2014 is an election year in Colorado, and Examiner.com is sitting down with some of the candidates for governor so that the voters will be able to make informed decisions. The first one in this series is a phone interview with Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon, who is running as an unaffiliated third party candidate.
Dunafon has been mayor of Glendale since 2012, and had been involved in local politics since 1998. He has overseen the so-called “Glendale Revolution,” a boom in the city’s economy and the building of Infinity Park, a large sports and recreation facility that includes a rugby stadium, an event center and a large outdoor park.
We spoke with Dunafon regarding his run for governor.
Why are you running for governor?
I’m running because we have moved down the path of destruction for a hundred years. One party is marching down the path of progressivism, the other is creeping.
What is your background and what are your qualifications?
I have a PHD is streetology, and what that means is that I have a lot of experience. I have a degree in education and taught high school. I realized that was not where i needed to be. I started several businesses, and failed in many of those. I understand the challenges that are faced by businesses, many of which are caused by government.
Third party candidates have a reputation for being spoilers for the two major parties. Do you agree with this assessment? Why do you think that you have a better chance than past third party candidates?
No, I’m not a party candidate in any sense. I’m unaffiliated. The two parties have created an illusion that others running are the spoilers. They don’t want free thinking people making informed choices. They say that voters are the cause of the wrong guy getting elected. They say that elected the guy from the other party will be the wrong choice. But both parties are saying that, and they’re both right. People only pay attention to politics for 30 seconds at a time. Informed voters can throw them. People have thrown away their votes on these same parties for a hundred years now. And when the guy gets into office, peoples’ liberties incrementally get robbed during the tenure. 86 percent of voters are disenfranchised right now. We now have more technology, smart phones, the internet. People are now more informed than ever, why can’t we make a change? Why can’t we have an American Spring, where people spend ten minutes a day on their own liberties? People are starting to have more than a 30 second memory.
Do you consider yourself a libertarian, or something else?
I don’t consider myself a libertarian, when a group of libertarians get together they agree on 99 percent of issues but get paralyzed on the other one percent. I’m a Randist in that I believe that man created morality in order thrive, function, and survive. We need it to cooperate.
Same-sex marriage appears to be heading toward legalization in Colorado. If elected, how will you ensure that the LGBT community will gain equal rights?
I’m the only mayor that I know of who is performing same sex marriages thus far. The government should not be involved in what should be an independent contract. The government does not belong in your bedroom on any level.
What is your opinion on oil fracking?
We have to take a look at what’s happening. We use petro dollars now. We send all of this money to the Mideast. We have become a welfare state, and that has led to a warfare state. I love the environment, and I support fracking with CO2, but the conversation should be about paying for oil and blood from the mideast. I don’t love the idea of a seventh century state with nuclear weapons. They kill women, blow people up, and we pay for it.
Do you support an increase in alternative forms of energy, including green energy such as solar and wind? If so, how would you support them if elected? If not, why not?
I support these industries from a free market standpoint. We look at things like Solyndra, and we pay eight dollars a kilowatt-hour. Worldwide demand for oil is going up, and Russia and China are buying oil from each other with Rubles and Yuan. That should send a shiver up everybody’s spine, but it’s not being covered in the media. If that keeps happening the whole house will come crumbling down. We are not prepared, we only pay attention to alternative energy sources when there is a crisis. It’s a complete lack of leadership on this issue. I’m not talking about isolationism, I’m talking about independence from foreign sources of oil.
Governor Hickenlooper postponed the execution of Chuck E Cheese killer Nathan Dunlap. What would you have done differently, if anything, in this case? Do you support the death penalty in such cases?
Nathan Dunlap walked into a Chuck E Cheese, locked people up, and murdered them in cold blood. I would have followed through on the sentence. But if the people decide they no longer want the death penalty I would follow through on that too. The problem here was the Hickenlooper deferred the decision to someone else as he’s done so many times. Another failure of leadership on his part. That’s the difference between governing and leading, not following through.
Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
I was the the only mayor who was pro-Amendment 64 at the Metro Mayors Caucus. The rules at the time said that there needed to have a 100 percent consensus, it only took one dissenting voice to hold a decision. They changed the rules to require five dissenting mayors after that, which was unconscionable. I presented a 28 page report on the Volstead Act and the war on pot. The prohibition of marijuana was based in crony capitalism. Hearst, Dupont, Mellon, they all had interests in keeping hemp down. We were willing to see lives destroyed, people murdered, and an industry devastated. Hemp is better for use in newspapers, clothing and is easily renewable. The only thing we can do in good conscience is to allow it. I don’t smoke pot myself, but I am for an individual’s right to make a decision. I am also in favor of letting everybody who is in prison for smoking pot out. Why are we imprisoning people for participating in what is a huge growth industry.
Governor Hickenlooper enacted several unpopular gun control laws while in office. Will you attempt to repeal these laws if elected?
Hickenlooper did not lead on this issue. I will veto any bad laws, I’ll veto 400 if I have to. I’m going to start recommending many bad laws be taken off the books in Glendale, I’ll do the same as governor. If you swear an allegiance to the constitution I will hold you to it.
What, if anything, will you do in order to make the Affordable Care Act more palatable to Coloradoans?
I don’t know how you can make that law more palatable to anybody. It’s the fundamental destruction on the individual contract. It gives you the illusion of coverage, but there isn’t any service. I wouldn’t be able to do anything to make it more palatable. I think everybody should be able to opt out of it. What you have to do as governor is explain liberty to the people who are passing these laws. I would sit down with the legislators and make them understand. I want to have a philosophy behind these laws. I would try to get them to stop and read things like the constitution, the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist papers. We need to change the mindset of the people who pass these laws, each of these bad laws like this are a result of bad philosophy.
Do you support school choice in the form of vouchers?
Yes, I am in support of school choice. I think that the state shouldn’t be in the business of education any more than it should be in the business of church. But I wouldn’t be able to get the state all the way out of it in one or even two terms, but I would support choice as much as possible.
Do you support an increase in the minimum wage in Colorado?
No, I think the idea of a minimum wage is an abomination. The idea of a livable wage is against the idea of individual rights. Look at it this way, I support a woman’s right to choose. This is the same thing, people choosing what to do with their bodies. Why is anybody taking away my right to work for any wage I choose? I don’t believe anybody has the right to tell me what to do with my body and my time.
How would you handle the current immigration crisis? Do you think that Colorado should do more to stem the tide of illegal immigration?
I would say that we need to stop exporting America. What I mean by that is stop the idea that we can shove democracy down someone’s throat. We need to start importing Americans, people who are fleeing their countries because of oppression and bad government. We don’t recognize what’s going on here. We need to welcome people who want to come here and learn to speak English and assimilate. People who have the philosophy of individual liberty and freedom. We all came from somewhere else with the same idea. There is very little a state government can do on this, it’s up to the federal government. We can make good decisions if we base it on an objective standard.
Do you have anything else you wish to add?
I think people should spend 10 minutes a day on their liberties, turn off the garbage on TV and read some books. Read about Austrian Economics, the Constitution, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. It’s almost impossible to get your rights back once you’ve lost them.