Politics
1:46 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Excluded From Senate Debate, How Would The Libertarian Have Answered?

On Thursday night, the two Missouri senate candidates from the two major parties shook hands in front of a crowd of hundreds of potential voters. Meanwhile, the Libertarian candidate listened to the debate on the radio as he drove back to Kansas City for work in the morning.

Jonathan Dine was not invited to the debate, but drove to St. Louis anyway to meet with members of the media. On St. Louis on the Air on Wednesday, Dine expressed his frustration over being excluded from the debate.

"I'm polling at around 9% in the most recent public policy polling," Dine said. "It's pretty good for a Libertarian candidate. It should qualify for admission to debates."

Dine is polling at a remarkable 9%, which worries some conservatives. Libertarians typically siphon conservative votes away from Republicans, and if Dine does garner 9% of the vote in November, it would make it very difficult for Congressman Todd Akin to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

But Dine said he isn't worried about swinging the election for McCaskill.

"I don't think my policies align with Akin at all. He doesn't want to balance the budget, he doesn't want to lower your taxes. He's been in Congress for 12 years and has done nothing to lower your tax burden." Dine said. "He believes in legislating morality. We're on opposite sides."

But he also distanced himself from McCaskill.

"She's not going to stand for civil liberties or freedoms. She doesn't support marriage equality," Dine said.

The debate was broadcast by KSDK and St. Louis Public Radio. Since Dine did not get the chance to explain his stances to voters at the debate, St. Louis Public Radio conducted an informal "debate" with the Libertarian.

During that discussion, Dine summarized the race like this:

"Democrats usually want the government to be your mommy -- to take care of you and provide for you," Dine said. "And the Republicans want to be your daddy, they want to tell you what to do and what's right and wrong. Libertarians just want to treat you like an adult."

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

  • See more stories on issues and elections from St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and Nine Network of Public Media at BeyondNovember.org.