Third Party Lines: An Interview with Lucas Overby

click to enlarge Lucas Overby debates David Jolly. - Kevin Tighe
Kevin Tighe
Lucas Overby debates David Jolly.

While David Jolly and Alex Sink continue to bash each other in incessant television ads, Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby has been trying to win over voters by showing up anywhere that will have him throughout District 13. Although some Republicans accused him of being a “plant” to siphon off GOP votes and aid Sink, the fact of the matter is that Overby declared even before Bill Young announced his intentions to run for re-election in 2013.

At a Clearwater Starbucks on Gulf-to-Bay, I sat down with Overby to talk about the issues. Here are some excerpts:

CL: Ed Snowden. Traitor or hero?

Overby: This is where I agree with Ron Paul. Who did he betray? ...Coming out and telling us something that’s being perpetuated on us, I don’t think classifies as a traitor. We’re supposed to have very strong whistleblower protections in this nation and so I think it was brave — heroic is a word for it — what he did stepping forward, and seeing something and telling us, his countrymen, about it. Our government’s messing up, and he should be protected under the First Amendment under whistleblower acts.

Let’s talk domestically. You’ve given contradictory statements about a woman’s right to choose, based on the first televised debate. Where are you on that?

I’m very [Ruth Bader] Ginsbergian. I’m actually hyper liberal when it comes to Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade was not the appropriate way to deal with that. It actually ended up setting the women’s rights movement back. It halted it at that exact moment. We weren’t able to move forward and really define laws the way we should. That was my answer at the debate. My amateur mistake was not taking the extra 20 minutes that my opponents did for things, not following the rules. I was very happy to come back a few days later to fulfill that answer. I’ve been a women’s rights activist for a very long time; I’ve very often espoused myself to be a feminist. And I’ve told a lot of people on the right that I work with that I’m all in favor of having the conversation in figuring out what is and isn’t life and what is and isn’t a person. But let’s protect what we know. Let’s protect a woman’s right to privacy. A woman’s right to medical self-determination and the right to not be blocked from the medical procedure that her and her doctor have decided is right for her. Let’s solidify that. Let’s cure that. Why are we holding that up with a court ruling?

Same-sex marriage?

I think everybody should be treated equally under the law. And this is another one where I would like to see government out of marriage, However, while we’re having that argument and that debate, I refuse to let people live as second-class citizens, and so I’m in full favor of … the law applying equally to everybody regardless of their sexual preference. And then let’s get the government out of marriage. If we’re going to fight about it over the next 10 years, though, I don’t want to have the gay community sitting there waiting on this. I also generally tout the marriage issue as kind of the highlight issue for that entire movement; it’s something that they can keep in the spotlight.

Minimum wage. Do you support it at $10.10 an hour? What about $9?

I have strong concerns with raising it, especially to $10.10. The next tax jumps at around $9 for 40 hours a week … I have a lot of concerns with raising the minimum wage. However, I am in favor, and the president was recently speaking about this — fixing the tax code. And one of the best plans that has been put on the table, and that we plan on going after in the shortened session, is consolidating the tax code, and decreasing taxes across the board. It’s a fantastic proposal and will lower the brackets to around 10 percent tax cut. That’s more money than the minimum wage increase and it makes it easier for companies to hire at these lower rates. Every time we raise the minimum wage, the tax code takes 5-6 years to catch back up. These people are going to take a beating in taxes, if they even keep their job. It’s not from the aspect of, I don’t want anybody to have any money, it’s from, I think we can give people more of their own money that they already earned, and a lot of businesses a whole lot more leeway in hiring.

You're part of a geneation that has grown up in a post-9/11 world. That means a lot of security and surveillance. Too much?

The Patriot Act was one of the first things I went out on the street and actually protested. I've always been Libertarian-minded, more on the "leftarian" side; basic civil rights has obviously been a big theme in my life ... I remember when the Patriot Act came out, I had that initial sense, like most everybody did, that "We're safe now." And then looking and going, "Wait a minute. This isn't going to make me safe. This just takes away my rights." 

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