2015/2016 Legislative Platform

Introduction

It is imperative that those seeking to employ political bonds do so in a manner of transparency and forthrightness so as to preclude those aspects of failed communications which hinder the advancement of the shared principles. It is in this spirit that we, the candidates and leaders of the Libertarian Party of Washington State, come together to establish a platform of ideals and priorities upon which we shall intend to carry the banner of the Libertarian Party forward in this state and across the union. We have set out to establish action in accordance with the libertarian principles, intending to employ pragmatic solutions which, when enacted, will serve to set in motion the process of restoring the proper relationship between the government and her people. It is not, however, the intent to dictate the entirety of the Libertarian philosophy within the scope of this platform, rather to detail a specific legislative agenda which the Party and Candidates will pledge to make a priority in the coming campaigns and legislative sessions. We believe that the execution of these legislative items in the manner presented will best represent the larger philosophy of a Libertarian government. We, the candidates and leadership of the Libertarian Party of Washington State, resolve to represent these platform elements as necessary actions which will ultimately lead to a freer, more prosperous, and more robustly independent Washington State.

Political Bonds and Partisanship

  1. Since 2009 Washington State has been subject to a sleeper law giving away our Electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how the voters in this state intended to vote. We believe the current winner-take-all system disadvantages not only voters in less populous states as a whole but also voters outside urban areas of more populous states and that the best method is a decentralized representation of the intent of the voters. In our representative republic, Washington representation in Presidential elections should be pro rata proportional in importance to California and New York. Under a national popular vote, less populous states like Washington will lose their voice completely. Half of the US population resides in 9 states. Washington is not one of them.

We will draft and propose specific legislation regarding the selection of Electors in the Presidential election process, removing the state from the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and providing an avenue for Electoral College representation of all voters supporting a district based or proportionally divided electoral system within the state.

  1. Washington voters overwhelmingly approved modifications to our political process, removing party caucus and party affiliation of elected officials; however, in the case of death or resignation the seat is retained by the party the official preferred. We do not believe that political parties own elected seats, and we do not believe they should be allowed to appoint replacements to serve in the absence of the official the voters have chosen.

We will draft and propose specific legislation regarding political party ‘ownership’ of elected seats, returning the seats to the people to identify individuals for replacement in the case of resignation or death in special elections

  1. Washington State has been transformed from a free and representative Republic into a divisive partisan territory protected by big party bosses. We believe that the state is in a partisan gridlock and the people are left unmotivated and under-represented.

We will draft and propose specific legislation restructuring the State Legislative elections, eliminating the separate races for district seat positions, returning to a system of open district elections, and providing for more representative political make-up in the State Legislature.

Education and Transportation

  1. The Washington State education system is failing our students, our teachers, and the future of our state. The parents and educators of students in Washington know what is best for our children’s success. We believe that every child deserves a quality education, a curriculum that is competitive on the world market, and educators who are seeking advancements in their profession.

We will draft and propose significant reforms in the Washington state education system, allowing increased freedom and access to home and alternative school structures. We will champion efforts for decentralizing the education structure by eliminating standardized testing and supporting efforts to advance competitive and alternative curriculum. We support equal opportunities for students of all abilities including special education and gifted student programs. We support the inclusion of apprenticeship programs as educational equivalents for early career professional access to trade jobs.

  1. Through failed ventures such as CRC, Seattle Viaduct Tunnel (Bertha) and the 520 floating bridge we recognize that the state has a poor track record regarding transportation programs and project management. We understand the use of private enterprise promotes competition and improved product, and that significant operations currently exist nationally and internationally which manage highways and ferries. We believe that increased transportation taxation and the absence of significant transportation reforms are disastrous recipes for the future of this state. We believe that speed regulation is used as a tool of monetary force against the non-reckless drivers and is a victimless crime.

We will draft and propose specific legislation to re-privatize the Washington State Ferry System, believing it would improve reliability and services of a system that was intended to be a temporary means of cross-Sound transportation while removing the massive burden to taxpayers. We will draft and propose specific legislation to restrict local and state government restricting Urban Transit market competition, allowing privatization of bus lines, light rail, and other transportation services.

We will draft and propose specific legislation to allow long-term lease and privatization of the management and improvement of major and minor elements of the state highway system, removing the Department of Transportation as the authoritative figure of these infrastructures. We will lead efforts to bridge political divides in establishing this transition.

We will draft and propose specific legislation removing the ability of the state to conduct predatory speed-traps for non-reckless travelers. We will ensure that revocation of such standing law employ an emphasis on criminal recklessness. Such legislation will disallow the use of speed cameras as a means of revenue sourcing in the state.

