Businessman and former LNC member Jake Porter was interviewed for the Times-Republican about his race for governor of Iowa and his plans should he be elected. From the May 8 article, “Porter: Restoring personal, economic freedoms,” by Jeff Hutton:
For Jake Porter, actually having major party status in the state to hold a primary election is already a victory.
But the Council Bluffs man wants more and he believes he and the Libertarian Party can move the state forward.
“We are concerned about the direction of the state, the continual budget crisis and issues like criminal justice reform,” said Porter.
Porter, one of two candidates seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for governor, said the budget continues to stress Iowans.
“We pretty much need to look at everything,” he said. “The state’s tax policy disproportionately hurts the poorest Iowans through sales tax, vehicle registrations, gasoline tax increases.”
Porter said budget woes continue because projected economic numbers that help shape the budget are not realistic.
“They’re not based on anything,” he said. “And then we have to borrow from the emergency fund or (the legislature) has to make drastic cuts throughout the year.”
Porter also was critical of tax incentives and said the state needs to be wary about using tax breaks to lure companies to Iowa when the return doesn’t benefit all Iowans.
“It’s very dangerous for the government to be picking winners and losers in the marketplace,” he said. “These businesses know to ask for this and politicians just give this up.”
Porter also was critical of the state’s privatization efforts of Medicaid and its managed-care program.
“It’s been a complete disaster, a complete failure and it hasn’t worked,” he claimed. “Ultimately it will drive up costs. It’s making things very difficult on Iowans.”
Porter said he would like to return to the original format but then review how cost savings could be acquired by making changes that make sense.
On other issues, Porter said criminal justice reform is needed.
He points to minor drug offenses that “clog” the judicial system and that these offenses can impact a young person’s life.
“Right now with our laws, if you’re caught with a joint at a young age, we can make it impossible to find work — that’s unfair,” he said.
Porter believes the state should restore voting rights for those who may have committed crime, but did pay their debt through fines and or incarceration.
“They’ve served their time and paid for their crime,” he said. “They should be able to vote again.”
Porter also cited the Institute for Justice’s D- grade for Iowa’s civil asset forfeiture laws, including poor protections for “innocent third-party property owners” and that 100 percent of forfeiture proceeds go to law enforcement.
The candidate also said it’s shameful that the state also has a backlog of rape kits that have yet to be tested and said that hurts everyone when justice is not allowed to move forward more quickly.
Porter said he hopes to see a large number of Libertarians vote in the upcoming primary, because elevating those numbers will help the party maintain major party status, but more importantly, he said, it gets more people engaged and involved in the political process.
“This race is basically about restoring your personal and economic freedoms,” he said. “We want you to be free to live your life.”
Iowa’s primary will be held on June 5.
Learn more at Porter’s campaign website: JakePorter.org