23 Aug 2014
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Libertarian VP Candidate: End Income Tax, War On Drugs

Jim Gray rallies the Libertarian faithful in stop in Westlake

Libertarian VP Candidate: End Income Tax, War On Drugs Libertarian VP Candidate: End Income Tax, War On Drugs

Jim Gray didn't mince words at .

Devoted Libertarians aren't enough. Not if they want Gray, the Libertarian Party's vice-presidential candidate, and running mate Gary Johnson to win the White House in November.

Gray addressed about two dozen people at in Westlake, the first stop on a campaign swing for him through the midwest this weekend. The serene garden setting was a contrast to the passion in his speech to the crowd.

When Gray agreed to join Johnson's campaign, he said, he did so on the condition that they campaign to win. And winning didn't mean moral victories, it meant going toe-to-toe with and .

To do that, Gray said, Johnson and Gray need to be in the debates. To be in the debates, they need to be at at least 15 percent in national polling by the end of September. Right now, Gray said, they're running at close to 6 percent.

They could get a bump after the Republican National Convention, as supporters of Ron Paul look for an alternative. But even that won't be enough, Gray said. Libertarians need to encourage friends and family to say if polled that they support Gary Johnson for president.

"We'll make (the debates) more interesting," Gray said. "We'll offer something substantive and make the other candidates talk about things they and their parties don't want to talk about."

Supporters came from as far as Pennsylvania to see Gray.

Jason Tyson of Elyria said he discovered the Libertarian Party after realizing he didn't like either Obama or John McCain in 2008. He thinks Gray and Johnson can connect with Ohio voters.

"Business-friendly policies and low taxes will help raise the middle class," he said.

Gray said the Libertarian ticket offers an alternative to what he called the "bi-polar" situation in Washington. The Johnson administration would be filled by merit, not party politics, Gray said.

Other platform issues Gray brought up included ending the War On Drugs, something he spoke out against during his time as a judge.

"It's a colossal catastrophe," he said. "The worst failed policy second only to slavery."

Gray said he and Johnson will also slash defense spending, saying the United States could close or reduce 80 percent of its foreign bases without hurting national security. The war in Afghanistan would also be ended.

The income tax would be ended, in its place a retail consumption tax of between 15 and 20 percent.

Immigration policy would also change, in favor of work visas that would let immigrants work in the U.S. legally no matter how they came here. Gray expressed disgust for how both parties handled immigration. Republicans love to talk tough about illegal immigration, he said, but in reality love the cheap labor it provides. Democrats, he said, love that many immigrants will vote Democratic, so pander to the Hispanic vote.

Johnson, as a former governor of New Mexico, understands the immigration issues better than Obama or Romney, Gray said.

Amy Asseff of Cleveland said she was raised Republican and has both liberal and conservative friends.

"I understand where they're coming from," she said. "But I feel like government has gotten way too big for itself, and it's just going to get worse. If more people understood how libertarians thought, they'd agree with us."

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