"I don't care if the union thugs hate my guts. I don't care if the government employees hate my guts", says Dale Ogden, the
Libertarian Party candidate in the California governor's race. Ogden vows to get the state's fiscal house back in order by returning government spending to at least 1998 levels.
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Dale: I don’t care if a hundred and twenty members of the state legislator hate my guts, I don’t care if the union thugs hate my guts, I don’t care two thirds of state hates my guts. Tim: Hi I’m Tim Campbell of Reason TV, we’re here with Dale Ogden. The libertarian candidate for governor of California, Dale is one of six candidates in this race, best known of whom are Jerry Brown for the democrats and Meg Whitman for the republicans. You’re running for governor as libertarian candidate, have you done any polling? Do you have any idea where you stand right now in percentages you threatening Meg? Dale: I don’t know about threatening, there are polls out there that show large number people want somebody else but the polls don’t really ask who. Tim: Often the Republican Party will complain that the libertarians are drawing off votes and allowing the democrat to win. What would you say to somebody who takes that kind of argument seriously and saying that this is not a presidential election where the states already locked up and my vote doesn’t matter. This is one way if I vote their party it could actually have a consequence for me. Dale: The problem with that argument is we end up with people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman who are liberals, they’re not republicans, they don’t stand for what republicans claim to stand for. Republicans often campaign like libertarians and when they got elected, they govern like democrats. Tim: You have a proposal in your platform to reduce spending to 1998 levels. What made you settle on ’98? Dale: That was before the latest criminal collusion between Gray Davis and the public employee unions where they increased the pensions of two percent to three percent and said it won’t cost anything. We’ll make it up on all in our investment gain. Tim: What do you think of Governor Schwarzenegger’s effort to roll back SP400 which is signed in 1999 by Gray Davis? Dale: Way too little, way too late. I mean the fact is that they even the numbers they come out of calipers are dishonest. they have unreasonable assumptions built in to their estimates of the deficits. Unbiased estimates of the deficit and the funding for public employee pensions is about half a trillion dollars. There is no way the state of California will ever be able to pay those amounts, their need to be some dramatic reductions not only for new hires, not only for current people but for people who’ve already retired. Tim: Let me ask you practically and philosophically. Practically my understanding is that is those contracts are in violet and even in cases like Vallejo where the city went bankrupt, they ended up honoring the bulk of this contracts and philosophically isn’t there some anxiety in the contract no matter how screwy it is that shouldn’t be finable after the fact? Dale: The fact is the state doesn’t have the money. The state of California under our constitution is a sovereign entity and like any other banana republic and that’s how it’s been run, we can repudiate our debt. As a libertarian I very strongly believe that people should be forced to look up to their contracts. But I believe those union contracts were entered into with what either is or approaches criminal behavior on the part of Gray Davis and the unions. Tim: What are some things that the average person in California expects out of the government that you would be willing to say no you can’t have that anymore? Dale: It’s an awful lot of social welfare program. Even Meg Whitman says you know we got a third to the welfare recipients in the United States and twelve percent of the population. Our benefits are so generous that we attract dead bits from all of the world including the other forty nine states. Now the area a lot of licensing and regulatory agencies, we license more occupations in California than any other state. Licensing doesn’t keep us from getting incompetent doctors and corporate lawyers. So you know why do we care if we license somebody gives us a hair cut. Tim: A lot of non libertarians types out there would say yeah I’m not for more welfare benefits and certainly you shouldn’t have to get a license to you know be a hairstylist. But what about stuff that a lot of people like, like lot of people like state parks, they like the roads to be in good condition and without having to pay a toll. What do you say to them? Dale: First of, the roads aren’t in good condition. There’s a huge amount of gasoline taxes that are diverted to other uses. You want to use the roads you pay gasoline taxes, if you want to use the parks you pay the use the parks. There’s actually routedly small percentage of the population that uses these things, so let that percentage of the population pay for it. Tim: Your platform contains a lot of attractive material about getting rid of duplicative agencies, rolling back a lot of the regulatory agency, reducing the size of the government employee payrolls. How do you expect to get that stuff done, given that nobody else has? Dale: I think that nobody else has really wanted to, the line items detail is a very powerful tool the governor ass. I’m not running for governor so that everybody loves me. I’m running for governor to get the states physical house in order and I don’t care if a hundred and twenty members of the state legislator hate my guts, I don’t care if the union thugs hate my guts, I don’t care if the government employees hate my guts, I don’t care if two thirds of state hates my guts. But the end of four years when taxes are lower, spending is lower or regulation is reduced or we’ve created five million new jobs in the state of California and our unemployment is three and a half percent. The run of the mill everyday tax payer is going to be happy. Tim: Do you think that’s good campaign slogan, vote for Dale Ogden and then you’ll hate his guts? Dale: Maybe. Time: The longest part of your platform is on immigration, I should congratulate you, you just got John and Ken’s endorsement. John and Ken by the way two extremely popular talk radio host on KFI down here in LA and yet your immigration proposal are a lot less punitive than Meg Whitman’s. Why do you think that they went for you? Dale: What I offered was honesty and I didn’t try to take two positions at the same time. Philosophically I believe in free trade and labor just like free trading goods and services. We don’t have an immigration problem, we have a problem with the welfare system that attracts people for all the freebies we have. We have lost that forced hospitals to provide care which basically makes health care worker slaves. We have the war on drugs which creates tremendous profit opportunities who organize crime, we have idiotic form policy that creates the terrorism issue. In an ideal world, if the government didn’t control so much then the only way people would come here from other countries would be to be invited by a citizen and sponsored by that citizen. If you come here and you trespass you’re a criminal. Tim: What’s the magic element of being invited by somebody, why shouldn’t I just you know be living in Wahaca and say hey I want to start a hotel and so let me go up to United States and do it where it’s possible to do. Dale: What if I got the money to do that and I can buy the property or rent the property. I don’t see a problem with that, you come here with money or skills, you know you contribute to our economy. Tim: What happen if you come just as a migrant worker and I’m going to trade my labor to somebody who wants to pay for me? Dale: If there’s somebody who wants to pay for you then they can bring you here. Tim: You mentioned how many people are collecting low fare in California, how big the state employee rolls are and yet it’s up state with a long history sort of a maverick place that weirdoes like to come here and do freakazoid things. Dale: I don’t think the freakazoid population is big enough to make much difference. Perhaps I’m positive that the government employees are very strong voting block. They all have their marching orders in the union and they go to the polls and like good little robots they pull their levers democrats to make sure they stay in there. But it’s not big enough to sway the whole election. There are a lot of tax payers and there are a lot of unemployed people who want jobs and or saying this is crazy you know where are the new businesses. Tim: We have a bunch of pretty interesting initiatives on the ballot this year, the one that’s going the most national attention is crop 19 which would legalize and tax canvas. Where do you stand on that? Dale: I’m certainly going to vote for crop 19. I strongly support it, I prefer it not be taxed. Tim: But it’s all the closing the deficit isn’t it right? Dale: I prefer to close the deficit by reducing spending. Time: Do you view yourself as trying to become governor or trying to get the message out there? Dale: I’m doing both, there’s a lot of people out there that are just saying I’m tired of voting for the less of two evils. Maybe it’s a long shot but even if it doesn’t happen, that message is getting out there.