(The following was originally posted on Independent Florida Gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari’s campaign website.)
It’s hard to pin a label on the increasingly popular independent candidate in the Florida governor’s race. Supporters from across the political spectrum see Khavari as the antidote to Florida’s poisoned pay-for-play politics. The straight-talking economist’s plan for Florida provides practical answers to real issues that matter to the people of Florida: from jobs, low wages and escalating costs of insurance, interest, health care, and higher education, to clean water, to medical marijuana and more.
Khavari has three things that no other candidate for governor has: a strange name, an exotic accent, and a brilliant original economic plan. Because he is Iranian-American, a few people nervously assume that he is Muslim. In fact, in 1980 Iran’s Revolutionary Guard executed his father for refusing to deny his Baha’i faith and convert to Islam, then demanded that his mother pay for the bullets used to kill him.
Surprisingly, Khavari is not anti-Muslim, but anti-anyone who discriminates or denies rights to anyone else, or takes unfair advantage of other people.
Conservative? Tea Partier? What could be more conservative than Khavari’s strong stand for individual rights and liberty? Or for reducing social costs and taxes by growing the economy so that people are less dependent on government? Or his clear and simple plan to create good middle class jobs at no cost to taxpayers? Or his pledge to veto any legislation passed for the benefit of special interests, to “end prostitution in the legislature”?
Liberal? Progressive? Certainly Khavari’s plan to make health care available to everyone, while improving quality and slashing costs appeals to liberals. But Khavari explains how to do thiswithout cost to the taxpayers, while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Florida. His firm stance on personal rights and helping the poor and disadvantaged resonates with liberals, but his approach to helping everyone by using problems as opportunities to create jobs and economic security is unlike any liberal program. Khavari supports medical marijuana, and full legalization, with sensible regulation and keeping big business out of marijuana. He points at the “Beer Cartel” and insists that only independent growers and dispensaries participate.
He explains how the state can actually make money by providing free higher education, how the already-state-owned insurance company can save everyone 30% on property insurance, and how a publicly-owned bank can save average Floridians thousands of dollars per year while making money for the state (to reduce taxes). These concepts go beyond ordinary “progressive” ideas, and appeal to people of every political persuasion.
Libertarian? While Khavari’s stands on social issues such as marijuana and human rights appeal to libertarians, Khavari recognizes that government has responsibilities—and he shows how government can work for people without higher taxes.
Environmentalist? People for clean water and Everglades restoration love his creative and pragmatic approach to these problems: use 0.5% of the state budget for a few years, and get these projects done without waiting for the feds to chip in. Khavari’s plan to clean polluted water with algae, then make oil from the algae and sell it to pay for environmental projects, is not only creative, but absolutely doable with existing technology—and compatible with existing plans for cleaning water headed for the Everglades. He explains how clean water does not cost, it pays.
Khavari’s strong environmental positions were formed in the 1970s, always tied to economic benefits. His classic 1993 book Environomics: the Economics of Enviromentally Safe Prosperity is cited by economic scholars worldwide to this day.
Unlike politicians who speak in sound bites and slogans, Khavari explains every aspect of his plan in great detail, in plain language that is making economic experts of everyone who spends the twenty minutes it takes to read it.
Unlike politicians, Khavari doesn’t just talk about corruption, he explains how corruption not only costs Florida billions of dollars per year, but that it costs us hundreds of thousands of jobs–and what an independent governor can do about it that no Democrat or Republican ever could or would do.
Unlike politicians who spend hundreds of millions of dollars of special interest money on TV advertising campaigns, Khavari uses social media to reach voters, who spread the word enthusiastically. That strategy is paying off and may well surprise Rick Scott and Charlie Crist come November.
So while no one knows exactly what label to pin on Farid Khavari, a fast-growing number of Florida voters from across the political spectrum agree on one label he should have: “Governor.”
If you are not acquainted with Farid Khavari, please go to the home page and read all about him—and spread the word!