Libertarian Candidate Works Toward Public Funds for Gubernatorial Campaign

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(Host) The Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor, Hardy Machia, is hoping to qualify for public financing for this year’s campaign. If he does, Machia will receive over $100,000 for his gubernatorial campaign.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) It’s not easy to qualify for public financing in the governor’s race. A candidate must raise $35,000 in small contributions from at least 1,500 contributors. In addition, to make sure that a candidate has statewide appeal, no more than 25 percent of the total amount of money needed to qualify can come from any one county.

Machia is a 34-year-old native Vermonter who runs a computer software company in Grand Isle. He’s been active in the Libertarian Party for a number of years and he’s president of Vermont NORML, a marijuana rights group that supported efforts to pass the medical marijuana bill in the Legislature this year.

Machia has roughly 25 percent of the contributions he needs to qualify for public financing; the deadline is three weeks away:

(Machia) “It’s definitely a credibility thing because campaigns – even if you have a good message – that’s not what the media looks to most of the time. They want to see the money, they want to see the backing. So that would give us the credibility to be invited to all the debates and really debate Clavelle and Douglas on the variety of issues that we have differences of opinions on with them.”

(Kinzel) Machia’s platform calls for a 20 percent reduction in the state budget. He says this goal can be achieved by taking the baseline budget for 1994 and increasing each department by the rate of inflation. Machia says he’d like to take the savings from the budget cuts and repeal Vermont’s state sales tax.

(Machia) “Because if we can roll back the size of government, we can repeal the sales tax. Our businesses in Vermont are competing with New Hampshire. Pulling a new business from New York, Massachusetts and Canada and cutting the property tax in half and doing all that would put about $700 million back in Vermont’s economy in the next couple of years, which would build more jobs.”

(Kinzel) Machia is also supporting efforts to implement full school choice throughout Vermont and he backs a plan to give local school boards more control over their budgets, the testing of their students and the development of curriculum for their schools.

For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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