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Libertarian VP candidate visits The Firing Pin with message of limited government

By Howard B. Owens
Nov 9, 2021, 1:30pm

Photos and story by Philip Casper.

Spike Cohen, 2020 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate, visited The Firing Pin in Bergen to raise money for the Erie County Libertarian Party in an event called “Shoot Guns With Bazookajew”.   Duane Whitmer, Erie County Libertarian Party Chair helped facilitate the event and while there, Spike introduced himself to everyone at the shop and listened while many voiced their concerns about the state of affairs in NY, and the United States as a whole.  Topics ranged from vaccine mandates to gun control, to widespread government overreach.

Cohen stated “We aren’t going to be able to set NY free if we continue to vote for the people that got us in this mess.  Republican, or Democrat.  There is an alternative out there, and this is it. You are the power.”  Whitmer, who recently ran for Erie County Comptroller said “Bringing a pro-second amendment candidate to one of the biggest defenders of the second amendment in the country was a wonderful experience and I’m glad to be a part of it. I’m thankful for the guys at The Firing Pin for all they do.”

Pat Kimball, owner and lead instructor of First Line Defense delivered a safety message before everyone entered the range, and gave brief one on one training sessions to promote safe, and proficient firearm handling.  The libertarian party believes that every person has a right to arm themselves in self-defense.

Libertarian Assembly candidate aims to revamp 'massive, expensive, ineffective' school system

By Press Release
Aug 29, 2020, 1:33pm

Press release from Glogowski For Assembly, on behalf of Libertarian candidate Mark Glogowski, who is running for NY-139 Assembly District:

Thanks to Covid-19, people are being forced to look at the benefits and drawbacks of the public-school systems and compare them to the relative safety of the homeschool options.

The school systems have been waffling over their ability to provide a safe environment. My fear is that parents in New York State will, sooner or later, begin to experience increased limitations on their ability to make educational decisions and soon will be limited to just making choices.

Our governments have created a massive, expensive and ineffective educational system.

Not only are students not receiving the education needed for today’s technological society, many are not even receiving the basic education needed to be functional in normal business.

If the educational system pursued a business quality standard for education, and achieved the business standard of Sigma 6, they would have just one person out of the last 100,000 students to pass through the school system not graduate with a functional high school education.

We are not coming anywhere close to that standard. 

The school systems, and our government, need to proactively promote efficiencies in education. They should be working to aggressively use and adopt the educational technologies and opportunities that private enterprise has developed and now offer.

They need to figure out how to stop consuming resources on old practices that have proven to be ineffective at producing a sigma six quality educational product. Because of the effectiveness and efficiencies involved, homeschooling will be commonplace in the future, much more so than it has been even in the recent past.

When elected to office, I will work:

  • to remove the barriers to homeschooling;
  • to eliminate funding inequalities between home-school and public-school;
  • to create a functional educational environment that addresses our technological needs;
  • to support efficiencies in education, and;
  • toward the goal of ensuring taxes collected for education are used wisely.  

My ultimate objective is to eliminate the real-estate-based school tax.

Read More about my thoughts, research and positions on this and other subjects here.

Mark Glogowski, Ph.D.

Libertarian Candidate for NYS Assembly, 139th Election District

Hamlin, NY

(Photo courtesy of Mark Glogowski.)

Libertarian Assembly candidate calls for line item veto to rein in spending, elimination of property taxes and more to get rid of 'tyranny' and bloat in government

By Billie Owens
Jul 28, 2020, 2:05pm

From Mark Glogowski, Ph.D., Libertarian candidate for NY State 139thAssembly District:

One of the most important issues I believe we face is the unconstitutional tyranny of our current taxation situation. Having an ally in your Assembly is crucial to correcting this. Being realistic, it will take time to unweave the tangled interrelations between government agencies and departments that have been created since the 16th Amendment was ratified, but it is doable. It will take time to get our obese government trimmed down to be lean and efficient, and with a lower appetite for taxes, but it is achievable.

