Jake Towne is an independent libertarian candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s CD-15. Liberty Maven has called him the “anti-politician,” stating that “he errs on the side of freedom on every issue and he deserves every liberty-lover’s support.” I have been following Towne’s campaign since last year when he first unveiled his idea of the “open office.” Since then, his aggressive campaign strategy has paid off with appearances on cable news, profiles in local papers, and an invitation to debates hosted by the district’s largest newspaper, the Morning Call. Jake was kind enough to answer a few questions via email over the weekend. The interview is printed in full below.
TPID: In your announcement regarding the debate organized by Morning Call, you note that you had previously challenged both the Republican and Democratic candidates [Dent and Callahan, respectively] to a debate, but they never responded. How did you break through the media’s standard Democrat-Republican political filter?
Towne: The breakthrough was a result of an enormous amount of effort from both myself and campaign volunteers and supporters. Supporters assisted by commenting on media links about the campaign for over a year now. Campaign volunteers and I have been sending consistent press releases and follow-up calls to reporters and other media contacts.
I’ve found the media is reluctant to spend time on independent campaigns as there are very few serious ones that have volunteers on the streets, actively attending community events, and overall just working extremely hard to get the message out. There are no short cuts to hard work, and the volunteers have all my respect for what they have done for this campaign.TPID: What made you decide to run for Congress as an independent?
Towne: Well, besides the fact that the Republocrats have both failed the American people, I must admit that granted the composition and characteristics of my district, as well as my platform, running as an independent had by far the highest chances of success. It is also much easier to campaign without an “R” or “D” label, as these are both tarnished brands that both stand for the “stagnant quo,” impoverishment, and war.
TPID: You often criticize the “two-headed one-party establishment” when referencing the Republican and Democratic parties. What do you mean by this term?
Towne: When you really look at the performance of both parties, there is very little difference. While there are differences on the highly-divisive social issues – which are best left to the individual states – on monetary and foreign policy there is no significant difference between either party.
The fallacy that the Republicans are the “small government party” is easy to see – the Bush bailouts and near-doubling of the spending of the federal government from 2000-2008 show this to be a lie — no matter how much Republican politicians claim to be “fiscal conservatives” in the media. The Democrats have simply continued the spending trend under Obama.
Likewise, the Democrats have claimed to be the party of peace and to protect people’s civil liberties. In 2006, the Democrats were elected with a mandate to end the war in Iraq. They failed to do so. When the current Democrat president took office and promised to begin withdrawing from Iraq, instead there has been no withdrawal and the number of troops in Afghanistan has increased from 28,000 to over 100,000 by the end of this year. And protecting civil liberties? This claim is a joke. Take a look at the last vote to reauthorize warrantless wiretapping with the PATRIOT Act.
TPID: What are going to be the decisive issues of this campaign?
Towne: Well the people in my district really have a simple choice. They can choose the “lesser evil” tyranny of career politicians from the failed “two-headed, one-party” system, or they can choose liberty and prosperity by voting for me.
Only I am offering pragmatic solutions to increase employment — not with a federal “jobs program” like the failed stimulus plan — but by simply removing the government interventions and taxes that discourage employment in the first place.
I am offering a sincere and simple plan to listen to the people called the “Open Office” where each resident is empowered with their own voice to criticize, comment, debate, and offer solutions.
I am the only candidate that realizes the need for sound money to impose fiscal discipline on government and to stop the bailouts and corporatism.
Overall, the people in my district are sick of the expensive, unconstitutional, nation-building wars abroad and I am the only candidate that has the reasonable solutions to bring home the troops and still capture those who attacked us on 9/11.