By John Keller | United States
Brandon Reiser is a proud father of two, volunteer, and a business leader in his community. He hopes to bring his knowledge in leadership, and his ability to mentor, to the American people by being elected to Congress for California’s 48th US House District.
What inspired you to run for office?
Reiser: I saw that the two old parties had lost sight of the values that my constituents care most about. It was time for me to take real action, instead of just complaining about how neither of the two old parties represent the people. I also attended a Libertarian conference and heard the call to action that we need candidates running at all levels to grow the party. I knew it was my time to get off the couch and run for office.
What is liberty and why were you attracted to the message of libertarianism?
Reiser: Liberty is being able to live your life without interference from the government. Government should not be hurting people or taking their stuff as they are today. I left the Republican party because I felt they had lost sight of the values that I care about most. Libertarianism and the LP best represent my belief that you should be able to live your life as you choose.
You are running for office in a democratic state. What is your message to Democrat voters and Republican voters that feel disregarded?
Reiser: I’m in a very blue state, but in a historically very red district that is evolving. In 2016 President Trump basically tied with Clinton while 6% of the vote in my district went third party. Dissatisfaction with both parties is quite high in my district. My message to both Democrats and Republicans is that there is a better option. I’m also proposing real solutions that folks from all ends of the political spectrum can get behind. I frame my solutions with real life stories to make it human, to make it real for people. That’s appealing to folks who want to see progress and are tired of the two old parties who do nothing to help people.
Recent studies and reports have found that California has the highest poverty rate in America when factoring in the cost of living. What is the solution to the poverty crisis the people of California, and in America, are facing?
Reiser: Poverty in my district and the surrounding areas is also on the rise. There isn’t one solution that solves all roads to poverty, but I’d start by addressing the root causes. Ending the War on Drugs and implementing solutions that create a healthy job market would be two ways that we can begin to prevent folks from falling into poverty.
Many current politicians and both parties claim a monopoly of understanding on the Constitution. What is your take on those try to monopolize, or even manipulate, the Constitution to gain political power and the ‘moral high ground’?
Reiser: Well, many elected politicians today are hypocritical when it comes to the Constitution. I always chuckle when Democrats reference “upholding the Constitution” as part of the ongoing Russia investigation, and then in the next breath demand universal health care. My two cents is we need to do a better job educating the American public. Be inclusive, use simple language and start with solutions that improve on the status quo. Don’t try to offer perfect with overly ideological solutions. Offer specific, better solutions that are rooted in freedom and are constitutional.
The War on Drugs has been raging for over thirty years. What are your thoughts on this war?
Reiser: The War on Drugs has just been a war on the American people. It’s tragic how many lives have been ruined by the War on Drugs. I’m an advocate of the Portuguese model to address addiction and treat it as the health issue it is.
Although Libertarians believe fewer laws and government is better, what bill would you introduce first or like to see passed?
Reiser: I’ve long said passing DACA through the legislative process and protecting Dreamers would be my first order of business. If this current Congress can address that, then next up would be a focus on ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing our troops home from bases overseas.
Interventionism has come to dominate American policy in Washington – both foreign and domestic. This is proven by the recent threats of nuclear war with North Korea and H.R. 4478 (FISA) vote. respectively. Is this a major issue to you?
Reiser: Absolutely. Globally, we must stop considering ourselves the world’s police force and stop the failed nation-building campaigns we’ve engaged in. The United States provoking global warfare has only led to the loss of life and destruction of nations with the American taxpayer writing the check.
At home, the government has also overreached through surveillance without a warrant. I’d instantly join Senator Paul and Congressman Amash in support of repeal of FISA 702. I’m hopeful the Nunes memo that exposed rampant abuse of surveillance powers will be a wake-up call for Americans and reform can happen.
A platform is important to voters. What three policies and stances define the Reiser for Congress campaign?
Reiser: I stand for limited government, person and economic freedom and common-sense solutions everyone can get behind. My top priorities are to deliver immigration reform, end the war in Afghanistan, get government out of the student loan business, promote free-market policies to lower the cost of healthcare and end the War on Drugs.
The American system of governance was designed with checks and balances. With an ever-expanding Imperial Presidency, what will you do to ensure check and balances function properly and effectively?
I will be a vocal advocate of the Constitution. Particularly states’ rights and ensuring each branch of government is held to their powers granted by the government. The main thing I will be able to do will hold the House floor and demand we uphold the Constitution. And, believe me, I can stand and talk for a long time! It’ll make headlines and hopefully continue to wake up the American public.
Do you have any final remarks to the readers, supporters, and potential voters?
Reiser: I’m running to win. My race is probably the best opportunity the Libertarian Party will have to get a Libertarian elected to Congress in 2018. The California open primary and top-two system is playing out very nicely for my campaign. Democrats are going to hopefully split the vote in my race and enable me to get into a heads up general election versus a flailing Republican incumbent.
I would like to thank Brandon Reiser for his time. Be sure to visit www.brandonreiser.com for more information!