There are several ways we can begin this process. The first is to get the state to operate within a balanced budget by cutting spending, not increasing taxes. We need a legislature that is aware of and pursues nongovernmental options when issues are being considered. A legislature that is willing to hear and apply Libertarian solutions, thus eliminating the need for the wealth of the people to support the government’s involvement.

Here are just a few places and activities we could proactively begin:

  • Permit our governor and legislature to take control of expenditures by providing both with the equivalent of the "line item" veto ability;
  • End the practice of legislation being placed in budgets (it is unconstitutional);
  • Remove barriers that prevent local governments from spontaneously working cooperatively together again. The discussions recently between Genesee and Orleans counties regarding a shared jail is a good example. Unfortunately, no matter what they agree on, the barrier now in place is that the state government has oversight of county governments (instead of the other way around) and the state has in place barriers that prevent spontaneous intragovernmental cooperation;
  • Allow all local governments (county, city, town, and village) to put more of an emphasis on sales taxes and less on real estate taxes and real estate based service charges;
  • Eliminate real estate taxes all together. They effectively cause you to not actually own the property you paid for. As with any property tax, if you don’t pay your real estate taxes you will be evicted by the Government and will lose your property.
  • Dismantle the Industrial Development Agencies and the Economic Development Zones (famous for setting up competition for existing businesses with taxpayer money and dictating to counties, towns and villages what they can and cannot do);
  • Initially reduce the immense number of grants, and then eliminate grants altogether. Grants are nothing more than acts of tyranny, where government takes money from you and gives it to companies and individuals for projects that are not economically viable (such as putting up 640 ft windmills) and companies with poor business plans (like the local yogurt company that disappeared shortly after state funding ran out), and grants to pay for studies to find out where new grants can be issued (as happens in such projects as the Finger Lakes Forward initiative). Government is going out of its way to find something worthwhile to do with your hard-earned money rather than letting you keep it and invest as you see fit.

Let’s put a stop to government wasting your hard-earned money. If we are successful we will see more activity by private enterprise to help spur the economy and build a better community, such as the grant program set up by Heritage Wind.

All these barriers were placed by generations of Democrat and Republican politicians. You cannot employ the same thinking to change as was used to create this mess.

Support my efforts to become your NYS Assemblyman and I assure you, restructuring our financial (tax) structure, rescinding the 16thAmendment, and restoring financial barriers to taxing will be among my top objectives. As your Assemblyman, I will work to initiate a call to rescind the 16thAmendment and will seek the support of the Assemblies in 35 other States. I will work to give you back control over your wealth and possessions.

Vote Libertarian

Vote for Mark Glogowski for Assembly, District 139

Read more about my positions on other important issues at:

City Council at Large Candidate Questions for James Rosenbeck - Libertarian

By Bonnie Marrocco
Oct 29, 2013, 5:04pm

There's a lot of concern from city residents about activities on Jackson and State Street. Do you consider those streets problem areas and if so, what should be done about them?

Yes, I do consider sections of Jackson Street and State Street problematic. Safe neighborhoods are a crucial priority for our city. I would add that there are other streets in the city that are also cause for concern. I support the use of regular police partner foot patrols in the most troubled neighborhoods. Given that we pay Genesee County taxes in addition to our city taxes, we should seek and utilize support from the Genesee County Sheriff's Department also.

What level of code enforcement do you favor to deal with seemingly problem properties?

I don't accept the premise that we should have different levels of code enforcement. If a property owner is in violation of city code, he/she should be afforded reasonable notice to rectify the violation or be cited as per the code.

How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?

It is clear to me at this point  that the city does not need to be in the trash collection business or involved in any service that can be provided for effectively and efficiently by the private sector. Certainly, the city shouldn't be providing trash totes with tracking chips to local residents. Let's leave the trash tote business to the stores that sell them. Furthermore, I never quite understood how our cost for the use of a trash collection service should be connected to our property assessments.

Why should those owning homes of a higher assessed value be forced to subsidize the cost of garbage collection for those homeowners with lower assessments? Lets keep in mind that many of those higher valued homes, paying the biggest portion are our senior citizens living on fixed incomes. When the city taxpayer picks up the tab for trash removal we create a dis-incentive to recycling and subtly encourage less responsible management of solid waste. All that being said, my wife and I chose to remain customers of ARC. But, it was our choice. We believe in the mission of the agency. Choice improved the existing system and allowed people to tailor trash removal according to their specific needs.

