© 2021
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WVPB News

A Libertarian for Senate: John Buckley

BuckleyPride-Voters.jpg
Buckley campaign

“I’m a candidate for the third party called the Libertarian party. It’s different from the republican and democrats, but I think it takes the best of both: low taxes and small government, but individual freedom, personal freedom and I don’t think either party stands for that combination. So that’s what I’m trying to offer the voters of West Virginia this year. A new choice. We can do something different! Thank you very much.” John Buckley approaches person after person during an outdoor concert in downtown Charleston earlier this summer, shaking hands and presenting each with a pamphlet.

Buckley hails from New Orleans, Louisiana, but now resides in Hardy County. He’s running for the seat long-time Senator Jay Rockefeller is vacating.

He caught the political bug early and has been developing his political compass ever since.

“Politicians these days don’t lead, they follow,” Buckley said, “They should stand up for what THEY think is right, and the prescription to solve problems and issues.”

Political history:

Buckley served one term as a Republican in the House of Delegates for in the state of Virginia in 1979. Afterwards he went on to get a law degree and eventually spent 12 years as a career law clerk, assisting judges researching issues and writing opinions with the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington DC. Buckley retired from the position and decided to get back into politics. But over the years, he fell away from the Republican Party.

Small government, free enterprise, individual freedoms, Buckley is running a campaign for Libertarians. He says he’s not in the race just to make a statement. He wants to give people a viable third option.

Platform Issues:

Buckley staunchly supports

  • the right to bear arms
  • an end the war on drugs
  • marriage equality (Buckley is one of the only openly gay candidates running for senate.)
  • total repeal of the Affordable Care Act

“I think [the Affordable Care Act] is going to ruin the economy and the healthcare system in this country. The federal government shouldn’t be in the position of health care. That should be left to citizens solving the health care issue on the local and state levels. We shouldn’t have a federal department of health and human services,” Buckley said.
On Energy and Environment:

Buckley is also waving the War on Coal banner. His solution to what he says is an administrative war on coal is to make any actions of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency contingent upon the approval of congress.

Buckley says balancing the needs of our economy and the needs of the environment are not mutually exclusive.

“I think there is Global Warming. How much there is, I don’t know and I’m not a scientist.”

Buckley said in the decade or more it might take for things to go really wrong on the global scale, we shouldn’t stunt economic growth—which, he says, is what fuels all technologies that will allow us to cope with the coming environmental disasters. In the meantime, Buckley is very excited about natural gas development in the northeast. He says the natural gas boom brings the promise of energy independence, and maybe more.

“Look what fracking has done. The administration can take quite a number of steps that can put the United States on an independent posture, energy-wise, and allow us to be an energy exporter across the world, and to then use that clout to help ease some of these sources of international discord.”

Buckley is looking forward to November when, he says, in the privacy of the voting booth voters will surprise everyone.


WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.