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Carl Loser (L-VA) holds out “bag of weed” at candidate forum while arguing against prohibition

Via the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Loser provided some of the most memorable moments in the forum by holding aloft what he called “a bag of weed” to demonstrate what he termed the damage of government drug laws to families that run afoul of them. He also caused a stir in the studio audience by suggesting that public school teachers are overpaid, a sentiment that Sturtevant, who is married to a teacher, countered to applause.

Read the rest of the article here. The forum featured four candidates in the special election for Virginia State Senate District 10: the Republican and Democratic nominees, an Independent, and Libertarian candidate Carl Loser.

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Andy Craig


  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos August 25, 2015

    You go Carl!

  2. NewFederalist NewFederalist August 25, 2015

    Were they dandelions? (I just read the headline.)

  3. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn August 25, 2015

    Or oregano like Tom Cruise’s unseen client in “A Few Good Men”.

  4. NewFederalist NewFederalist August 25, 2015

    Ooh… I smoked oregano once. Terrible stuff!

  5. johno johno August 25, 2015

    Better be a winner with last name like that.

  6. Starchild Starchild August 27, 2015

    Way to go Carl, awesome you got in the debate, and love the “bag of weed” prop! That’s the kind of creativity that can help a candidate cut through the media noise. If you were going to voice that sentiment about teachers though, I would’ve couched it differently. Just saying they’re overpaid will tend to go over like a lead balloon with most non-libertarian audiences.

    Personally even I have to question whether government teachers are really overpaid — the real problem with their salaries arguably isn’t the amount of money, it’s the source (stolen from taxpayers). Administrators, on the other hand, clearly take home more than their fair share of education funding!

    If the subject comes up again, here’s an idea for making your point in a humorous, cheeky way:

    “After giving the matter some thought, I’ve reconsidered my stance on this, and now feel that government teachers need to be given big raises. Especially those who work in lower income schools. In order to learn and succeed in a classroom environment, children need to see role models who are much different (i.e. much wealthier) than themselves, and it’s also important that we send them a strong message that being well-paid, not well-educated, is what really matters in life. This position puts me in line with the priorities repeatedly stressed by teachers’ unions, whose support I expect to buy — I mean, receive.”

  7. Carl Loser Carl Loser August 27, 2015

    The market is manipulated to a point where teachers are making too much money and not showing enough results. Teaching should be a competitive market. Salary and Teachers should be based on choice done by students, parents, administration, and improvement results. If this occurs, it bases the teaching salaries on merit. There shall not be standardized salaries. The teachers who show high improvement in their students’ knowledge, shall be paid more.

    Government loves to pay politicians and other employees tons of money who hurt us more. The notion of throwing more money in a broke system will not fix it. We must fix it before raises in salaries occur.
    I will start with the Education system’s administration.

  8. paulie paulie August 27, 2015


    Good point. Thank you.

  9. Starchild Starchild August 31, 2015

    Carl – I’m not in favor of raising teachers’ pay — at least not independently of other changes. I hope you got that the language italicized in my previous post was intended sarcastically! It was actually a tongue-in-cheek argument against raising teacher salaries, since I understand that to be your position.

    My own stance is somewhat more nuanced. Going up against the teachers is attacking the strongest point of the system head-on. I think we can have more success by cultivating teachers as allies against too much top-down government control and a system that puts teachers under the thumb of non-teaching administrators.

    When I ran for school board, I advocated upending the hierarchy in the school system to put teachers in charge of each school and how the funding allocated to it gets spent. Basically, the job of administrators would be to serve and support the teachers and ensure that they had all the tools and help needed to be effective in the classroom. Kind of like aides or secretaries to the teaching staff. New employees would generally be hired as administrators, and if they showed promise, could work their way up to being teachers. Salary patterns would presumably be adjusted accordingly.

    Meanwhile, I also advocated that while other school staff would be subordinate to and accountable to the teachers, who would be in charge of hiring and firing, the teachers would be accountable to students and parents, who would rate them. School funding would also be tied to enrollment (as it generally is now), only there would be open enrollment within the government school district, so every student could attend his or her first-choice school in the district, and the funding of the best-performing schools would expand accordingly, while the failing schools would see their revenue slashed, and sooner or later be forced to cut staff. When it came time to lay off teachers, those with the lowest student/parent ratings would be first in line for dismissal. When failing schools dropped to a certain size, they would be automatically placed under the authority of the best-performing schools, whose teachers would then be empowered to reconstitute them with all new staff.

    Virtually everyone agrees that teachers have the most difficult and important jobs in education. Yet in the current system, they make less money and have less authority than educational administrators in government schools. When I argued for turning this system upside-down, and giving teachers more money and power relative to non-teachers while increasing student empowerment within the government school system, none of the statists I was running against or addressing ever had good rebuttals. To argue with me, they would have had to defend overpaid administrators and keeping students stuck with under-performing teachers. Something to consider…

    By the way, did you see my Beck song parody in that other thread about the rap track that your supporter (I forget his name) did for you? 🙂

  10. Andy Craig Andy Craig Post author | August 31, 2015

    We had Carl and his campaign manager Corey Fauconier of rap-video fame on ODLRN this evening. Good conversation, where he talks about the broader context of the “baggie” incident and the point he was making with it (basically he was asked a question about kids in foster care, and was making the point of how many kids are sent into foster care by prohibition).

    Also my first episode as a regular co-host, I’m looking forward to doing it on a regular basis with Joe and the gang.

  11. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko August 31, 2015

    I agree with Starchild that it is important to think about how we frame our arguments.

    Regarding the subject of teacher salaries, I’d say that Carl is technically right, in that government school teachers should not exist, so their salaries should be zero. But, I think Starchild’s way of framing the argument is much more palatable. Its not about how much they make, its about where the money comes from.

    The baggie thing does strike me as a good idea. I’m glad that it got some attention.

    With all of that said, I’m going to shoot Carl Loser a few dollars right now.

  12. paulie paulie September 5, 2015

    Also my first episode as a regular co-host, I’m looking forward to doing it on a regular basis with Joe and the gang.

    Good deal! Call me if you want to have me join either on a sporadic or regular basis. I just need a heads up maybe a day ahead.

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