I don't agree with the rhetoric about too many trucks on the streets and garbage piling up all over the city. The change in trash collection has promoted new businesses and employment opportunities. Competition and choice should be welcomed. Council candidates promising a return to a city run mandated trash service have neglected the reality that this would require voiding all of the private trash removal contracts currently in effect with local providers. Furthermore, those candidates should recognize and publicly acknowledge that they are running on a platform that if realized would likely put new trash service providers out of business.

What should be the city's role in economic and job development be in Batavia?

I do not support economic development corporations. Providing tax breaks and incentives for some while excluding others seems patently unfair. Growing bureaucracy in order to counteract the negative tax effects of an already too large and intrusive government seems counter intuitive. Whenever we as citizens give an unregulated EDC the power to grant financial favors we encourage cronyism and pay to play political patronage.

If the choice came down to either  A) raising taxes and maintaining the city's own police department and/or fire department; or, B) consolidating police protection with the city or going to some form of volunteer fire department, which option would you choose?

One need only look around the city and county to realize that we have far too many government owned buildings and too much duplication of services.The vision for the future has to be SHARED SERVICES. We do not have the luxury of raising taxes. Our city, surrounding towns and villages and the county of Genesee need to work cooperatively to share the expense for those services that are  important to our safety and well being. If I must choose, I choose option B.

Are you satisfied with how the city is run? Are there changes you would like to make? If you were going to change one thing about how the city operates, what would it be?

I believe that every single member of city council genuinely cares about our city. I don't feel they have all taken the opportunity to regularly communicate with voters and develop a shared vision for our future. City Council should be providing a vision, one crafted with direct input from the people. Our city manager's job is to provide the guidance and expertise to turn our shared vision into a plan for action. My observation in regularly attending council meetings is that too often the vision and direction is coming from the city manager to the council. We need more transparency and trust and less top down management at city hall.

Why did you decide to run for City Council?

I decided to run for City Council because I believe that we need new ideas on City Council. I don't profess that I have all the answers but I won't be afraid to ask questions. I bring a new libertarian perspective that isn't always shared by my democrat and republican friends.  But debate on the issues is healthy. I intend to offer people a responsive, transparent voice on city government. I am not a lifelong politician and I don't intend to become one. I run for City Council to be of service to a city I love, not for my own greater glory. I would appreciate your vote of support on November 5th and beyond.

City Council at Large Candidate Questions for Lisa Whitehead, Libertarian

By Bonnie Marrocco
Oct 29, 2013, 4:40pm

There's a lot of concern from city residents about activities on Jackson and State Street. Do you consider those streets problem areas and if so, what should be done about them?

I’m sure that the dedicated officers of the Batavia Police Department are aware of problems in these areas and are doing all that can be legally done. As a council person, I would support an increased police presence (city and county) and any other efforts as long as they are good for the community at large.

What level of code enforcement do you favor to deal with seemingly problem properties?

I don’t see it as a code issue but more of a pride issue. If the resident is owner of the property, we need to find out why they are not keeping up with their property. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that need to be addressed. Educating them on programs that are available through the city, county and state that would help them financially or through volunteerism to upgrade their residence is the answer. If the problem property is a rental, it needs to be considered a business and as such must comply with public safety codes. If the owner refuses to bring their property up the appropriate safety codes, that business must be closed. No business should put its customers needlessly in harm’s way. As far as non-safety codes, we need to find a way to enforce these evenly throughout the city. For example, we should not cite one landlord for long grass and completely ignore others with the same issue.

How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?

I have always said that I was okay with Batavia getting out of the trash business and as far as I can tell trash collection is being handled efficiently and effectively. What I was not happy with was the way that the trash collection issue was presented to our community. It was as if city government was trying to force us to accept their solution without giving us the opportunity to examine it. Then there was all the talk of mass piles of garbage in the city – obviously just scare tactics. These are the same tactics used by State and Federal lawmakers when they want to pass legislation that may not be well thought out.

