PBN News was able to score an interview with Matt Orlando, Michigan’s Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and a proud follower of the ancient faiths. In fact, he is the President of the Ancient Faiths Alliance, a job he manages when not looking for ways to make a difference in leadership on the national level. Being a candidate of a non major party and a follower of a non majority faith in this nation is a tough job, but grit and determination seem to be no strangers to this man and his vision. So, let us take a moment and hear the words of the candidate himself.
KC: Who is Matt Orlando? If you were describing yourself from the perspective of another, what would you say about yourself?
MO: I am an educated American that is a passionate husband, father, son, brother, philanthropist, political activist and seeker of knowledge.
KC: What makes you want to run for the U.S. House of Representatives?
MO: For many years I have watched our representatives squabble over how to best take care of our country and fail. Like many I’ve watched as party infighting, greed, and special interest groups have eroded the American dream, and our constitution.
As an advocate to get politics back in order, and remove greed where it has festered. I’ve grown tired of receiving half-hearted form letters from representatives about the issues they are not willing to address.
KC: Your campaign is not being controlled by the two mega parties. What party do you represent?
MO: I am a member and proud supporter of the Libertarian party, which is the third largest party. Our core belief is to seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives
KC: Can you describe your platform a little?
MO: While I have many stances on current events the four I’ve chosen for my campaign platform are jobs & economy, gun rights, freedom & privacy, and federal taxes and expenditures.
I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the rest of the platform to visit the Libertarian Party of Michigan page or to send an email to me through my web page Matt Orlando for U.S. Congress or MattOrlando4USCongress@yahoo.com . I will gladly address questions.
KC: So, how much of this resonates with you as a person of the Asatru ways?
MO: It resonates deeply. Facing the problems with the current system I feel that I must step up and take action, and to speak for my fellow Americans.
KC: Do you find the Virtues resonate with what you stand for in your candidacy, and hopefully, your tenure as an elected official?
MO: Yes I do.
KC: What experience and insights do you bring with you that will empower you to represent your state in a way that separates you from other candidates?
MO: I did not come from money. Everything I have I’ve worked extremely hard for so I have a good understanding of what it’s like to be on different parts of the spectrum. Between school and professional experiences I have learned a great deal about politics and business and feel that those experiences will be beneficial to me as a representative.
KC: Being a grass-roots candidate, what challenges have you faced?
MO: One of the biggest challenges that I face is that while my party is the third largest in the country we don’t have the ear of most of the media to be heard fairly. But as a Libertarian I want the big money out of politics so I knew I would be facing an uphill battle and I’m good with it.
KC: Your support is growing everyday. Where would you say this groundswell of backing can be attributed?
MO: I would say it comes from a couple of places. First my friends and family that believe in what I am doing and helping spread the word. Secondly being a common man who is in touch with what is going on in our country as well as in our state is driving support my way. I know the direction the people want to go in, and if elected as the representative I will fight to bring about the changes the people want.
KC: Many of the issues you are speaking about are hot button ones for Michiganders. So let us look at a few of them. Where do you stand on gun legislation?
MO: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
MO: To understand what our founding fathers meant when they wrote this we simply need to look at what was happening to them at the time, and from this we can ascertain what the intent was for when they wrote this. This doesn’t mean we can’t establish laws to ensure that those that shouldn’t have guns don’t.
Part of the problem I see is between federal, state, and local municipalities we have approximately 20,000 gun laws on the books. The other part of the problem is that they are not consulting the experts such as the NRA, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and law enforcement when putting together common sense gun laws. As the representative for Michigan I would introduce legislation to go through the federal laws and remove any obsolete laws, and to ensure we are enforcing the relevant laws.
I would also work with subject matter experts like the NRA, state organization’s such as the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and law enforcement to see where we can improve. Furthermore I would introduce legislation to stop frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers of firearms. It is not the manufacturers or gun shops fault that someone committed atrocious acts.
KC: Individual vs. organizational policies in the state fall where within your view regarding firearm regulations?
MO: I believe an organization has the right to tell people that they cannot carry on their premises, however, I also think if they do so than they have the responsibility to protect the people.
KC: How do you feel about the current laws on CPL regulation here in the state?
MO: In regard to the approval process we have come a long way since the first time I applied for a CPL. In regard to cost and process I think we still have a ways to go. The cost is absurd for processing and taking finger prints, though they have recently changed the finger printing rules so we’ll see how that plays out. To get through the process it can take a half day, which is a bit excessive.
KC: Where do you stand on the National Rifle Association’s lobby system in government today?
