Nolan and Quick Profiled

A profile of Libertarian candidate David Nolan and Independnet candidate Jay Quick, both seeking to represent Arizona CD-8. From the Tucson Citizen...

Voters say they are tired of the same old politics, the same old political parties and how money drives policy.

The race to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District offers independent Jay Quick and Libertarian David Nolan to break that political mold.

Quick owns a custom metalworking business and jumped into the race because he’s sick of partisan politics. Nolan helped found the Libertarian Party more than 30 years ago and wants to help build it in Pima County.

Neither thinks he has much of a shot because both lack access to the almighty cash that puts candidates in office.

“We elect the best fundraiser and then complain that there’s so much money in politics,” Quick said with some frustration.

No one has ever been elected to Congress running as a Libertarian, and it’s all about the money, Nolan said.

“We’re outspent by their millions to our thousands.”

Quick has always been a political junkie but tired of rhetoric coming out of Washington.

So he decided to do the unthinkable and run for Congress on the platform of ending partisanship. He likes different opinions and doesn’t like seeing them used to beat up others.

He discusses the campaign in the office at his business, slowly and soberly suggesting that verbal combat might not be the best way to get things done in politics.

“The majority of people are pragmatic,” he said. “You need different points of view. Otherwise, it’s like a painter trying to paint with one color.”

How you do this is to understand the core principles of both parties. The Republicans value self-sufficiency through hard work and taking advantage of opportunities, and the Democrats hold that some people need help and opportunity should be expanded.

“They are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

The problem, he said, is that Republicans and Democrats are locked into their own political death match.

Nolan worked a University of Arizona-area block party on East University Boulevard last Friday and is playing to the crowd, calling for limited government, an end to the war in Iraq, the right for gays to get married and the right to smoke pot. The last pitch moved the crowd to loud applause.
“Well, it is a college crowd,” he said afterward.

Nolan is to the Libertarian Party what Thomas Jefferson is to the Democratic Party – its founding figurehead. And he’s lost little of his idealism.

His stands on the issues are reliably the positions that involves the least government.

“The government’s job is to protect you; beyond that it’s up to you,” he said.
A few minutes later, talking about the war: “There’s a difference between defending the country and foreign adventurism.”

The Libertarian Party manages to turn a political axiom on its ear. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, it’s half the things just about everybody wants.

To Republicans, that means gun rights, lower taxes, deregulation and a scorched-earth approach to social programs. But it also means government can’t make moral decisions for its people and regulate victimless human behavior.

To Democrats, it means protecting civil liberties and a dovish foreign policy as surely as it means the end of Social Security.

“I don’t try to be all things to all people,” Nolan said.

What both men seem to understand is that their prospects for election are slim.

Neither campaigns full time. Quick barely campaigns at all, other than showing up at forums.

He’s learned a couple things.

One, campaigning isn’t as easy as it looks and, two, voters don’t always mean what they say.

“People say they want candidates to be honest and say what you think,” Quick said, smiling. “I’ve found that when you do that, a lot of people don’t like it.”

He also said the media don’t do a good enough job covering independent and Libertarian campaigns.

“My friends thought I lost in the primary,” he said. As an independent, he didn’t have to run in a primary.

Nolan doesn’t have those kinds of complaints but worries that money shuts his party out.

His goal was to get more votes than the winner’s margin of victory, hoping that will force the two parties to pay attention to the Libertarian cause.

What also bugs him is how people don’t think Libertarians can win, so they don’t vote Libertarian. It also leaves voters shackled with a two-party system.

“You have a choice between chicken and rice or beef with noodles, but you can’t have the chicken with the noodles,” he said.

13 Responses to “Nolan and Quick Profiled”

  1. torah Says:

    This is an underrated race, and I for sure thought the LP would be all over its founding member running for Congress.

    Yet it’s the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. Just running a bare-bones campaign. No serious commitment to actually win a la Badnarik and Smither, but just want to play the libertarian version of the United Nations and debate, but not get anything accomplished.

