Sunday, May 11, 2014

Shawn Quinn - An Interview with the Libertarian Candidate for Maryland Governor

The following is a guest post/interview conducted by David Malekar, who regularly contributes content to the WashCo Chronicle. The interviewee, Shawn Quinn, is the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Maryland. You can contact Shawn through his Facebook page.

Many thanks to David and Shawn for providing this interview!

DM: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to inform the citizens of Western Maryland about your campaign for Governor of Maryland, representing the Libertarian Party.  Could you provide us with a little bit about your history and how you earned your place as the Libertarian candidate for 2014?
SQ:   I am a Central Committee member of the Maryland Libertarian Party and a retired veteran of the United States Navy.
I possess 20 years of Military experience, 7 years of health and safety experience with the American Red Cross, 5 years of Law Enforcement experience with the City of Newport News and 5 years experience as a hazardous material truck driver. I also ran for a seat in the House of Delegates in 2010.
I started looking at the governor’s office back in 2012 when I heard about the rain tax. There were lots of meetings, with lots of folks, about who we as a party could run. The person would have to be  good for the state and represent the Libertarian party. I was very surprised when that person ended up being me.
 I was all in when my running mate Lorenzo Gaztanaga told me he wanted to run with me. This is a man I have great respect for. He walks the walk and no one I have ever met cares more about people. We received the parties blessing in Oct.2013 and filed for office in Nov.2013.

DM:  It's a refreshing change to see someone with an extensive hands on background running to represent the people of Maryland.  What are some of the most critical objectives that you have going into this election?
SQ:   I think the most Critical objective is term limits for all elected offices in Maryland. We have the western half of the state wanting to recede, the eastern shore feeling they have no voice and Annapolis is selling out a county in order to keep getting federal dollars. We will never have a fair voice for all until we limit power of long term politicians.
Next the tax code needs to be overhauled. We have over 47 taxes in Maryland. Sales tax needs to be reduced to 3%. Income tax needs to be a flat rate. Gas tax is totally out of hand. School taxes need to stay local. Everything is on the table.
While overhauling the tax code we need to do the same for state regulations. It is well passed time to rein in all these state departments writing regulations with zero oversight.
I also am tired of the government stepping all over citizen’s rights. This is going to stop if I get elected.
Fixing these things will bring growth and jobs to Maryland that don’t depend on the federal government.

DM:  What are you opinions on the "rain tax" that was implemented in 2012 for Maryland.  Would you make any changes?
SQ:  Where to even start on this loser. It will be on the way to the trash can if I get elected.

DM:  With an extensive and logical overhaul to the tax system as you suggest, the people of Maryland will certainly be more invested in a vote for that candidate's platform.  Many voters have voiced their concerns over such taxes as the "rain tax" and feel as if their voice is unheard.  What changes would you impose to further listen to the citizens of Maryland if elected?
SQ:   I would have to say that the problem is that the two party agenda politicians choose not to listen. The people are only important to them when they need their vote. I on the other hand I try to listen to everyone who wishes to talk to me. Sure I don’t agree with everybody I talk too but I still listen and try to research what they tell me.  I plan on keeping the Governor’s door open as much as possible. My goal is to always support the people first and foremost. Business as usual is about to change in favor of the people.

DM:  Based off the great success we have seen in state revenue from legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, would you implement a similar system for Maryland to take advantage of income and reduction of cost on the legal system for marijuana charges?
SQ:   I would look at their systems but I would like to think we could come up with a system that is able to collect revenue without making taxes so high that it causes a crime similar to New York’s cigarette problem. I would also like to see the revenue go into the health care system. The legal system will be provided with a great number of beds for violent offenders. Saved revenue from incarcerating people for marijuana could be put forth for rehab. This would be a big win for the people.

DM:  Can you expand a little more on your plans to help unite Western Maryland with the rest of the state again to avoid further tensions?
SQ:  This is going to take some sit downs and some open and honest discussions. When people are pushed to the breaking point they are not just going to accept out of the blue hope for change. I am going to have to earn their respect and prove to them that I do care about their problems. Flag waving and table pounding is not going to fix this problem. It’s going to take sitting down and listening on my part. Only then can we together come up with meaningful change. I am willing to do my part and I hope they will come to the table.

DM:  Are there any other long term goals you would like to expand on that could only happen with a libertarian candidate platform?
SQ:   Long term I would like to see all of our freedoms restored. I would like to see people able to live their lives without Government interference.  I would like to see our children all get a great education. I would love to see anyone who wants to run for an office, be able to do so without all the crappy rules the two party agenda has put in place to maintain their power and control. I think the only way this will ever happen is with a Libertarian Governor, a Libertarian Attorney General and Libertarians in the House and Senate to offset all the harm the two party agenda has done to us.

DM:  Considering Maryland is one of the few states with such demanding and restricting issues with self-defense and concealed carry, many disagree with the confines in place.  What changes would you make to help Maryland be more second amendment acceptable?
SQ:  Anyone who knows me will tell you I hold the Constitution and Bill of Rights in high regard.  I did serve twenty years defending them. I am in favor of all law abiding citizens owning any firearms they choose. I also believe law abiding citizens should be able to conceal carry. It really turns my stomach when I see politicians ignore their citizens and pass laws that stomp all over these rights. As Governor, I will be in charge of the State Police, so carry is easily fixable. Repealing laws that are on the books is harder but it can be done and I will work to that end.

In closing I would like to say that if we were to cut our state into three parts right now, Western, Central and the Eastern Shore. We would find that two thirds of our state feels that they don’t count. One third even wants to become their own State. This is unacceptable. Citizens should never be made to feel this way. Flag waving, table pounding and million dollar commercials are not going to fix this. Like all problems we have to start with admission.  Admitting that the Two Party agenda brought us to this bleak point.  Admitting that we the people have allow ourselves to be taken advantage of.  All of us are responsible.  It’s a hard truth that many will not except. The nice thing about mistakes is that they can always be corrected after they are accepted. Closing our eyes and voting for the same outcome will not do. We can fix this.  I ask you to be brave and take a chance on me in November. I will work hard to gain your trust.  I will hold politicians accountable. I will be accountable to you. You hold the power in your hands. I only ask that when you walk into your polling place, do so with your eyes open. If you are truly happy with your government, than by all means vote for the same thing again. On the other hand if you aren’t delighted with this two party agenda government. If you hate what they have given you, time and time again. If you are tired of the lies, then take a chance and throw in with me. I can only make changes with your help. I don’t think anyone can argue that our taxes are too high, we have too many regulations and we have no voice in Annapolis. Help me change all of this.

Shawn Quinn
Libertarian Candidate for Governor.

WashCo Chronicle encourages discussion of current political issues and candidates, regardless of viewpoints. Please keep comments polite, and on topic.

Photo courtesy Shawn Quinn.