This guy's running for governor, too

Tom Jackson
Sep 11, 2013


Libertarians have gotten used to being a very small minority in a political system dominated by liberals and conservatives.

But over the last couple of years, libertarian ideas have gone mainstream. Marijuana has been legalized in two states, Washington and Colorado. Gay marriage is legal in several states. Congress even has libertarian lawmakers. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a nominal Republican but a libertarian at heart, has led opposition to NSA spying and to Obama's efforts to intervene in Syria's civil war.

None of these successes have translated into support for Libertarian Party candidates, at least so far; former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the party's most-credible presidential nominee ever, drew 1 percent of the popular vote in 2012. 

Undaunted, a former Republican state lawmaker, Charles Earl, a broadcaster, farmer and writer, has announced he is running for Ohio governor next year as the Libertarian nominee. He'll be holding a kickoff rally at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Camden Falls, 2460 South Ohio 231, Tiffin. He'll be taking on the Republican incumbent, John Kasich, and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald. 

I asked Charlie to field a few questions on why he's running and what his positions are:

What made you decide to run for governor?

It may sound trite, but I believe that I had no choice but to run for governor of Ohio. Thirty years ago when I was in the General Assembly, I served with John Kasich (then a state senator), Mike DeWine (also a state senator), Sherrod Brown (served in the House with me) and Bill Batchelder (current Speaker of the House). Although I chose to leave elective politics in 1984, they remained in and around government for three more decades. In my view, our lives are not better, and our personal freedoms are more strictly circumscribed today. Because I am not intimidated by the electoral process, I believe I am best equipped to carry the message of personal liberty and responsible constitutional government for the people of Ohio. I care too much for my native state to stand by and watch its great potential squandered by a collection of career politicians.

What are your top issues?

Clearly....the overriding themes and issues of our campaign are personal freedom and constitutional governance. We address all issues, large and small, through that prism. If one can characterize our position on nearly every issue, the appropriate term would be: self-determination. We believe that Ohio is best suited to chart its own course without excessive federal interference. We are committed to maximizing Ohio's significant resources: natural, human and creative. We want Ohio's vast energy deposits to be used for the benefit of all our citizens rather than satisfying the political agenda of some bureaucrat sitting in a cubicle in Washington, D.C. We wish to expand opportunities for our farmers and the agricultural community by promoting the addition of industrial hemp to crop rotations. We wish to aggressively expand ag markets intrastate, interstate and globally. We are working to develop a method for recapturing our rusted industrial sites so they can be re-purposed for entrepreneurial endeavors. Our plan will be a private-sector initiative with state government unraveling the red tape to expedite the process.

We aim to reduce business and corporate taxes to "zero." Therefore, no large corporate entity will receive favored treatment via the tax code. All business of all sizes will have equal competitive statures under our plan. With the anticipated increase in economic activity, we plan to reduce the personal income to "zero' as well. It is immoral and unconscionable for government to benefit from a person's labor.
Concurrent with our positive initiatives, we will aggressively pare state government to its bare essentials. My name is Charles Robert Earl. My initials are "c.r.e." Our means for reducing state government are based on those initials. We will "consolidate, reduce or eliminate" those agencies and departments that are unconstitutional, redundant or inefficient. Cutting the cost of state government will give our workers and employers more latitude in their decision-making process. Reducing taxes significantly will give all our citizens more freedom for choosing where to spend their earnings.

Do you have to seek the Libertarian nomination for governor, or have you secured it?

While there are no guarantees until the February filing date, it appears that Sherry Clark, our lieutenant governor candidate, and I as the gubernatorial nominee will be the only Libertarian candidates for our respective offices on the 2014 primary ballot.

Let me ask you about a couple of specific issues. How do you feel about legalization of marijuana? About gay marriage?

First, allow me to state my philosophical principles, then I will respond with my positions given the present political realities and environment. I believe the state (meaning all federal or state governments) has no constitutional, moral or legal basis for regulating how individuals use a naturally grown product in the privacy of their homes. If someone harms another person or their property while impaired, they should be held responsible. Marriage is a contract between two individuals and God, if they invite Him in. The government has no moral authority to determine who individuals can love. Governments have no hearts, no minds and no souls. Why should we trust them to make personal moral choices for us? 
So...I wish that the proponents of marijuana legalization and gay marriage were not seeking approval of the state via the amendment process. Given that they have chosen the statist path of affirmation, I shall support them.....but rather tepidly.
Given what you term "present political realities and environment," don't backers of marijuana legalization and gay marriage have to seek what you term a "statist path"? It seems to me that marijuana users need protection from the federal government and gay marriage advocates need equal protection under the law. 
Yes, of course, you are correct, Tom. Their remedies are limited to the process in place. I should have been clearer. I support their efforts, but wish they were not necessary because of excessive interference in our lives by an over-zealous government. Thanks for seeking clarification.
Many candidates in the Libertarian Party have no practical experience with government -- but that's not true of you. Could you describe your government background, including your stint in the Ohio General Assembly?
As I mentioned earlier, I served as a State Representative in the Ohio General Assembly (1981-1984). I chose not to run for re-election in 1984....believing that others should bring their experience and wisdom to our legislative chambers. This may sound somewhat self-serving, but I sincerely believe that many of our liberty-oriented and economic ills stem directly from an elite class of professional politicians. Because of my service in Columbus, the prospect of running statewide does not frighten me, and also because of my previous tenure in government and my subsequent "retirement," I can clearly see where government and its political class have failed us. Normally, I consider "experience" to be disqualifying when voting for candidates, but because I have 30-years in the private sector, my experience provides me with valuable insight into the workings of state government.


