2014 is an election year in Mississippi, and Examiner.com is sitting down with some of the candidates for key races so that the voters will be able to make informed decisions. The next in this series is a phone interview with congressional candidate Joey Robinson, the Libertarian Party nominee for Mississippi’s Fourth District.
Robinsons is a Gulfport native, graduating from high school there in 2001. He attended the University of South Alabama in Mobile where he was a member of the Mortar Board senior honor society and served as president of the Student Government Association. He currently works as a sales consultant in the healthcare industry. He founded The March to Reclaim Our Country, an organization that raises awareness for fiscal responsibility and the protection of civil liberties. He is married and has two sons.
We spoke with Robinson in a phone interview regarding his run for United States Congress
Why are you running for office?
I think it’s kind of easy to ignore the problems going on this country, but I’ve got two little boys. With the amount of debt, unemployment, other issues I can’t ignore it. I don’t see these issues getting addressed.
What are your qualifications?
I’m not a lifelong politician. I don’t currently hold any office. I grew up really interested in it, on a daily basis I keep up with the news. I think the problem we have right now in government are politicians who are bought off by big business and investors. We need to get government by the people.
Third party candidates have a reputation for being spoilers for the two major parties. Do you agree with this assessment?
They have been, but I would like to see equal competition in the future. I think we’re getting to the point where the public is ready for it, where we can compete.
Why do you think that you have a better chance than past third party candidates?
I think the liberty movement is rising across the country. Everybody is beginning to wake up and see what’s going on in D.C. The representatives aren’t there for the people, they’re there for themselves. They get there and never come home. People realize that now, they realize that’s a problem.
Same-sex marriage appears to be heading toward legalization in most states. What is your stance on this issue?
When I look at the Declaration of Independence, it says “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” To me, pursuing happiness is being able to love and choosing who to love. They should have the same rights as other couples. But at the same time, churches should not be force to perform those marriages. Everyone is created equal. The fact that we’re discriminating creates a separate class. It should be a level playing field.
If elected, will you take any action to ensure that the LGBTQ community will gain equal rights?
Yes, I think that i would like to see government out of the regulation of marriage in general. I don’t think they should be in that. I would welcome equal rights legislation so they can share the same rights.
What is your opinion on oil fracking?
For me it’s not something that’s really big here yet. I do personally think if there are people being harmed then that’s a violation of rights. People should be compensated for their land. I don’t mind it as long as the individuals who own the property are protected.
Do you support an increase in alternative forms of energy, including green energy such as solar and wind?
I do as long as it’s not government subsidized and as long as we’re allowing individuals and corporations a level playing field. If we get out of the market it will take care of itself.
Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
Absolutely. It’s kind of funny, in this state we allow people to go out and drink as long as they aren’t too drunk, we allow them to go out to casinos and gamble, but people with cancer can’t use something that has known benefits? If you’re exercising your rights without hurting others’ rights , that’s what liberty is. It’d be foolish not to get in on it. I think ending the drug war is a big deal. That failed.
Do you have any any lasting concerns about the regulation or safety of marijuana?
I think that there should be an age limit restriction, the same we see with tobacco and alcohol use.
What is your opinion on gun rights?
For me, the way I read it is that people have the right to defend themselves against an unjust aggressor, whether it’s another individual or the state. I’m 100 percent in favor of gun rights.
What action, if any, will take with regard to the Affordable Care Act?
I am against any government intrusion into any market. When government comes in and tries to act like a business it has an unfair advantage: It can print money. No matter how bad it runs they can continue to print money. We’ve got to overturn it, it doesn’t make financial sense. I’m fine with making sure government protect clients for getting covered by insurance.
Do you support school choice in the form of vouchers?
Absolutely. What we currently have right now you pay tax dollars, and if you want to go to private school you pay twice. I’d like to see parents get a credit to use the school of their choice. Education needs to get back to the local and parent level instead of the federal level.
Do you support an increase in the minimum wage?
No. A resounding no. What we need is to reduce taxes and reduce spending. That’s the way to get money back into pockets. We put the burden on business. We need to get people more money in their paycheck every week.
How would you handle the current immigration situation?
We can’t have open borders, it poses a threat to the safety of individuals here. The federal government has few responsibilities, but this is one of them, providing the protection of citizens. We allow tens of thousands of people to file in and we throw money at them. That increase the debt. We don’t have the money for that.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
We need to get back to the basics, back to the people. That’s how we fix the financial, the jobs, environment. I’m big on reducing the corporate tax rate and encouraging businesses to come back here. Put folks back to work and they won’t need government help anymore.