Oklahoma Libertarian congressional candidate interviewed for Muskogee Phoenix

Richard Castaldo portrait, wearing white shirt, dark tie, eyeglasses, arms crossed, grinning, standing before an American flag on pole and dark backdrop (color photo)

Richard Castaldo, the 2018 Libertarian candidate for Oklahoma’s second congressional district

Richard Castaldo, the Libertarian candidate for Oklahoma’s second congressional district, was featured in the Muskogee Phoenix on Oct. 16, along with Democrat Jason Nichols and independent John Foreman, the two other challengers to incumbent Markwayne Mullin, a Republican.

When asked the most important issue affecting constituents, Castaldo said, “The inherent rights of every individual regardless of religion, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender are being stripped away by an intrusive and authoritarian government. I…believe the Constitution is meant to restrict the federal government, not the individual. One person…may be concerned about the Second Amendment while another might be concerned about NSA spying, but regardless of what matters to you, I am the best candidate to protect all your rights, to increase…economic opportunity, and to be an independent voice of reason in Washington, D.C.”

To address that important issue for constituents’ benefit, Castaldo said he “will keep Congress and the White House accountable to the Constitution and the people of [the district]. We must restore individual liberty. It’s not an issue the [Democratic] or Republican politicians like to talk about, because the more rights you have, the less power they have. That’s my goal as your Libertarian candidate.

“One way I would specifically address this is by leading the charge for congressional term limits. I often hear that’s what elections are for, but today’s political machine for incumbents is geared to rig elections with millions of dollars and media spotlight. Term limits are right.”

On where his opponents and he differ on the important issues, Castaldo pointed out, “My opponents will not pledge to fully legalize cannabis, to restore Second Amendment rights, to end global interventionism, to abolish property taxes, or to allow states the authority to decide on abortion regardless of the Supreme Court’s decisions. I have, and I will keep those promises.

“Jason Nichols and Congressman Mullin both support American interventionism. I do not, and I am already against the next war. Mullin says we should defund Planned Parenthood yet continues to vote for funding. Jason is pro-abortion and will not allow Oklahoma our constitutional authority to make our own laws regarding abortion and women’s health care.”

When asked on which important issues his opponents and he share a common perspective, Castaldo said he agrees with Mullin that congress should have term limits, and that we should cut spending and pass a balanced budget amendment. He also said he agrees with Nichols, that “we need to keep our promises to seniors and veterans, including Social Security and health care. We disagree on how best to do that.

“I also agree with Jason that integrity matters in public service, and I respect his character. Though we disagree ideologically, I can find common sense agreement with both opponents. I can be a bridge to get things done.”

In answering that “common perspective” question, independent challenger Foreman indicated, “I would share the desire for a balanced budget, lower national debt and reduction in small or independent business taxes on the right We need  [to work] together to overcome the national debt that now exceeds $20 trillion, up $17 trillion in the last 17 years.” Nichols, the Democratic challenger, said he agrees with the Libertarian “that we must protect Native American lands from federal interference. As a Cherokee Nation citizen, protecting tribal sovereignty will be a cornerstone of my legislative agenda.”

When asked to describe a time when he agreed with a position held by an opposing party on an important issue, Castaldo explained, “As a Libertarian, I don’t follow the rules of left versus right. I believe in individual liberty versus authoritarian big-government. Due to this philosophy, I share many ideas on criminal justice reform with the Democrats, and principles of fiscal responsibility with Republicans.”

But he pointed out that “unfortunately, the Democrats have turned to socialism and the Republicans are no longer conservatives most of the time,” and entreated the publication’s readers, “If you feel left behind by your political affiliation you should check out the Oklahoma Libertarian Party at www.OKLP.org.”

Click here to read the full Muskogee Phoenix article (“Quick 5: US District 2 candidates discuss issues,” Oct. 16) with all of these three challengers’ responses.

Learn more about Castaldo’s campaign at CastaldoForCongress.info.

Castaldo is one of ten Oklahoma Libertarians running at all levels of government on Nov. 6. Click here to learn more about these candidates.

Nationwide, more than 800 Libertarians are running for office this fall, giving voters the chance to shrink big government and grow individual freedom. Learn more about these candidates at LP.org/2018-candidates.