Every effort will be made by campaigns, candidates, and party activists to reverse course on excessive transportation taxation, fees, citations, and other elements aimed at stealing and misusing the wealth of the travelers of Washington State.

State and Tribal Sovereignty

  1. We believe in the ability for a state to assert its sovereignty protected by the 10th amendment, ensuring limitations of the federal government are maintained. We find that the federal legislative and executive branches operate beyond the scope of the constitution by interfering in intrastate commerce and dictating law through executive order, both of which have been unchecked by Congress or the Courts.

We will draft and propose specific legislation requiring constitutional review of all federal executive orders and legislation affecting intrastate commerce, including obligatory legal action by the State Attorney General when constitutional bounds have been breached by the federal executive. Under this law, no executive order or federal legislation affecting intrastate commerce will be legally enforceable within the boundaries and territories of this state without approval of 3/5ths of the State Legislature.

  1. We believe that the intended sovereignty of Native Tribes within the bounds of the State of Washington, as established through Article VI of the US Constitution and their respective Treaties with the United States, is being violated by the State of Washington. Several laws, regulations, and hardships are placed on the tribes in violation of their sovereignty.

We will draft and propose specific legislation increasing recognition of Tribal Sovereignty under treaties by removing current restrictions and regulations imposed by the state government. We will draft and propose specific legislation prohibiting the state government from interfering with transportation of goods to and from the sovereign lands and from attempting to regulate commerce or transaction within the sovereign territories. We support finalizing existing treaty disputes, and will work as independent agents for mediation where needed.

  1. We recognize that Washington exists within a larger natural bioregion, within natural borders and with specific resources unique to this area. We believe that as an element of State Sovereignty protection of our natural bioregion, we must ensure a certain level of self-sustainment at the private, state, and regional level. We believe that we must protect our waterways, water use and regulation, and ensure local, state, or federal authorities do not legislate themselves authority over such natural resources eliminating the ability of private property self-sustainment. We believe that there is a natural right to “unplug” from utilities.

We will draft and propose specific legislation removing harmful local, state, or federal authority and overregulation of water collection and use. We support technological advancements providing increased private and state energy independence through market based means and solutions. We will draft and propose specific legislation restricting specific federal energy regulation of the intrastate bio-region.

Economic Recovery, Regulation, and Taxation

  1. We believe that government regulation, taxation, and bureaucracies have dire impact on the ability for the economy to thrive. We believe that current legislation encroaches too much into the free market economy of the state, favoring certain corporations over others and discouraging growth in the largest sector of our economy, Small Business. The highest B&O tax rate is 1100% higher than the lowest rate, arbitrarily disadvantaging certain business over others.

We will draft and propose specific legislation streamlining the business start-up process establishing a single B&O tax rate for all business, large and small. We will identify key areas of stifling regulation under current law and target this legislation for repeal in order to open Washington State to a more diverse economy, providing an avenue for competitive markets and economic growth in the state.

  1. We believe that government endorsed predatory loans have stolen a generation’s wealth and their hope for future pursuit of property. We believe that property ownership is a natural right, and strict reformation of Foreclosure law and Predatory Mortgage default protection is needed to allow every good faith effort for free citizens to retain their wealth. We believe that the government should not be in the loan or loan regulating business, but respect that to reach the end-goal of eliminating government involvement we must take incremental steps to undo the force taken against private property and personal wealth and begin transferring the power back to the people of Washington State.

We will draft and propose specific legislation protecting property owners who have been victimized by predatory lending, enforce bad-faith foreclosure mediation protections, reduce occurrences of abandoned homes, and improve community property ownership efforts.

  1. The citizens of Washington State have made it abundantly clear that they favor a 2/3rds majority vote of the legislature for all tax increases. We recognize the overwhelming and ever increasing tax burden on families and business in the state.

 

We support an amendment to the state constitution requiring a 2/3rds majority vote of the legislature for all tax increases. A simple minority could still reduce taxes.

 

  1. We believe that current regulatory structure favors large corporate owned farms, restricting the ability for small family owned farms to thrive on an equal and fair market.

We will draft and propose specific legislation regarding Farm Freedom, revoking specific taxation and licensing/regulation adversely impacting small family farms and their ability to openly compete on local and state markets.

The War on Drugs

  1. We believe that the war on drugs has been a failed venture, and under current structure it is used as a tool of force against non-violent non-criminals through association. Current regulations allow for Civil Asset Forfeiture without due process of law, proof, or conviction, impacting families and property owners who lose everything without hope for restitution.

We will draft and propose specific legislation targeting policies used in violation of constitutionally protected rights against illegal seizure of property without due process, enacting strict restrictions against the government regarding Civil Asset Forfeiture.

