Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The usual suspects and Alex Snitker, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate

A paradox faces any third-party candidate for office: People don't take you seriously because not enough people take you seriously.

So I feel some empathy for Alex Snitker, a Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida this year.

Snitker showed up the other day at a meeting of the Florida Society of News Editors, which was hearing from the "legitimate" Senate candidates, and even we wouldn't let him talk. He isn't high enough in the polls.

So I called Snitker up and said, okay, I got a few hundred words; what are you for?

Alexander Snitker is 34 years old, grew up and attended public school in Pasco County, and served eight years in the Marines, mostly as a supply and logistics clerk, with an honorable discharge. He works in sales for an office equipment company, has been married for 10 years and has a son just shy of 2 years old.

In general, the Libertarian Party, a real, long-established party, is about limiting government power over individual freedom. That means truly limited government, unlike the kind that Republicans and Democrats practice.

We went through Snitker's major policy points:

• Replacing the federal income tax with a sales tax (that is, a tax on consumption), with no loopholes or favors. People under the poverty line would not pay the tax; everybody else would.

• A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, although allowing a deficit by a 60 percent vote of Congress in times of war or emergency.

• An "enumerated powers" law that would basically put an expiration date on the federal government, requiring a review of whether each function is truly within the powers of Congress as listed in the Constitution. For starters, he would abolish the departments of Education, Energy and maybe Commerce.

• Term limits of 12 years total for service in the House and Senate. You could serve three two-year House terms and still run for a six-year Senate term, but that would be it — you couldn't serve longer in the House and then run for a six-year Senate term.

• An audit or even abolition of the Federal Reserve.

• Withdrawal of most overseas U.S. forces, except for bases essential to protecting shipping lanes. "I would finish up in Iraq and not leave any bases there," he said. "I would find Osama bin Laden and then come home." His rule for military intervention: when Congress declares war.

• Addressing the problem of illegal immigrants by cracking down on employers who hire them. That crackdown, along with his tax on spending instead of an income tax that can be dodged, will have a major effect, Snitker argues.

Of course, Snitker is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and in fine libertarian tradition, does not believe most social issues are any business of the government — certainly not the federal government. This includes same-sex marriage and the "war on drugs."

I asked Snitker whether he would support tougher regulation in areas such as oil drilling, given the current disaster.

He replied that the ultimate cause of the BP catastrophe was a monetary cap on overall damages. Absent such a cap, the insurers would have served as a free-market, external check and balance, forcing the oil drillers to operate more safely.

Naturally I disagree with some of Snitker's platform and am sure you do; not even two Libertarians agree with each other all the time.

The big stars of the Senate race are Marco Rubio the Republican, Gov. Charlie Crist the independent, and the Democrats Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene. Even the least of these dwarfs Snitker in money, name recognition and all the trappings of a statewide campaign.

"But if I had $2 million," Snitker says confidently, "I'd win hands down." And given the mood of voters this year, who knows?

For more information, check out Snitker's website at You also can find him via a search on Facebook and Twitter, or at his mail address: P.O. Box 5411, Spring Hill, FL 34611. There's no public phone number; the campaign phone number rings on the cell phone in his pocket.

As members of his party like to say to each other in closing: Yours in liberty . . .

The usual suspects and Alex Snitker, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate 06/26/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 26, 2010 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.