Martin Moulton, the Libertarian candidate for mayor of the District of Columbia, was featured in Metro Weekly, and was profiled in DC Refined for their primary-election voter guide. In Washington, D.C., candidates of all political parties participate in primary elections.
From the guide in DC Refined, “Voter Guide: A look at D.C.’s mayoral candidates before the primaries,” by Michelle Goldchain (June 18):
Martin Moulton is the only Libertarian candidate running for D.C. mayor, but he doesn’t see that as a disadvantage. On the contrary, Moulton tells DC Refined, “If I got half the number of registered voters that [incumbent] Muriel Bowser didn’t get when she won, if I got all the Libertarians, if I got a good segment of the LGBTQ population and I peeled off a certain number of the black vote, I think I can win.” This isn’t Moulton’s first rodeo when it comes to politics. In 2016, Moulton ran for the D.C. Delegate seat as a Libertarian, losing to Eleanor Holmes Norton by a margin of 85 percent to 6 percent, while collecting 17,272 votes, as reported by Washington Blade.
Moulton’s priorities include tackling the scandals that have beset the D.C. Public School (DCPS) system recently, abolishing all drug laws in the city, and legalizing prostitution.
On education, Moulton says, “I see that our current public school systems are failing…. I think that the failures of DCPS and our public school system [come from] a bunch of bureaucrats devising schemes to tell parents how they should educate their kids and sort of limiting how they can educate their kids. It’s a tragic disaster.”
From the Metro Weekly feature article, “Gay Libertarian candidate will challenge Bowser in D.C. mayor’s race,” by John Riley (March 23):
Even as potential Democratic primary challengers to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser shy away from the spotlight, an openly gay Libertarian Party candidate is determined to ensure that this year’s election isn’t a coronation.
Martin Moulton … has particularly been critical of recent scandals revolving around whether District employees and other well-connected Washingtonians, including former Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson — who was later forced to resign — were able to skirt the lottery for placement at D.C. public schools and get their children enrolled in some of the District’s higher-performing and more reputable schools, many of which have long waiting lists.
“I talk to people from all over the city, from Ward 8 to Ward 1 to Ward 3, and the biggest issue right now — and the press has been all over this — is the school scandals,” says Moulton. “We believe as Libertarians that these scandals have been created by too much micro-managing from government in the choices of how parents want to educate their children. And when I talk to parents, they are furious. They deal with the frustration of not being able to get their kid into a good school, and being forced to put their kid [into] a crappy school.”
Moulton says allowing free-market forces to shape D.C.’s school system through school choice would help combat the District’s education problems by allowing parents to take control of their children’s education, and hold bad schools and ineffective administrators accountable.
Moulton has also criticized Bowser’s “Vision Zero” initiative aimed at increasing transportation safety and reducing car accidents, claiming that traffic deaths have increased, not decreased, since the District began carrying out the program.
“There are a lot of Libertarian solutions that haven’t been highlighted by the media, and people just don’t know about them, whether it’s the drug war, whether it’s education, policing, mass incarceration, over-regulation of small retail businesses,” Moulton says of the other problems that the District faces. “We think the solutions rely on trusting the public, trusting families, trusting parents, and trusting small businesses to do what’s in their best interest. Let’s take out the regulations that hamper them from doing that.”
Moulton says the Libertarian Party is also in favor of legalizing, not [only] decriminalizing, prostitution in the District.
“Let’s take this off the streets and send it indoors, where we can send the Department of Health to monitor health issues, we can send in DCRA, and DOES,[*] and tell people who might be struggling and have resorted to sex work temporarily about other opportunities that are available to them.”
As for LGBTQ issues, Moulton knows that many members of the community can be skeptical of what Libertarians offer, but says the party has long advocated for greater individual freedom.
“The Libertarian Party, at its founding in 1972, was for equality for all people, including LGBTQ people, to keep the government out of our bedrooms, and our personal decisions, and to only get involved if someone is being hurt or harmed by other people,” he says. “So I hope that the media would give Libertarians a fair shake, in that we’ve been doing the right thing, while it took the Democrats until Obama’s second term to come on board to giving LGBTQ people equal access to everything we should have.”
The Libertarian Party platform states, “Sexual orientation … should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals…. Government does not have the authority to define, promote, license or restrict personal relationships…. Until such time as the government stops its illegitimate practice of marriage licensing, such licenses must be granted to all consenting adults who apply. (As adopted in convention, July 2018; Section 1.4, “Personal Relationships.”)
The first Libertarian presidential candidate, John Hospers (1972), was openly gay at a time when living that way was illegal in much of the country.
The general election for mayor will be held on Nov. 6.
* DCRA is the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. DOES is the Department of Employment Services.
Learn more at Moulton’s campaign Twitter page: Twitter.com/LiberateDC2016