    The article shows just how negatively third parties are treated, not based on the political leanings of journalists, but because of the self-inflicted wounds caused by guys who know they’re not going to win. At least have a winning attitude. Geez.

    If the LP would recruit, train and run candidates like Smither and Badnarik, I believe the credibility of the organization would benefit. But no, they have little filth like Starchild and candidates who want to save ferrets or who are militant Ayn Rand atheists-in-drag represent what they claim is “America’s largest third party.”

    Actually, if you want to be politically accurate, the Republican Party is “America’s largest third party.”

    Oh well.

  2. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Smither and Fraudnarik are bad examples.

    Smither was a paper candidate who just happened to be running with the DeLay fiasco happened. He raised $1600 through June 30. That’s well after DeLay was screwed. Smither is not a legit candidate.

    Fraudnarik has raised a lot of money but he doesn’t even get local media attention. Even the LP’s own candidate tracker has him on the second page. His campaign is a fraud, and the good thing is that he will be out of the picture, permanently, after this election. The bad thing is that the people who donated money to him are going to be highly upset when he fails to reach even 5% of the vote total, and they won’t donate like that again.

    I agree with what you’re saying, but Bill Pierce of OH, and Guthrie of OR are better examples. Even the guys that you mentioned are disgraces, and they are better than most.

  3. Phil Says:

    Expect to get a slew of comments explaining how Badnarik doesn’t have serious commitment and how he should not be a role model…

  4. Phil Says:

    Guthrie is running Washington, not Oregon.

  5. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Thank you for the correction, Phil.

  6. VanBuren libertarian Says:

    It is a SHAME that the REGION and NATIONAL Libertarian Party are not ALL over this seat.
    If there were ANY Princeipals at the natinal level there would be NO seated canidates.

    RREED

  7. Stuart Richards Says:

    Hey, National’s only got so much resources and they’re focusing those resources in TX CD-22, where we actually have a serious shot at electing someone to Congress. I can’t say I blame them.

    I’ve been really busy with college but I’ll probably do a writeup on Nolan’s campaign over on HoT when I have the time.

  8. torah Says:

    Thanks for clarifying on Guthrie’s campaign. Yes, he’s one solid candidate. As was Ed Thompson and Carla Howell. Could you imagine what the Free State Project would be like in NH if all of these Libertarian stars were to move there? With their experience and resources, you truly would have a Libertarian takeover.

  9. Jackcjackson Says:

    I think Thompson is the only “star” in the bunch.

  10. Phil Says:

    If I sounded rude in my 4:20 AM post, I didn’t mean too. It was an easy mistake to make.

  11. undercover_anarchist Says:

    No. I was just thanking you. No rudeness detcted. Though apparently you thought I was being sarcastic. Oh, internet communcation woes.

  12. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Ayn Rand was a constipated, homophobe. I’m surprised HateText doesn’t love her. If only she were his daughter.

  13. Ben Kalafut Says:

    “If the LP would do this, if the LP would do that…”

    There is no “man behind the curtain” who makes decisions as to how the LP operates nationally or locally. Speaking with an inside view—I’m Nolan’s press secretary—I can say we’re doing our best we the resources we have. The last fundraising letters went out last week—it takes money to make money and it didn’t exactly flood in, in part due to a late start—and radio ads started today. Crews have been out putting up signs every weekend, we fought and secured inclusion in every candidate forum, we got thanks to phone calls and letter-writing campaigns fair coverage from the newspapers.

    Were we to have started in January—and having a contested primary would’ve helped, too—we’d be doing better. But nobody decided to run a weak campaign. Material support for Libertarian candidates is limited and in the absence of a Smitherlike prospect for victory donors are reluctant to be generous. As a longtime Libertarian I can say I can’t blame them. We’ve been burned before. Think Carla Howell, Murray Sabrin, Browne 2000…

Leave a Reply