Libertarian Wins Debate in Texas

RockMakesPoint.jpgRock Howard is claiming a victory in the first debate for the District 14 seat of the Texas Senate. From his website:

I won the first debate with Kirk Watson. The event was before the Austin Neighborhood Council on May 24th. In the debate I called Watson out repeatedly for his missteps in office particularly his massive corporate welfare deals. He did not deny or contest any of the allegations. (You can read about all of these for yourself at the Stop Kirk website.)

Meanwhile Watson attacked the Libertarian Party’s stance on education while admitting that my plan to fix the Texas public school system is “interesting”. You should know that I have promised not to resort to “guilt by association” and the other classic political mudslinging mechanisms. Instead I am restricting my comments on my opponent strictly to his actions in office as Mayor and as a lobbyist at the state capitol. I would never attack him for a statement in the Democratic Party platform that he had nothing to do with writing.

While Watson left the building immediately after the event, I stuck around to get a better reaction about how I did. About 20 people suggested that I clearly won the debate and no one suggested that Kirk won. Of course the membership of the Neighborood Council leans strongly towards the Democratic Party, but the amount of support I picked up from the membership in attendance was quite encouraging. If I can duplicate that level of support among the entire population of Democrats and progressives in Austin, I will win this election! I, for one, believe that this can happen and am committed to making it happen, but I will need your help. Please make a contribution to my campaign today!

By the way, my campaign recorded the debate on videotape and we will be posting it on the internet and releasing it to the media in the very near future. Check back soon so that you can see for yourself that I won the debate and that I am clearly the best choice to represent District 14 in the Texas State Senate.

A campaign insider informed me that there “are powerful forces in local Austin politics” that are ready to lift Rock’s campaign into overdrive if he can build a convincing case that he has a good shot at winning. Rock e-mailed me and wrote that “donations will cover videotape editing expenses, ad production, polling and other activities that are aimed at convincing people that I have a legitimate shot at winning this race.”

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • http://libertarianyouth.blogspot.com Nigel Watt

    Sweet! I’m hoping for several surprise Libertarian victories in Texas this November – there’s a lot of discontent. If we could become the powerbrokers in just one of the houses of the legislature, it would be a major advancement for liberty in Texas and across the country.

  • Devious David

    You’d better prepare for a lot of surprise disapointment.

  • Stuart Richards

    Kick some ass, Mr. Howard! We need people like you in state Senates.

  • Timothy West

    Meanwhile Watson attacked the Libertarian Party’s stance on education while admitting that my plan to fix the Texas public school system is “interesting”. You should know that I have promised not to resort to “guilt by association” and the other classic political mudslinging mechanisms. Instead I am restricting my comments on my opponent strictly to his actions in office as Mayor and as a lobbyist at the state capitol. I would never attack him for a statement in the Democratic Party platform that he had nothing to do with writing.

    Thats great – but why dont we simply fix the platform in Portland and that way the problem will be solved.

  • Devious David

    What problem? There isn’t one.

  • Timothy West

    right, sure, there isnt one.

  • http://www.sundwall4congress.org Eric Sundwall

    The fact that a Libertarian got an opponent to the table is significant. Every ‘platform’ attack can be countered with practical failures of the Dems or Repub’s.

    Any platform tweaking in Portland will be for the less than 1% who bother to read such things. The perceptions of Liberty can be altered within any of these electoral challenges.

    Kudos to Rock.

  • http://www.rockhoward.org Rock Howard

    Watson said that the LP was against any form of public schooling and also that I personally supported vouchers. I see those two positions as mutually exclusive. In any event I, for one, have never supported vouchers as I see them as a backdoor by which the government can start controlling private schools.

    Since I was the one offering real programs to improve the school system and also the only one in the room that knew that the Texas public school system was specifically set up to give Texans the knowledge to protect our rights and liberties, Watson’s attack was quite weak.

    Having said that, I support the concept of continuing the process of making the LP platform more reality based. Personally I think it has improved a lot in recent convention cycles, but there still is a long way to go.

    I will discuss my admittedly controversial stance on public education in Texas in a future blog post on my site. I trust that LPers will find it most interesting.

