"When I decided to head home to the Northern Rockies of my childhood after having been active in the Libertarian Party in Nevada, California and finally Texas, I had no plans to ever run for office again," says Allen Hacker. Yet here he is, virtually tied for first place in a three-way race for Mayor. Sandpoint is a beautiful little city less than seventy miles from Canada in central North Idaho.
Allen was providing administrative and logistical support to several political and humanitarian booths in August at the Bonner County Fair when the idea started floating around that he should run for mayor. "It caught me by surprise. People all over the place kept asking me if I was going to run for mayor."
In the two years since arriving in Sandpoint to retire to the woodsman's life of hunting, fishing, and gold mining, things have taken several interesting turns, so this latest development fits right in. The gold mine Hacker and friends had invested in was closed due to EPA and environmentalist interference. He lived off the land in the mountains for several months, an experience he says everyone should have at least once, but maybe with a little less snow. His efforts to revitalize the mining industry led to his becoming a registered lobbyist in Idaho for mining and to reestablish gold and silver coin as legal tender.
Allen finds Sandpoint, Idaho, to be an interesting political challenge. It's a geographically small area that's been trying for thirty years to become a big city destination for the region. But it's hampered by a limited tax base and a generally anti-business City Council. "The City Council will pay $800,000 for just the first two of five overpriced parcels needed to build a lakeside trail to the next town, rather than spend approximately $200,000 to reroute the local state highway and regain control of its own downtown streets. It seems that for them, cosmetics come before basic infrastructure."
Hacker's simple one-year solution to correct the traffic flow just isn't as glamorous as the Council's five-year $6,000,000 redevelopment project. "But the important difference, the one that deals with reality, is that we have the $200,000. We don't have, and may never have, the six million."
Allen has been making the worsening depression-like economy the center point of his campaign, requiring his opponents to tag along for a discussion they don’t really want to have.
Hacker defined the issues as economics, money and jobs. When his opponents talked about government "creating" jobs, he spoke about getting government out of the way of the free market so people could create them on their own.
Hacker was the acclaimed winner of a recent town candidates' forum which also included City Council candidates. He was cited by many as the only one of the bunch who was making any sense.
The 'Allen Hacker for Mayor of Sandpoint' campaign has raised and invested about $1500 to date for literature, print ads and yard signs. The main support has come from getting out and meeting people. However the early winter weather is hampering precinct walking and that's why the campaign's final push depends on quickly raising additional money for radio ads.
"Another $2,500 should do it," Hacker expects. "This is a very real chance to show that success and growth can be achieved with a libertarian approach to local government, by reducing regulation and reinforcing free-market solutions instead of stifling them,"
For more information, visit the campaign's website at
Allen Hacker (208) 627-8409