"It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I joined the Libertarian Party," said Roger Stone in front of more than 30 individuals gathered in Coconut Grove, Miami.
"The cause of liberty cannot succeed in the Republican Party. Not because we don't have the numbers, not because we don't have the ideas. But because the rules are rigged against us."
These words could be anyone's and wouldn't mean much if they were attributed to someone else. But they represent serious accusations coming from one of the most respected former GOP insider who even chaired the Young Republican National Committee.
Stone's impressive career began many decades ago, during the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, in which he volunteered at the young age of 16. He then went on serving President Nixon, often involved in backstage deals and the dirty parts of campaigning. Up to the 1980s, he served many governors and national leaders, both Republican and Democrats, before becoming the main adviser to post-presidency Nixon and a senior advisor to Ronald Reagan.
But everything changed last year when he supported Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, with his presidential bid. And with him, he turned into a member of the Libertarian Party. The elections are now over and so is Governor Johnson's campaign, but Roger Stone might have decided to be on the other hand of the electoral work.
Indeed, Stone may very well be the first Libertarian candidate for Governor of Florida. "I am now seriously considering running [for office]," said the man, who could be characterized as the most charismatic libertarian of our days.
His platform would be wide and interesting. He focuses notably on the legalization of medical marijuana, a substance he would also tax to raise revenue in order to pay down the state debt. "In a perfect world, I would like to see marijuana completely legalized and tax-free. But I'm a realist and this as far as we can go in Florida for now." Stone is not entirely libertarian on the issue of drug legalization, however. While his stance on medical cannabis is remarkable, he opposes the legalization of harder drugs, including heroin and cocaine, that are more dangerous than alcohol.
Roger Stone, if elected, would also "legalize" gambling in Florida. But he doesn't see the issue as a legalizing problem, however. In his view, gambling is already allowed in Florida and, because of shady deals made by former Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. George LeMieux, is now under a legal monopoly of the Native Americans. Governor Stone would put an end to this practice, legalize casinos, and tax the process in exchange.
When it comes to gay marriage, the former Republican has an interesting position. While he supports a repeal of Amendment 2, which bans same-sex unions, he believes the issue is a federal one, as the prohibition of same-sex marriage results in public discrimination, going against the 14th Amendment.
The Libertarian recognizes that Florida is a low-tax state, as opposed to his native New York, where the tax rates are "brutal," he claims. But if elected, he would do his best to end the state and federal unfunded mandates, including ObamaCare, that are forcing local governments to raise property taxes.
Roger Stone also wants to focus on education. He wants to end the control of teachers' unions in the public school system and allow schools to fire any bad teacher right away. He criticized Gov. Rick Scott on the matter last Tuesday, adding that he would also support the establishment of new charter schools constantly.
Stone's biggest battlefield, however, will be fighting Tallahassee corruption. The latter has become a scene where neither Republicans nor Democrats support lower taxes and less spending anymore, but the Libertarian Party's campaign could bring a new wave of ideas.
Roger Stone will only decide on a run at the end of the year, as he is currently due to manage the mayoral campaign of the Libertarian Party's candidate in New York. If he runs, he will be posing against Adrien Wyllie, the chairman of the Florida branch of the party, and John Wayne Smith. If he receives the LP's nomination, he will be the new voice against such tiring and famous voices as Rick Scott, Charlie Crist, and Manny Diaz.
His stop at the Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade County was the first one in a series of stops across the state. Wednesday night, on the other hand, Adrien Wyllie competed by speaking to a group in Broward County.