The Jackson County [Indiana] Banner recounts the town meeting recently held by 9th Congressional District Libertarian candidate Dr Eric Schansberg at which he (gasp, sputter) actually stood up and just answered people's questions.
After his prepared statement, Eric threw the floor open to the voters:
The first question Dr. Schansberg fielded was about illegal immigration. Though not his “favorite issue”, he said policy should be to deal with the reason immigrants enter the country illegally. “We need to penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants,” he said.
He went on to say that he’s a fan of legal immigration, though the process often deters people from legally moving into the country. “I’m for a high wall and a large gate. We need to streamline INS procedures. If you want people to do the wrong thing, make the right thing hard to do,” he said.
He was questioned about the Fair Tax and the flat tax, both of which he said are “improvements”. Another person asked about opening a new 9/11 investigation, which the candidate effectively dodged by saying he “hadn’t studied it enough to comment”.
Another questioner asked if he supported subsidizing alternative fuels. “As a Libertarian, I don’t want to take your money.
There’s no Constitutional basis for it. There’s no reason to ever do it in my worldview,” he said. “Why not keep your own money?”
He went on to say that the weak dollar can be turned around, with a change of leadership and more conservative policy from the Federal Reserve.
“Bush and Congress have been spending like drunken sailors. Actually, they make drunken sailors look like spendthrifts,” he said.
On the education front, he was to the point. When asked about No Child Left Behind, he replied, “Get rid of it.” He explained that he favored a system where competition can exist, like a charter school system. “Any competition is a good thing. If you inject competition, the market will take care of itself.”
What I liked about this coverage is Stephen Crawford of the Banner didn't pull any punches: when Eric ducked the question on a 9/11 investigation, Crawford called him on it. In other words, he treated the Libertarian just like any other politician. What I also like is the fact that Crawford didn't go out of his way to note that only a small group of voters showed up for the event (a fact that has also plagued Schansberg's Demopublican rivals). Good job, there.
What I liked about the town meeting itself is what I said at the beginning: no filters and damn little hyperbole on the part of the candidate.
This is what I think, this is why I think I'm a better choice than my opponents.
Probably too boring for some, but the grunt work of democracy can be that.