What should be the city's role in economic and job development be in Batavia?

The city’s role should be to lower property taxes to make city structures appealing to potential new businesses and look for ways to reduce other impediments to business. One area where we may be able to make improvements would be in the building code. There may be items in those codes that are outdated and may be removed.

If the choice came down to either A) raising taxes and maintaining the city's own police department and/or fire department; or, B) consolidating police protection with the city or going to some form of volunteer fire department, which option would you choose?

Consolidating government resources is a proven way to reduce taxes and improve services. As a Council person, I would have to carefully consider any consolidation proposal to ensure that it is in the best interests of the community at large.

Are you satisfied with how the city is run? Are there changes you would like to make? If you were going to change one thing about how the city operates, what would it be?

I think we can always do better. We strive to make every aspect of our lives better for ourselves and our children. Why not city government? The one thing I would change in city government is I would make it a requirement that each ward representative have a "Town Hall" type meeting twice a year within their wards to see what their constituents are really concerned about. Also, have the At-Large representatives be required to attend one meeting in each ward. Residents need to know that the vote they cast in November elected someone who will listen to what they have to say, not just for someone who assumes to know what they believe.

Why have you decided to run for City Council and why should people vote for you?

I have decided to run for City Council at Large for a couple of reasons. First, I have never liked it when someone complains about something and isn’t willing to speak up for the issues that bother them. I have grumbled about things going on in the city for a while and now I am willing to say that I think I can help this city. Second, I think we need people on council that will ask the questions needed to find out if there are other ways to solve our issues. I don’t want to cast a no vote for the sake of saying no. We really need to think about how to help our residents and the city itself. I have lived in Batavia for 15 years and even though I didn’t grow up here, Batavia is my children’s home and my home.

Newly formed GC Libertarian Party meets tonight at Coffee Culture

By Billie Owens
Feb 18, 2013, 1:22pm

Tonight at 6:30 at the Coffee Culture in Downtown Batavia, the Genesee County Libertarian Committee is holding its biweekly formation meeting. Come out and join with fellow Libertarians to continue the journey of establishing the first-ever Genesee County Libertarian Party!

Sick of the way things are, but you're not sure that you're a Libertarian,  or just not sure what we're about? You are warmly invite to attend the meeting, ask questions, and get to know us and who we are! Coffee Culture is located at 6 Court St.

Check out our Facebook page @

Take the world's smallest political quiz! @

Tonight's agenda includes:

Elected Board Updates --

  • Process to create bank account
  • Finances
  • Bylaws

Committee Updates --

  • Membership
  • Candidate vetting
  • Convention

Ideas from the General Body

Is Batman libertarian?

By Howard B. Owens
Jul 28, 2008, 5:04pm

Interesting post from Ilya Somin on Volokh Conspiracy about the libertarian themes in Dark Knight.

Bruce Wayne is a billionaire businessman and his control of Wayne Enterprises is viewed as essential to his crimefighting activities. At times, the Batman movies even hint at the possibility that big businessmen actually have a self-interested incentive to help provide the public good of reducing violent crime. After all, they stand to lose a lot of profit if high crime rates reduce investment and drive away their customers and skilled workers. Precisely because of the vast size of his firm, Wayne has less incentive to free ride on the crime-fighting efforts of others in providing the public good of crime control. He will capture enough of the benefits of crime-fighting to justifying investing in it, even if he has to pay a very high proportion of the costs himself.

But will the message get through that members of society have a strong self-interest to resolve problem sans government programs, because in general government programs are ineffectual? 

One of Charlie Mallow's consistent themes in comments on The Batavian is that people are unwilling to see the government cut spending because eventually, it means cuts to their favorite programs.  Maybe if Batman's message of self-sacrifice as part of enlightened self-interest gets through, such cuts will be more palatable to the general public.

Also interersting point near the end of the post (if you go past the spoiler alert) about how, in the end, the idealistic individual whom people expect to save us from a government gone wrong will eventually prove not up to the task.  Obama fans drawn more to his image than his policies might want to read that part of the post and pounder the point.

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