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VA legislative candidates running to end state income tax, marijuana prohibition

Dan Foster, LP Virginia candidate running for state delegate in the 78th District
Dan Foster,
LP Virginia candidate
running for state delegate
in the 78th District
Jonathan Parrish, LP Virginia candidate running for state delegate in the 23rd District
Jonathan Parrish,
LP Virginia candidate
running for state delegate
in the 23rd District

Patrick Hagerty, LP Virginia candidate running for state delegate in the 33rd District
Patrick Hagerty,
LP Virginia candidate
running for state delegate
in the 33rd District
Anthony Tellez, LP Virginia candidate running for state delegate in the 53rd District
Anthony Tellez,
LP Virginia candidate
running for state delegate
in the 53rd District

Christopher Sullivan, LP Virginia candidate running for state delegate in the 55th District
Christopher Sullivan,
LP Virginia candidate
running for state delegate
in the 55th District
Laura Delhomme, LP Virginia candidate running for state delegate in the 47th District
Laura Delhomme,
LP Virginia candidate
running for state delegate
in the 47th District

If Libertarians running for the state House of Delegates this year have their way, Virginia families will save thousands of dollars because they will not have to pay state income taxes.

Government will become much smaller, because some of these candidates are pushing for an immediate 25 percent cut in the state budget.

"Taxes are too high, that's because Virginia's state spending is too high," said Dan Foster, a businessman from Chesapeake who is running for delegate in the 78th Dstrict. "I want to reduce both. If elected, I will file a budget bill that cuts state spending immediately by 25 percent or more."

Foster is one of six candidates fielded by the Libertarian Party this year for the Virginia House of Delegates election that will take place on Nov. 5.

The others include Jonathan Parrish in the 23rd District, Patrick Hagerty in the 33rd, Anthony Tellez in the 53rd, Christopher Sullivan in the 55th, and Laura Delhomme in the 47th.

They are all advocates for small government, protecting civil liberties from encroachment by various government bureaucracies, and allowing free markets to dominate Virginia's economic life.

"Libertarians are people who support liberty," Parrish said. "We believe in your right to choose and to live your life as long as you do not harm others."

The Libertarian slate contends that both Republicans and Democrats talk about freedom but violate it at every step by giving voters more government rules and taxation instead.

Patrick Hagerty, a small business owner from Leesburg, agrees with Foster and vows to support his effort to reduce the state budget by 25 percent.

"Recently, the legislature and governor passed a massive tax increase on Virginians," Hagerty said. "It was passed with the support of Republicans, Democrats, and Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. I oppose what they did. Each year, Virginia state government spends billions on health care and education, and over a billion dollars on public safety. I aim to cut waste and unneeded spending in these areas, as well as many other departments."

All the candidates support legalization of marijuana and ending the costly War on Drugs.

"Marijuana prohibition comes at a tremendous financial cost to our state and to our individual freedom," insisted Christopher Sullivan, a former U.S. Marine who lives with his family in Beaverdam.

"According to NORML, Virginia's market for marijuana is worth an estimated $197 million to $525 million," Sullivan continued. "Prohibition does not remove the market's desire for the good, it only drives it into underground markets where those inclined to break the law will sell. Repealing marijuana prohibition will bring this market into the open and cease making criminals out of peaceable people engaging in voluntary commerce and crop cultivation."

Like his colleagues, Anthony Tellez, a software developer from Falls Church, feels strongly about the need to protect the freedom granted to Americans by the U.S. Constitution, particularly in light of recent revelations about government surveillance programs.

"I do not believe the state has the right to fly a drone over your home without a warrant and due process as required by the state and federal constitutions," Tellez said.

If elected, Tellez also promises to work tirelessly to repeal the Marshall-Newman Act, which prohibits the union of homosexual couples in Virginia.

"I do not believe the government should be in the role of defining marriage and bestowing benefits to certain segments of the population, while prohibiting those benefits upon others," he said.

Tellez also believes that the Libertarian Party should make a more concerted outreach effort to the growing Hispanic community of the United States.

"The Libertarian roots exist in the Hispanic community," he said. "A lot of these immigrants come to the U.S. and start small businesses, thus benefitting from free markets."

Laura Delhomme's solutions to end the state income tax, enact marriage equality, end the failed War on Drugs, and remove state restrictions on means of transportation were featured in an Oct. 16 blog entry at LP.org.