Editorial note: This is the first in our series of electronic interviews with candidates for Statewide and Harris County offices. We have sent questionnaires to every candidate on the ballot, given we could find a working email address. If you are or work for such a candidate, and we did not send a questionnaire, please contact us <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Texpatriate: What is your name?
WB: Whitney Bilyeu
T: What office are you seeking?
WB:Texas Senate District 7
T: Please list all the elected or appointed POLITICAL offices you have previously held, and for what years you held them.
WB: 2014 to Present – STATE LIBERTARIAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF TEXAS (SENATE DISTRICT 7 REPRESENTATIVE)
2014 to Present – NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF LIBERTARIAN WOMEN (SECRETARY)
T: What is your political party?
WB: LIBERTARIAN PARTY
T: Please describe a bill that you would introduce into the Legislature. What would it accomplish and what would its purposes be?
WB: I would introduce a bill to nullify NCLB in Texas, for the purpose of reclaiming our educational system and its funding. Texas schools should not be seeking funds or regulation from the federal government.
I would also introduce a bill to limit the number of consecutive terms for State Senators and State Representatives to two (2) in order to promote greater participation in the electoral and legislative process.
T: What is a specific vote by the incumbent where you would have acted differently?
WB: This seat is being vacated, so I will comment on what I might do differently than my Republican opponent…
I will sponsor legislation that drastically reduces the property tax burden on individuals. I view property taxes as theft of property, which is immoral. My opponent has built substantial wealth through the property tax “industry”.
T: What is one thing that you would continue over from the incumbent? What is one thing you would not or change?
WB: My goal is to take action that maximizes individual freedoms, and oppose action that increases the size and scope of government in the State of Texas. If there were anything my predecessor did that promotes the value of the individual over that of the state, I would continue it.
T: Why you, as opposed to your opponents?
WB: I am the only candidate who believes in actual liberty for the individual. I am the only candidate who will defend the sovereignty of Texas, as well as the sovereignty of every individual here. I am not a career politician, nor the business partner or friend of one. I am an individual who abides by the non-aggression principle as it applies to life, liberty, and property. I am the only candidate who will not further the intrusion of government into every aspect of our daily lives. Both of my opponents are backed by multi-million dollar political machines that seek financial gain and/or political power. I am an INDIVIDUAL who believes that NO ONE knows better how to care for, provide for, protect, or educate my own. I am the only candidate who will work to NULLIFY unconstitutional federal acts, LEGALIZE marijuana, and REPEAL oppressive, out-dated programs, policies, and laws.
T: What role do you think a Texas Senate should have?
WB: The Texas Senate should serve to protect the personal liberty of all INDIVIDUALS in all aspects of life. Laws should be made based on whether or not there is a victim. A victim is an individual, not a society or group, who suffers the loss of life, liberty, or property. If there is no victim, there is no crime. Texas Senators should NOT be professional politicians. They should represent their constituents and speak for them on matters relevant to their district, as well as issues that affect all of Texas. More specifically, a Texas Senator should fight to protect the rights of individuals, NOT represent the special interests of corporations, religious groups, social or ethnic groups, industries, etc…. The rights of the individual are paramount.
T: What is your opinion about the continued use (or non-use) of the 2/3rds rule in the Texas Senate?
WB: I support the continued use of the 2/3 rule in the Texas Senate. Simply put, good ideas don’t require force. If a Senator fears that his/her legislative agenda won’t move forward due to the 2/3 rule, then he/she should rethink that agenda. With 650+ new Texas laws passed during the 2013 session alone, it is clear that our legislators are working very hard to stifle free markets, diminish personal liberty, and increase government control. I prefer that a 2/3 vote be required to do so.
T: What are the three most important issues to you, and what is at least one thing you have done to address each of them?
WB: War on Drugs – I do not want Texas police agencies enforcing unjust federal laws and doing D.C.’s bidding. I want to rebuild the relationship between the People and our Peace Officers. People no longer trust the police, and the police no loner trust the People. This is not the way of a civilized society. I support the legalization of marijuana, in particular.
Property Tax – Ad Valorem taxation is theft of property. If the government can take your property if you don’t pay your taxes, then you don’t actually own it…the government does….you are just mortgaging your right to use and maintain the property. For folks in my community, owning a $160K home for 32 years, will cost them an additional $160K in property taxes alone. At $5,000 per year in property taxes, many homeowners don’t even know what they are funding. Property taxes fund schools and local government only. Most of us paying property taxes have no control over how that money is spent, the quality of the service/product being paid for, or the outcome of the investment. How is this ok? I support the repeal of property taxes, in favor of an increased consumption tax. That way, anyone who does business in, visits, shops, drives through, or lives in Texas pays into the system to fund services that the State of Texas is required by the Texas Constitution to provide. Taxpayer money is being wasted hand over fist. We have a budget surplus AND robust “Rainy Day Fund”. Why, then, were our property tax values increased this year?
Education – Under no circumstance should the federal government be involved to any degree in the education of students in Texas. Texas leaders must petition the US legislature to repeal No Child Left Behind, and the Texas legislature must reject any federal funds (and regulation) associated with NCLB. Texas must take back control of our schools, and allow educational decisions to be made by Texas parents and Texas teachers – NOT POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS!