By Mark Waite
Independent American Party candidates appeared at a forum Tuesday night at the Artesia Community Center running for a number of positions, reminding voters they will be the third party on the ballot this November.
U.S. Senate David Lory Van der Beek, from Pahrump, ran for Nevada District 36 Assembly in 2010 and finished third, capturing 9.97 percent. The party has 1,547 registered voters in Nye County.
“This isn’t about winning for me; I ran in 2010 for state assembly. What campaigning is about at this point is educating people, because you’re smart enough to know the difference, to know the issues, you can make a choice. You know you want to be free, you know you want to keep your money, you know you want to keep your property. People who are constitutionalists are in it for the long haul,” Van der Beek said.
Van der Beek said the IAP is a Constitution party. He roused the audience with an energetic speech.
“So regardless of what people say, when you’re looking at candidates, we have the actual record of being constitutional,” Van der Beek said.
A transplant from Idaho who moved to Pahrump six years ago, Van der Beek said he is a Mormon who supports Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul as opposed to frontrunner Mitt Romney, who he said supported the bank bailouts.
Van der Beek also criticized the National Defense Authorization Act, which he claimed “allows the government to arrest you, secretly detain you and torture you without a right to an attorney. It’s absolutely tyranny. You have to stop respecting the people who do these things.”
Van der Beek said his grandparents lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation of World War II and refused to work in the factories. They went underground.
“They lived on orange peels, tulip bowls and potato peels. My grandmother weighed 95 pounds at the end of the war when she was pregnant with my uncle. You have to stop taking freedom for granted because what happened through history can happen in America,” he said.
Congressional candidate Floyd Fitzgibbons, said the slogan in his campaign is liberty and morality. He came up with another slogan: liberty is not a license for licentiousness, it is the reward of righteousness.
“President John Adams said that our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. He’s saying unless we live morally and religiously the Constitution doesn’t fit for us and that’s the Supreme law of the land. So I want you to think of that. Do you live morally? Do you promote morality? If not, you are part of the problem,” Fitzgibbons said.
He said any time voters throw money at a candidate they’re contributing to the problem.
“Money is the root of all evils. I think that’s in the Bible because of this very thing. Money has corrupted our politics in America,” Fitzgibbons said.
State Senate candidate Janine Hansen came all the way from Elko. Her district includes most of eastern Nevada, including White Pine, Elko, Lincoln and parts of Nye and Clark counties. Hansen noted Nye County voters elected an Independent American Party member, Falkon Finlinson, to the county administrator position in 2010. She said 54 IAP candidates were on the ballot in 2010, four were elected to office. Besides Finlinson, Esmeralda County District Attorney Art Wehrmeister, a clerk-treasurer in Eureka County and county commissioner in White Pine County.
“I have been a citizen advocate at the state Legislature almost my whole life. I have worked promoting the interests of taxpayers and families there on a consistent basis, most of the time, until actually the two years I was always a volunteer,” Hansen said.
For the last two years conservative activist Chuck Muth has been paying her expenses.
“The most numerous lobbyists at the Legislature are government employees and what happens with that, they’re lobbying for more of our tax dollars,” she said.
Hansen said her Republican opponent, Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, supported a sales tax on food, which she called disastrous.
“I believe that what we need is more individual responsibility to be able to take care of our family and our own money and less government,” Hansen said.
She brought along a copy of the Constitution.
“I will be there advocating for the people, opposing taxes, opposing tax increases and trying to pare government down to where it really needs to be,” Hansen said.
Until the Legislature starts looking at recommendations of the SAGECommission Report to determine the amount of waste in government, the effort won’t be successful, she said.