The Inland Utopia Interview: Michael Mendez for Assembly District 61

As a public service I decided to contact the Libertarian Party’s nominee and ask him several questions that are relevant to the campaign for State Assembly in California’s 61st Assembly District of Chino, Montclair, Ontario and Pomona.

I am covering this race completely so the voters would have an informed choice. Thank You Michael for participating.

1.       How can we live within our means as Californians?

If you mean as Californian citizens, then merely live below your means. Make a plan and stick to it even if you become something of a thrifty pariah. Cell phones and the internet are not necessities. Subscription television is not required to live. New cars are not necessary. Owning a car may not even be necessary. Don’t have children if you can’t support them without a job for at least two years. Don’t wait for any particular housing market, just try to set aside the money you need to buy a home. Save whatever money you have left and invest it in something that makes saving worthwhile. Sack lunches are a great way to save money over even a year versus buying fast food take-out.

2.       Would you support efforts to deport illegals who commit violent crimes? Yes, but for justice sake, hopefully, after they serve the required time for the corresponding crime.

3.       What led you to choose the Libertarian Party? I was born into a slightly conservative Democratic family-moderate boll weevils. At the age of twenty-one, around 1985, I investigated the different parties. Now, most of my friends were Republican and that added to my curiosity for the different political parties. When I studied the Libertarian outlook of government and being a responsible citizen, it did and continues to me to be the most logical party.

4.       With Proposition 8 how do you balance religious versus personal liberty? Or is there a way to balance both. I do not believe prop 8 to be a fulcrum between religious liberty and personal liberty. In regards to marriage, I believe that government should not make an opinion for or against marriage. So, my vote for prop 8 will be “no.” And in that same spirit to the fairly recent decision for the state to recognize gay marriage, if it were for me to vote, I would have also voted “no.”

5.       What inspired you to run for office? In the last days of October, 2007, I was thinking what it would take to run for office. Two days later, without my prompting, the southern California chairman of the Libertarian party gave me a call and asked if I would like to run for office as a Libertarian. I did not give it much thought and just said, “Yes.” It was in October, 2006 that I first became active with the San Bernardino county element of the California Libertarian party. I started my involvement by first attending the San Bernardino convention, which is coming up soon again in October, 2008. We have had it at Biacci’s in Upland, but it will most likely be moved to a different venue in San Bernardino county.

6.       How can we get a budget approved on time? I have no well thought ideas on this, just my personal experiences of different committees I have belonged. It was always the exclaimation, “Oh, if we don’t use the money allotted us we won’t get it next year.” I have always been disgusted at using money just so you can have it and possibly more the next year. If there is need for the money then plead that case. Perhaps, the legislative bodies can start thinking about the budget when the January term starts, then for February agree to complete ¼ of the budget items by the end of that month, then for subsequent months additional quarters of the budget until completed at the end of May. Any defaults to agree on a particular quarter of the budget should mean forfeiture of your salary for that month.

7.       Any ideas to simplify our state government to make it efficient? We need to wretch out the idea that government is the solution and safety net to everyday existence. We need to stop passing legislation that deals with cell phones, helmet uses and trans fat. We need to make eminent domain less viable than is currently. We should not be using our law enforcement for issues of vice or the drug war. Non-citizens and corporations should not have any undue access to the government. We should not berate any choice parents make for their children’s education and make that possibility easier with the lifting of taxes. We should immediately remove all vice taxes and so as not to encourage further bureaucratic bloating.

8.       Why should we vote Libertarian for State Assembly? The Democratic party and Republican party have become to many Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum. The Libertarian party offers citizens of these mainstream parties an interesting compromise. It offers the political soul of social conscience and financial responsibility.

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