  • Devious David

    Rock, I am glad you oppose vouchers for the same reason we all should! Kudos!

  • disinter

    Just sent some $ your way… good luck Rock!

  • George Whitfield

    I will send you another contribution. Best regards Rock!

  • http://www.badnarik.org Jon Airheart

    Rock, you made me damn proud to be a Libertarian on Wednesday. I’ve known Rock for about 7 years here in Austin and, frankly, did not know he was capable of such a performance. He was standing 2 feet away from his opponent as he called him out on a laundry list of boondoggles, none of which he later refuted. It was what I believe the most significant debate a Libertarian has participated in in Travis County history. Of course, Rock was not perfect, but who is? It was impressive and admirable. He has run for local office before but it seems he is far more serious in this race. I’ve donated to Rock’s campaign and would encourage others to do the same.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    I was there too, and I was impressed. Not surprised, though, because Rock and I have discussed his candidacy several times, and I knew he had a good case to make.

    I too have contributed to Rock’s campaign, both in consulting and money, and I urge all of you to do the same.

    It’s a two-way race and Yes, Rock can earn some big support by showing ground support early. Please help make that happen!

    -0-

  • Stuart Richards

    Speaking of Texas campaigns, how’s Badnarik going? I heard about the third billboard, anything else yet?

  • Devious David

    How about synergies from Rock & Badnarik? Is there any cross ballot support, do you think?

  • http://www.rockhoward.org Rock Howard

    About 1/3 of my district overlaps with Michael’s district. This overlapping area includes the strongest Libertarian precincts in central Texas. Accordingly many joint activites are contemplated and some have been initiated.

    Last saturday I was in the Texas LP booth right next to the Badnarik booth at a local German heritage festival. On June 3rd Michael and I will discuss our campaigns on local cable access TV just prior to the planned concert that you can read about on the Badnarik site right now.

    I will run as actively as my contributors allow me to. (Fortunately I do not suffer from campaign contribution limits as in Federal races.) Additional campaign details are forthcoming soon, but first word will go to my donors. Fair enough?

  • http://www.floatermusic.com Scott Lindsley (WA)

    A- If people insist on the government taxing all for school, then at least they should allow the same freedom that a food stamp enjoys when it comes to purchasing.

    Just as you are free (heaven forbid you ever do) to choose which public store you shop at with food stamps, you should have the same choice with ‘school stamps’.

    B- getting the govt out of it entirely would do the exact same thing.

  • Lex

    The first state that drops the requirement for socialist, centrally planned government (aka “public”) schools and lets the free market provide education will quickly become the state with the best schools in America, and probably the best at providing a free education to the truly needy.

    Too bad that saying so is electoral poison.

  • undercover_anarchist

    I looked for information on Mr. Howard’s education reform ideas on his site and couldn’t find them. Am I looking in the wrong places?

  • undercover_anarchist

    I am uncomfortable with “vouchers” that would put tax dollars into religious institutions. I believe in the eventual abolition of the government school system. Vouchers may be an incremental step. But perhaps simple public school choice would be preferable in terms of keeping my dollars out of the church’s hands.

    One can even be in support of public education and still think that school choice is necessary. There is currently too little accontability for schools. Simply allowing choice among public schools would at least establish that accountability, as failing schools would lose enrollment, and thus eventually close.

  • http://www.rockhoward.org Rock Howard

    Read the second section of “Why I am Running for Texas State Senate” on the front page of my site. That hits the highlights. A more detailed overview will be posted soon.

  • Devious David

    Summary: The Texas Constitution mandates government schools. Hilariously, it is to teach children about their rights, which is an absurdity. Nonetheless, there is nothing that Rock can do about abolishing government schools any time soon. He’s smart enough to know the danger of vouchers, so he can’t be all bad. In fact, Libertarian candidates should make it clear when confronted: they won’t be able to abolish public schools without enough public support. So, they will have to find other alternative ways to make (futile) improvements. “No Libertarian is going to singlehandedly abolish government schools, so any concern there is invalid.” etc. Increasing choice and finding ways to improve without increasing budgets would be the focus. Firing administration would be a good start. The local Department of “Education” has a large building filled with worthless bureaucrats, I’m sure that’s the norm.