MO: I’m not against organizations lobbying, as this is one way our representatives learn about issues and their pros and cons. From this they are able to determine if action needs to be taken.
KC: We are a hunting state, but this matter is not just about that is it?
MO: No, the second amendment existed long before any government was created. However, it was written into the Bill of Rights to ensure that the people have the means to protect themselves from atrocious acts committed onto them by individuals or a tyrannical government.
KC: Personal liberty and constitutional application seem big with the Libertarian outlook. Is that a correct assessment?
MO: Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility. We believe that people have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal rights of others. We endorse the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves to our state and its people all powers not expressly delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, or prohibited from the states or the people by the U.S. Constitution. We seek to restore a necessary check on federal power, and to return power to the states and to reduce the size and reach of the federal government to the powers set out in the Constitution.
KC: Many often generalize that the Libertarian vote is a wasted vote. How would you counter that argument?
MO: Voting Libertarian is never a wasted vote, as we are the only party that truly seeks to cut wasteful spending, reduce the size of the federal government, and maximize personal and economic freedoms. I would encourage folks to take a closer look at the party, and would encourage those that do not partake in voting to know and understand how their votes have purpose.
KC: What do you believe is the real reason that the mainstream coverage of the primary races has neglected your party?
MO: I think it is because they think we don’t have a chance of winning, and because they feel we have nothing to offer them in return for their coverage.
KC: How do you differ from your Democratic and Republican rivals on the issues of using federal taxation measures to fund what are being promoted as the pressing infrastructure issues facing Michigan, and the country overall, right now?
MO: Where I differ from my rivals is that I don’t think the federal government should have their hands in the States affairs. The federal government brings miles of red tape and bureaucracy to the process. I would fight to remove the federal government from this process and let the states handle it. Some states want to rely on raising funds themselves by setting up toll roads, but here’s the problem, new tolls are banned on interstates, except for a federal pilot program that allows only three states to use tolling to replace worn-out roads. Furthermore there are federal laws that prohibit states when it comes to contracting and grants.
KC: This ties to expenditure policies as well. How would you go about trying to reform what is in place now? What would your successful policy changes look like?
MO: The federal government is involved in many aspects that should belong solely to the states. They have set up many departments to handle their overreach into the states’ affairs and each one brings costly regulations, red tape, and bureaucracy. Many of these departments are inefficiently run or unnecessary. I would seek to audit the federal government and all the programs and expenditures that are in place now.
For departments that belong in the federal government and are relevant and/or in need of repair I would work with subject matter experts to make them efficient. For departments that are obsolete or irrelevant I would seek to shut them down re-appropriate monies where they would be most useful.
KC: And this would benefit Michigan specifically in what ways?
MO: The major benefit to Michigan is that the state would be free to find alternate ways of funding projects, and negotiate the best deals to get their infrastructure up to date. Local businesses could get the jobs whereas under the federal guidelines they may not meet certain qualifications and be disqualified.
KC: For the person working two jobs, making ends meet, and just trying to keep their heads above water, what change do you offer them?
MO: Two of the four issues I’ve chosen to take on will have a direct impact on this question. First, in regard to the corporate tax rate and laws. I would work to make our country competitive on the global market, which will keep corporations here and make our country the place they want to set up shop. I would do this by reducing the corporate tax rate, modifying rules to curve corporate inversions, and close tax loopholes. For small corporations I would lower their corporate tax rate so they can grow their operations and offer better wages.
Second, federal taxes and expenditures. My goal with this is to ensure the federal government is being fiscally responsible, ensure transparency in spending, reduce the size of the federal government by conducting an audit of all federal programs and reducing and/or eliminating programs, and lastly by reducing the federal income tax, which will put more money back into the people’s pockets.
KC: You are known for your straight talk and equal attitude toward all religions and races here in Michigan. How has that hurt and helped you in this pursuit?
MO: I do not believe it hurts, as anyone who knows me knows that truly believes in equality for all, and in-turn helps in spreading the word.
KC: If elected, what is the first thing you will do when you hit the hill?
MO: Capitol hill, that is. Introduce bills to end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, and to fix the corporate tax system
KC: Where can we find out more about your campaign and how to support you?
MO: Anyone who is interested in seeking more information about the issues please visit my website . Or simply send in your questions to MattOrlando4USCongress@yahoo.com. To learn more about the Libertarian party go to http://michiganlp.org/
KC: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you want to speak on right now?
MO: Not at this time.
KC: Lastly, if your campaign had a theme song, what would it be?
MO: Thank you Revolution Calling by Queensryche.