  1. We recognize that Washington State voters have approved cannabis for medical and recreational use, but are largely unaware of the significant and dangerous restrictions existing outside of the very narrow bands of non-enforcement. We recognize that cannabis continues to exist on both state and federal lists of scheduled narcotics, and that conflicting state and federal laws are both confusing and dangerous for private citizens, and they discourage entrepreneurs from advancing technologies specific to growing, harvesting, processing, and utilizing cannabinoids.

We will draft and propose specific legislation to remove cannabis from the state narcotics schedule list, and enact specific restrictions on federal agents from conducting enforcement of federal laws against cannabis within the boundaries and territories of Washington State. We will draft and propose specific legislation to undo the harmful impact of comingling medical and recreational cannabis regulation in the state and move to legalize completely and separately.

  1. The U.S. is the largest importer of industrial hemp in the world and we recognize the economic benefit to farmers and industry in our state. While I-502 decriminalized cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in Washington, it still remains restricted at the Federal level.

We will draft and propose specific legislation to prohibit enforcement of any federal legislation regarding the cultivation or processing of industrial hemp in Washington State.

Privacy, Protection Against Force, Protecting Your Family

  1. We believe in the natural right of defense for the self, one’s property, and one’s state. We recognize that Amendment II of the US Constitution and Article 1 section 24 of the Washington State Constitution provide specific restrictions on the state from impairing the free possession and transfer of arms.

We will repeal specific legislation restricting or impairing responsible firearm ownership, as protected in the Washington State Constitution Article 1 Section 24.

  1. We recognize the upward trend of excessive use of force by and militarization of the police in our communities. The ratio of excessive force accusations and officers found guilty is grossly skewed in law enforcements favor. Officers infringe on the life and liberty of our citizens while enjoying immunity from the law. Police officers should be held to the same standards and laws of the people they are sworn to protect and serve.

 

We will draft and propose specific legislation requiring an independent, volunteer citizen review board to investigate every accusation of excessive force and every discharge of an officer’s weapon to determine if their actions were warranted. The current system of police officers and their paid union officials acting in this capacity is an obvious conflict of interest.

 

  1. Washington citizens have the right to privacy. We recognize violations of the 4th Amendment by the federal government through warrantless Meta data collection by the NSA. We also recognize the potential for state and local agencies to use drones and permanent cameras to spy on citizens.

 

We will draft and propose legislation providing that this state and its political subdivisions shall not assist a federal agency in the collection or use of a person’s electronic data or metadata without a warrant. We support legislation already passed the state legislature to limit drone use without a warrant. The legislation was vetoed by Gov. Inslee.

 

  1. We believe that the state Child Protective Services acts in poor faith in instances of politicized issues, specifically medical cannabis and gun ownership. We recognize that a system of corruption exists whereby the department receives monetary incentive for adoption of seized children from families, and recognize the corruption in the system and their targeted sliding scale.

We will support the draft legislation known as Lilly’s Law, regarding the reformation of CPS, and take significant steps to improve families’ rights and to shift focus from politics and money to children and their parents.

By recognizing these targeted elements of deficiency in the State of Washington, the Libertarian Party of Washington State has afforded a strategic pathway to political recognition and viability for the party and its candidates.  We hold that by utilizing the means at our disposal, incorporating strategic efforts in the initiative and legislative processes and by drafting specific regulation upon which we can both lobby and campaign, the party will establish itself as a viable small government alternative to the corporate interests of the two major authoritarian factions currently in control of our government. The Libertarian Party of Washington State intends to advance to major party status and retain such status as a permanent alternative to continued erosion of personal liberties, providing competing solutions which seek to diminish or remove government influence outside of the constitutionally prescribed limits.

It is strongly urged that candidates, activists, and affiliates with the Libertarian Party of Washington State enact and adopt this legislative strategy for the 2015/2016 legislative and election cycles.

Conclusion

By recognizing these targeted elements of deficiency in the State of Washington, the Libertarian Party of Washington State has afforded a strategic pathway to political recognition and viability for the party and its candidates.  We hold that by utilizing the means at our disposal, incorporating strategic efforts in the initiative and legislative processes and by drafting specific regulation upon which we can both lobby and campaign, the party will establish itself as a viable small government alternative to the corporate interests of the two major authoritarian factions currently in control of our government. The Libertarian Party of Washington State intends to advance to major party status and retain such status as a permanent alternative to continued erosion of personal liberties, providing competing solutions which seek to diminish or remove government influence outside of the constitutionally prescribed limits.

It is strongly urged that candidates, activists, and affiliates with the Libertarian Party of Washington State enact and adopt this legislative strategy for the 2015/2016 legislative and election cycles.

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