LP: Libertarian John Wayne Smith aims to downsize government as Florida’s governor

Posted on lp.org on May 21, 2013. 
John Wayne Smith
John Wayne Smith,
LP Florida
2014 Candidate
for Governor

John Wayne Smith has ambitious plans for the office of governor of Florida: cutting taxes to the bone, eliminating dozens of agencies and offices, rescinding laws that allow the use of eminent domain to take property for private gain, and getting rid of occupational licensing schemes that prevent so many people from earning a living. And he’s running to win — first, the party nomination, and then, the governorship of the Sunshine State.

There has hardly been a political battle in central Florida during the past 40 plus years in which this 67-year-old Leesburg, Fla., native has not been involved.

In 1969, he ran for the Leesburg City Commission, a race he repeated in 1970 and again in 2001. He threw his hat into the race for the Ocala City Commission in 1983, and for mayor of Ocala in 1985.

In 1986, 2000, and 2004, he was a candidate for the Florida State House, achieving an unprecedented showing in his most recent race.

“In the 2004 race, I received the highest number of votes for a Florida Libertarian in state house races in 2004,” Mr. Smith recalled. “That was 19,124 votes for 24.75 percent. In five of these races, I received over 20 percent of the vote.”

He ran for Florida governor in 2002 and 2006, and for U.S. vice president in 2008 as a candidate of the Boston Tea Party.

The gubernatorial contest in 2014 is expected to be crowded and unpredictable. Incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a venture capitalist who spent roughly $75 million of his own money on his successful 2010 gubernatorial run, has announced his intent to seek reelection.

Other possible big-name contenders include former governor Charlie Crist, Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch, Florida Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, and Republican Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, to name just a few.

Two other Libertarians are also expected to seek the party nomination, current LP Chair Adrian Wyllie and political consultant Roger Stone.

The lackluster economy, Obamacare, and immigration reform are expected to dominate the agenda. But Smith hopes to introduce another issue that the two major parties have consistently failed to tackle: reducing the size of government and curbing its dangerous reach.

“What I would promise would be to try to make all Florida a freer place to live,” Smith wrote in his campaign platform. “I would promise to try to reduce taxes to the point that all proper government functions are adequately funded and that all unnecessary and not proper functions are not funded.”

If elected, Smith plans to undertake a substantial downsizing of the Florida state government.

“There are 50 to 60 agencies and offices I would like to get rid of,” he said, adding that he is still working on a specific plan.

But this trucking industry professional, who has worked in transportation all his life, is certain the government has grown too big, too powerful, and its red tape is overwhelming. He points out that to be able to work these days in the trucking industry in Florida, one needs eight to nine different licenses, each of which entails a government fee and, most likely, some government-sponsored course, which means paying tuition. Many other professions are saddled with the same kind of intrusive, burdensome regulation.

All of this, he argues, promotes protectionism, stifles free enterprise, and prevents willing people from earning a decent living.

“I would cut the number of these licenses to two or three,” Smith suggested. “I’d like to get rid of licenses that people currently need to paint fingernails or dye somebody’s hair.”

He also would like to introduce legislation that would sharply restrict the ability of government to seize property under eminent domain provisions.

“No city, county, multi-county or state government agency or subdivision thereof, shall try to take any property by force not necessary for schools, roads, preparation against natural disasters or national defense,” Smith insisted.

10 thoughts on “LP: Libertarian John Wayne Smith aims to downsize government as Florida’s governor

  1. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Interestingly, no mention of LPF chairman Adrian Wyllie, who’s also running for governor. Will there be an actual primary to determine the LPF nominee?

    In any case, my bets are on Wyllie.

  2. Mike Kane

    There is a mention of Adrian Wyllee. It’s inaccurate since he is seeking the nomination. As of current, Roger Stone is not.

    Two other Libertarians are also expected to seek the party nomination, current LP Chair Adrian Wyllie and political consultant Roger Stone.

  3. LPF Fails Again

    Actually Florida is now an open primary state. Assuming Wyllie and JWS both get on the ballot their will be a statewide primary during Summer 2014. It is no longer determined at convention.

  4. Richard Winger

    #5 is correct that the Florida law requires the Libertarian Party to choose its nominee by primary, not convention. The law on that changed in 2007. But Florida is still a closed primary state. “Open primary” means a system in which, on primary day, any voter is free to choose any party’s primary ballot. In Florida, only registered Libertarians can have a Libertarian primary ballot. I suppose a Florida Libertarian convention, held before candidate filing closes, could endorse one candidate and then whoever didn’t get endorsed might be persuaded not to file for the primary. The filing fee is horribly high, probably around $10,000.

  5. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Roger Stone is a neocon infiltrator in the LP. If he wins the nomination…I swear to God. IMO, he will prove to be just as bad or nearly as bad as WAR (Wayne Allyn Root).

  6. Joe Wendt

    JWS is a good guy, and hopefully will be the Libertarian nominee, and the next Governor.

  7. LP Observer

    @ # 8
    What are his qualifications? What is his experience with business or politics that make him qualified to earn a vote? What staff and support does he have? Is he a Florida native? Did he go to college in Florida?

  8. paulie

    Roger Stone is a neocon infiltrator in the LP. If he wins the nomination…I swear to God. IMO, he will prove to be just as bad or nearly as bad as WAR (Wayne Allyn Root).

    Worse. Much worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *