Politics

Libertarian: Florida GOP leaders begged me to ‘primary’ troubled Scott

Libertarian: Florida GOP leaders begged me to 'primary' troubled Scott
Florida Libertarian candidate for governor Adrian Wyllie (Courtesy of the Wyllie campaign)

The Libertarian candidate for Florida governor told Human Events that given that GOP leaders repeatedly fail rank-and-file Republicans; a third-party candidate can win the state, if voters vote principle over fear.

“Representatives of the Republican Party approached me and asked me to primary Scott,” said Adrian Wyllie, the 2014 gubernatorial candidate from the Libertarian Party, the third largest political party in the state.

“I told them no way in hell,” he said. “I refused because I do not want to be a part of the party of corruption.”

Respondents in a Nov. 9 Human Events/Gravis poll of registered voters in the Sunshine State said if the election were held today, they prefer former governor Charles J. Crist Jr. over Gov. Richard L. Scott 46 percent to 36 percent with 19 percent unsure.

Florida Gov. Richard L. Scott

Florida Gov. Richard L. Scott

In 2010, Scott defeated the Democrat candidate by less than 2 percent. According to Florida respondents, three years later, Scott’s approval rating is a dismal 33 percent, disapproval at 52 percent and undecided respondents polling at 15 percent.

Wyllie, who is the former chairman of the Florida Libertarian Party, said Republican Party committee members throughout the state have promised their support if he would switch political parties.  “For a while they were shadowing me on the campaign trail listening to me speak – they liked what they heard.”

Even though Wyllie said he had refused the GOP’s repeated offers, they are still requesting that he switch parties, he said.  “I told them that if I were to join the Republican Party eventually they would want me to ‘play- ball’ and compromise.  I will never compromise on my principles.”

The husband and father of two said in his experience in politics, those who started out as principled individuals for the right reasons supported the Republican Party yet ended up being corrupted. “They ended up just becoming part of the establishment and part of the problem and I do not want that to happen to me.”

Scott is hoping voters pull the lever for him out of fear of the Democrat winning, said Wyllie. “But in this race the Democrat is the same guy that Republicans were voting for and campaigning for in 2006.”

The race in Florida is unique, said the small business owner.  “We have Rick Scott the incumbent, progressive Republican governor and we have Charlie Crist a former progressive, Republican governor, so quite frankly, if I do not win the election, it really does not matter which of the two former progressive Republicans’ wins.”

If voters were to vote principle above party we would see Libertarians being elected all over the country, he said. “The Libertarian Party gives voters the opportunity to no longer vote for the lessor evil.  It gives them an opportunity to actually vote for good.”

Just like any other candidate, the objective of Libertarians is to win elections, he said.  “If the effect of one of ours being in races causes another candidate to win or lose, so be it.”

“The Libertarian party better represents Republican principles, and it better represents the founders’ principles,” said Wyllie.  “Republicans should abandon the Republican Party and get on board with the Libertarian Party.”

Willie said he understands that Republicans blame Libertarians in the race for their close defeats.

Earlier this month, Democrat Terence R. McAuliffe defeated Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II with Libertarian Robert C. Sarvis in a three-way race for governor of Virginia.

When McAuliffe beat Cuccinelli by barely three points, Republicans blamed Sarvis, whose 6.6% of the vote, they said gave the Democrat win.

“What happened in Virginia was a Libertarian candidate who was attempting to win,” said Wyllie. “I find it ironic there is nobody claiming that McAuliffe stole votes from Cuccinelli or stole votes from Sarvis.”

Sarvis was offering the voters of Virginia a platform which obviously a large percentage of Virginians believed in, he said.  “There is so little difference between the Republican and the Democrat in 2013 that Libertarians do not see one party as better than the other.”

The two major parties have brought America to the brink of collapse, said the former radio talk show host.

“I wonder whether so-called conservative Republicans were ever conservative to begin with or if they are just pandering and lying to their base the whole time,” he said.  “Either way I do not know that we can trust many Republicans.”

The Human Events/Gravis poll also showed Floridians being at the rate of 55 percent unfamiliar with Republican Attorney General Pamela “Jo” Bondi, who was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 has an approval rating of 25 percent compared to a disapproval rating of 20 percent.

Bondi has been a huge disappointment, said Wyllie. “I had the opportunity to speak to Bondi on a couple of occasions prior to her being elected, and she convinced me that she would uphold the Constitution and she completely failed to do so.”

The way Bondi and Scott handled the Finch situation is typical of what wrong with Florida Republicans, he said.

As attorney general, Bondi has attacked the Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment and a variety of civil liberties, he said. “Bondi attempted to prevent a challenge to Florida’s ban on open carry from reaching the Florida Supreme Court and she prosecuted Sheriff Nick Finch of Liberty County for standing-up for the Second Amendment.”

Finch was vindicated by a six-member jury and reinstated as sheriff in early November after he was arrested and removed from office by the governor and attorney general’s offices citing official misconduct, he said. “The not guilty verdict shows Scott and Bondi for the gun-grabbers they are.”

The scandal began after a man was arrested in Liberty County for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit and Finch released him, said Wyllie.

“Finch believes in the Second Amendment,” he said. “He did not see this as an issue and he released the man who was arrested.”

When the deputy who made the arrest complained to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the attorney general’s office, Bondi used her discretion to have Finch removed as sheriff, he said.

For decades, Republicans have shown that they will do the opposite of what their expected to do once elected, said the information technology professional.  “We had Republicans in office controlling the House, the Senate, and the White House on many occasions; and we are deeper in debt and there is no virtual conservatism in Washington or Tallahassee.”

Continuing down the same path regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are elected, will further the Nation toward economic ruin and a total loss of liberties, said Wyllie.

“Until voters stop voting out of fear and start voting with principles they are never going to see a restoration of our Constitutional Republic.”

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