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Libertartian candidates make stop in Estherville

September 4, 2018
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

The 2016 election was a milestone for the national Libertarian Party. While that party didn't win an elected office in 2016, its turnout was the impressive.

With over 4 million votes cast for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party became an officially recognized party for this 2018 election in 38 states, including Iowa.

This past week, Libertarian candidates Charles Aldrich and Rick Stewart stumped in northern Iowa, including a stop in Estherville.

Article Photos

Libertarian Party candidates Rick Stewart and Charles Aldrich were in Estherville last week. Stewart is running for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Aldrich is running for Congress in Iowa’s Fourth District.
Photo by David Swartz

Aldrich will be on the ballot taking on incumbent Congressman Steve King and Democratic candidate J.D. Scholten in Iowa's Fourth District Congressional District. Stewart is running for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

Aldrich said if he were to take King's seat, he would eliminate all taxes on people making "poverty wages," which he defines as $350 a week or about $1,500 a month.

In addition, he said businesses paying their workers a so-called poverty wage should not pay taxes on those employees as they are likely doing so due to financial burdens of their own.

Aldrich said he would also end the drug war and let doctors decide what is best for a patient.

He talked about growing hemp.

"It's an agent to clean up ag runoff," he said. "Also, you can make 50,000-plus products out of hemp. In the U.S., we're only allowed to grow it for research."

Both Stewart and Aldrich talked about the libertarian principle of non-aggression.

Aldrich said the military should concentrate on defensive strategies.

He said it takes more money to build a tank than to make a weapon to destroy a tank. With the money saved on just defensive weapons, the U.S. could cut the military budget and use the balance to pay off the national debt.

"One reason the U.S. won the Cold War, is that we invested in defense instead of offensive weapons," Aldrich said. "The Soviet Union was paying 10 to 100 times more than what we were paying on weapons."

Aldrich also talked about abating subsidies including farm subsidies.

"Subsidies skew private enterprise," he said.

Stewart rolled through Estherville twice in 2014, as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

He advocates for fundamental changes he would advocate as secretary of agriculture, using the acronym RWST.

The 'R' stands for Renewable Fuel Standards, which he is against.

"Farmers need to get off it," he said.

The 'W' stands for water quality. Stewart said the easy solution is a watershed program with each respective river basin responsible for its own water.

"Treat everyone in a watershed as a cooperative and make sure the water that comes out of each is as it was when it came in," he said.

Stewart clarified that wouldn't mean Iowans would be responsible for the runoff coming inn from other states.

The "S" stands for subsidies.

"Subsidies are the opiate of corn farmers and they need to get off it," Stewart said. He suggested subsidies could be reduced over a 10-year period to "wind down" subsidies.

"I've talked to hundreds of farmers and none say they need a check," Stewart said. "Most programs come with strings or ropes attached."

The 'T' stands for tariffs, which he said are not needed.

"Free markets are what's needed," he said. "We're one of the richest nations in the world, because we have no internal tariffs (between states)."



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