Basin woman challenges for Congress
In November, when people from Summit County go to the polls on Election Day, they will have a chance to vote for one of their neighbors on the congressional ballot.
Lynn Badler, it seems, realizes that she is a long shot to win the 1st District seat in November, but the Libertarian from Sun Meadow in the Snyderville Basin, wants to press her platform in the meantime.
A 60-year-old reading aide at Trailside Elementary School and a piano teacher, Badler will campaign on a platform of greatly downsizing the government, a popular plank among Libertarians.
"The federal government should not be involved in our daily lives," she said.
Included in her platform is a plank that calls for the deregulation of guns, meaning that the government keeps no gun laws on the books. She describes herself as a "very staunch supporter" of the constitutional right to bear arms.
"I think the Second Amendment means you are allowed to defend yourself," she said. "Gun control always makes for more crime."
Badler envisions the role of the federal government being greatly scaled back. Washington, she said, should hold the power to protect the country from invasions, should keep a judicial system and oversee the monetary system. The federal government’s role ends with those three duties, she said.
"That’s it. It would be cheap," Badler said.
Badler plans to conduct a door-to-door campaign and participate in debates. She does not intend to spend lots of money in her bid.
She is facing Republican Rob Bishop, the incumbent, Democrat Steve Olsen and Mark Hudson, who is from the Constitution Party. The incumbent has proven to be a popular politician in the district and many expect that Bishop will easily win on Election Day.
Badler said her campaign is primarily meant to publicize the Libertarian thinking of small government and she wants to widen the recognition of her party for future candidates.
Badler previously campaigned for Congress in Southern California, finishing second in the contest for the 52nd congressional district, in Imperial and San Diego counties. She won 14.28 percent of the votes in the 1998 congressional campaign.
Duncan Hunter, the incumbent Republican, routed Badler that year but she beat Adrienne Pelton, a member of the Natural Law party, by a little more than 4 percentage points.
She moved to the Park City area in 2003.
Badler plans to address immigration reform during the campaign, saying, "anything illegal is illegal," including people who arrive in America without the proper papers.
The subject expected to be a polarizing issue in this year’s congressional campaigns. She said she wants foreigners to have the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. but they must go through the proper channels.
"I don’t understand why the laws aren’t being enforced," Badler said.
She said people caught in the country illegally should be deported and said she is unsure if a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico would successfully stop illegal immigrants from crossing into America.
"Either you have regulations or you don’t," she said, adding that the U.S. cannot afford to support illegal immigrants once they arrive.
Badler, meanwhile, said the U.S. should bring home troops from wherever they are stationed abroad and said the Iraqi war was launched under the premise of "false information."
She said the government has infringed on Americans’ property rights, saying that a government should only have the right to condemn land for roads, schools and hospitals.
Washington should not level an income tax, she said.
Badler wants the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms eliminated and she wants the Education Department slashed from the federal government. She said education decisions should be left to local officials and that the federal government should not oversee alcohol, tobacco and firearms.
The last time a Libertarian appeared on a local congressional ballot was 2000, when Kitty Burton ran against Republican Chris Cannon, Democrat Donald Dunn and two third-party candidate in the 3rd District. Summit County was within that district at that time.
Burton won 2 percent of the district-wide vote on Election Day. In Summit County, she captured 1.7 percent.
Badler accepts her outsider campaign but said an Election Day surprise would be welcomed.
"Winning would be wonderful," she said.
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