The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

A challenger appears! Thank you for this info, Mr. Jackson! This is refreshing to read.

Stop It

Well spoken. I will be looking into his stances more closely.


He used to sub on Toledo political talk radio a year or so ago on WSPD. I liked some of what he said, some was ambivalent to and don't really remember anything in particular that I actively disliked... much like his few responses in the article. Would like to hear/see more.


I'd also like to hear more. It's so unusual to hear common sense and a strict constitutional bent coming out of the mouth of a politician that it sounds too good to be true. But if this guy's on the level and his other answers to more questions are along these same lines, "refreshing" is the LEAST of the adjectives I'd use to describe him!


"anticipated increase in economic activity"

that's the magic in conservative politicians' economic plans


I'll support him in his effort to become governor, heck even Big Dog and 4Shizzle should get behind him, he is for gay rights, legalization of pot and individual freedom. What's not to like, he is for a limited scope government that allow personal individual freedom. I'll look more into his platform, but on a first impression he has my vote.


Most people who SAY they want smaller government, actually are reluctant to do without most of the things local, state and federal government provides. Road and bridge construction? Check. Snow removal? Check. Disaster relief? Check. Infrastructure maintenance? Check. And of course, the biggest government program of all, our armed forces and national defense. Check.

If you want to live in a civilized society, you need the above, and you need to fund them. It is what it is.


Re: "you need to fund them."

It ain't the "basics" Teach, it's those social transfer of payment programs (redistribution of wealth) that incur the majority of the waste, fraud and abuse and loom large on federal, state and local budgets.


National defense is one of the few things government does that is actually spelled out in the Constitution as a legitimate government function, and if our military restricted itself to actual national defense instead of the current imperialist interventions and "nation building" it would cost far less. Roads and bridges are pretty basic government functions, but they belong at the state level. There was a time that people alive today remember, when it was unthinkable for the federal government to get involved in road construction - Eisenhower's proposal for the interstate highway system was only considered constitutional because he presented it as a national defense project, to enable faster troop movement in the event of the USA being attacked. There is debate among libertarians about whether the government should be in the road building business. The first of two points in favor are the Constitution's authorization to construct "post roads" for the movement of mail, which is another constitutionally authorized government role. The second is a common libertarian litmus test - the government should not be able to do anything for anyone unless it does it for everyone. Anyone can use the roads, not everyone can get a welfare check, or a check for not planting soybeans, or food stamps, etc.

As for disaster relief, the first few times the federal government tried to offer disaster relief, the states and/or cities affected refused it with a hearty "mind your own business."

There are very few things that the private sector can't do better than government. Notice that last week the UK decided to privatize their postal system.

Leftists are fond of saying "government is just a word for things we do together." Well, then, corporation is just a word for things we do together VOLUNTARILY, as opposed to the government method of force.


Sounds very similar to Dr. Ron Paul. I still wish the U.S. citizens would've given him a chance as President. Oh well.


Guy needs to be seen. Like some of his views. Especially hemp growth. People need to understand the value this plant can lend /replace many presently used items. Willing to bet many established corporations will fight him on this.




Pot currently has no ability to designate "potentency or strength". till then there isn't a standard that can be made. When it is standardized, so you know what it is... it isn't sensible. Once it is standardized... it is up to the adult... not for kids. Insurance will stop the ability to drive or do many things till the testing process is better. But that is only details... and the devil is in the details. Do you want the school bus driver to be smoking just before he picks up your kid? THC stays in your body for as week or there abouts. How do you test? Do you want a truck driver hauling hazardous materials, explosives or even just a legal 80,000 lbs of truck, trailer and load going down the road with no real way to test? There are many such things that need to be figured out.Till the science is figured out... Don't know about many of the other drugs... But there has to be limits for work and driving.,.. same as for drinking.


It will be worked out, just as it has with alcohol. OWI means Operating While Impaired, and currently covers alcohol, prescription and over the counter drugs, recreational drugs, and anything else that impairs a driver. As such, mechanisms already exists to obtain convictions without a breathalyzer. Field sobriety tests recorded by dashcams provide pretty damning evidence in most cases even without chemical analysis.

OWI enforcement should move away from numerical lab results, and focus more on conduct behind the wheel that shows the driver is at risk. Checkpoints don't save as many lives as having officers out on patrol to observe at risk driving conduct. There should be a requirement of such driving conduct as probable cause before stopping someone. There are lots of regular social drinkers who are probably safer behind the wheel at .12 than I, as a non-drinker, would be at .05.


Re: "We aim to reduce business and corporate taxes to 'zero.'"

Works for me.

"Ohio's 2013 Business Tax Climate Index Ranks 39"


Regarding his comment about the statist approach of getting government affirmation:

Extending the statist practice of issuing licenses for a one size fits all government dictated marriage contract to gays, and bringing them under the statist family court system that strips people of all their rights just because they want to terminate a personal relationship is really not a libertarian policy. A true libertarian policy would be to do away with government licensing of relationships, and depending solely on longstanding principles of contract law, where any group of 2 or more people could spell out their own terms.

With marijuana, framing it in terms of who can grow a certain plant is far too narrow and disregards the real principle, which is that the government has no business telling you what you may or may not put in your own body.