North Texas Tea Party, but then again, neither was Senator Shapiro. As posted on their blog, here are the results:

Yes No
Ed Kless 14 15
Senator Florence Shapiro 11 18

To clarify, each candidate is voted up or down and the endorsement could have gone to one or even both of us.

I would like to thank the NTTP for their consideration (especially Michael Openshaw), the Allen Area Patriots for hosting the event (especially Chuck and Cindy), my supporters for coming out to the event (especially my wife Christine), and Senator Florence Shapiro for attending (most incumbents would not have attended).

I hope to have some video of the forum posted shortly.

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On the Pacific Research Institute

Last night at the candidate forum sponsored by the Allen Area Patriots, one questioner inquired about my source for Texas being listed 31st as a state in economic freedom. My answer was the Pacific Research Institute.

With pleasure I present a video about this terrific organization.

 

Click this sentence if you are interested in reading the full U.S. Economic Freedom Index for 2008.

On “Endorsements”

imageLast Wednesday, September 15, my opponent’s campaign announced, “Today, the Shapiro campaign begins rolling out endorsements for the 2010 election cycle. Our first endorsement is from the Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND:”

The announcement was made on her monoblog. I call it this because you cannot leave comments. Hmmmm.

I found this curious because the Texas Farm Bureau never contacted me. In their press release they cited the fact that the Senator, “understands transportation issues and our opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor.”

Of course, I am on record as opposing the building of the Trans Texas Corridor at taxpayer expense as well, so I reached out to them to let them know that as well.

Jim Sartwelle, III, director of public policy and AgFund coordinator, replied as follows:

Thank you for your email and for your interest in the Texas Farm Bureau AgFund.  Our organization’s policy is to support members of Congress and the state legislature who support our policy positions.  Senator Shapiro has a 90% voting record with us and, as such, is considered a friendly incumbent.  She was endorsed without contacting or meeting with other candidates in the race, nor are any such meetings necessary between now and the election.

Again, thank you for your interest in Texas Farm Bureau AgFund.

Please note: not all endorsements are all they are claimed to be.

Also, for the record here is my reply:

Jim,

Thanks for the quick reply.

While I find your policy a bit unfair to other candidates, as a Libertarian I certainly recognize your right as a private organization to determine your own policies as you see fit. I hope that you might consider amending this policy in the future.

Again, if you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.

Reason 1 Why Republicans Should Consider Voting for Me

This classic strip appeared in the papers on a couple of Sundays ago.

Peanuts

Image

If you are truly looking for a smaller government, you must consider voting Libertarian. As Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict said:

Republicans are trying to fool you again. There are two kinds of Tea Partiers. One kind is so blinded by its hatred of Obama and Democrats that it cannot see fault with Republicans.

Libertarians have much in common with Tea Party goals of reducing government spending and taxes. While many Tea Party supporters will admit that George W. Bush’s administration grew government, Libertarians want to remind Tea Partiers about previous Republican administrations that loved big government.

Republican Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America promised to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy. Yet once Republicans took control of Congress, they failed even to reduce the spending on those departments.

Republican President George Bush, Sr. remains famous for coining the phrase ‘Read my lips, no new taxes,’ and then raising taxes.

Republican President Ronald Reagan grew federal government spending to the highest level it had reached since World War II. He also ‘saved Social Security’ by raising payroll taxes.

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole was a huge supporter of taxpayer subsidies for corn and ethanol.

In 1971, Republican President Richard Nixon instituted wage and price controls. That made a group of free-market supporters so angry that they decided to form the Libertarian Party.

Republicans seem to think we’re idiots. For decades they have paid lip-service to shrinking government, while consistently doing the opposite in office.

Our fear is that Tea Partiers might say ‘This time it will be different.’ No it won’t. If you vote for Republicans this time, it will just reinforce the message that they can lie to you and grow government with impunity.

Current Republicans are just as bad as past Republicans. This year, Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan is running for U.S. Senate against Republican John McCain, who famously suspended his 2008 presidential campaign so he could rush back to Washington to bail out the banks.

Republican leader John Boehner might end up as the next House Speaker, and he voted for George W. Bush’s huge 2003 Medicare expansion.

John Cornyn, Republican senator from Texas, and current chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, voted for the TARP bailouts.

Brief Report on the North Texas Tea Party Rally

Ed addresses a voter's concern about splitting the vote.

Yesterday, I attended the North Texas Tea Party Rally in McKinney, TX.

A small (about 300), but enthusiastic crowd braved the 92 degree heat to listen to some rally-the-troops speeches.

For me the highlight was meeting some folks and educating them on my campaign including K-SKY’s Jon-David Wells. My key message – there is no Democrat in the race! While many of the attendee where sympathetic to the Libertarian cause, most worried about the notion of a Libertarian splitting the Republic vote and a Democrat getting elected instead.

When I explained that was not the case in my race against Senator Florence Shapiro, there was much more enthusiasm.  (I’ll have more on this idea later this week.)

By far the highlight for the Libertarians was when our gubernatorial candidate, Kathie Glass, addressed the crowd. Again, the message played well, but there is fear about Bill White slipping in.