Name: Richard Lion paid for by Richard Lion
Office Being Sought: State Representative, Manchester
Street Address: 388 Hartford Rd. Manchester, CT.
Hometown: Gifford PA. Phone: 860-913-3474
Date of Birth: April 16th, 1956
Family: Never Married, no children.
Education: Smethport High, Smethport PA. Some college, School of Hard Knocks.
Hobbies: Stand-up comedy
Civic Involvement: I served four years in the United States Air Force and ten
years in the Connecticut Air National Guard. I have run for Mayor of Hartford
twice and State Rep in the Hartford area three times, and now in Manchester. I have never accepted even
one penny in campaign contributions or public funding.
I have served for five years as Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut (2004-2008).
I'm Libertarian, I'm violet, a smart blend of red and blue.
Issue 1: Unalienable Rights. Unalienable Rights do not come from government.
Unalienable Rights are endowed by our Creator, whoever each individualís Creator
may be. Therefore, everybody on the entire planet have the exact same
Unalienable Rights. Among these, but not limited to, are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness. Governments are instituted to secure these rights. Our
Government, like others, often becomes destructive of these ends. I will work to
ensure our Government functions to secure and not to oppress our Unalienable
Issue 2: Ending the war on drugs. The war on drugs has not had any success in
eliminating drugs. Drugs are common and extremely available. The war on drugs
has succeeded in funding terrorism, creating crime on the streets, consuming
millions of tax dollars and oppressing the American people. I will work to
legalize all drugs, even the bad ones. The war on drugs is much more destructive
than the worst drugs. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Silas Deane were
hemp farmers. The Spanish word for hemp is marijuana. Today's laws would make
them all criminals.
Issue 3: Eliminate gun laws. Whether it is Columbine, Virginia Tech or 9/11, we
have our most horrendous murders in gun free zones. We have few or no murders at
our nation's many gun shows. Itís simple math: Zero guns equals many murders.
Many guns equals near zero murders. Americans have the right to protect
themselves from any threat, not just in their homes, but also on the streets.
You donít need a religion permit to practice religion. You donít need a speech
permit to speak. You should not be required to have a gun permit to hold and
bear arms. The criminals donít have gun permits, yet they carry guns.
Issue 4: Gays in the Military. Would George Washington allow a gay to serve in
the Continental Army? He did! Friedrich Wilhelm Augustin Ludolf Gerhard
(Frederick William Augustus Henry Ferdinand) von Steuben also referred to as the
Baron von Steuben was a Prussian aristocrat and military officer. Steuben's
Prussian army career ended in scandal when he was alleged to be gay. No other
European army would take him. He came to America and joined the Continental
Army. He served as inspector general and Major general of the Continental Army
during the American Revolutionary War. He is credited with teaching the
Continental Army the essentials of military drill and discipline. He wrote the
Revolutionary War Drill Manual, the book that became the standard United States
drill manual until the War of 1812. He served as General George Washington's
chief of staff in the final years of the war. If gays in the military is OK with
George Washington, it's OK with me. Don't ask, don't tell; is an oppression of
freedom of speech.
Issue 5: Abortion. Iím glad I wasnít aborted. I believe very few people wish
they were aborted. A pregnant woman may not want to have a baby, especially if
she is pregnant because she was raped. However, the baby should not be given the
death penalty because its father committed a crime. Making abortion illegal
would not make abortion go away. It would make it more dangerous. I am pro
choice, and I would like pregnant women to have more choices when they have an
unwanted pregnancy. I once saw a show on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel
or other educational television network. This show had to do with zebras having
low population. To increase zebra population, female zebras were allowed to get
pregnant by male zebras. Because zebra is a breed of horse, veterinarians were
able to remove the fetus from the zebra and put it in another breed of female
horse, such as Arabian. The Arabian horse would then be pregnant with the
zebraís baby and the female zebra could get pregnant again in a short time. If
this can be done with horses, then maybe it can be done with humans. The fetus
in the woman with an unwanted pregnancy may be able to be put into a woman who
wants to have a baby. It would require medical science and social services to
make this choice a reality.
Issue 6: Government bailouts and corporate welfare. Just say NO! The concept of
"too big to fail" is ridiculous because it is small businesses that provides
most of the jobs. The money for the bailout must come from somewhere. If it
comes from taxing businesses that make a profit, many of them small businesses,
then their profits may be reduced and jeopardize more jobs than were saved with
the bailout of a "too big to fail" business.
Issue 7: Gay and unorthodox marriage. I support anybody's right to marry as they
see fit. Whether someone wants a spouse of the same sex or multiple spouses,
it's not the government's business.
Issue 8: Balancing the budget. Deep spending cuts is the only way. Over taxing
the rich will cause them to move to a place where the taxation is lower, making
the situation much worse. Spending benefits whoever is the recipient of the
spending. For example, building Rentschler Stadium for UCONN football benefited
whoever got the contract to build the stadium. I was born and raised in
Pennsylvania, therefore, by law, I am a football fan. However, I would have
opposed public money being used to build the stadium. If somebody wanted to
spend their own money to build a stadium, that's fine, but it is not the state's
job to fund such endeavors. I will only support spending that I deem to be
proper and necessary.
Issue 9: Health Care IS a right. Health care is one of the Unalienable Rights
not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Some people believe that
having a right to something means that you get it for free or that the
Government pays for it. If this were true, then we would get free guns because
of the fact that gun ownership is a right. Because freedom of the press is also
a right, we would get a free printing press. The government neither owes us free
guns, nor free printing presses, nor free health care. A right to something
means that the government may not stand in the way of us acquiring these things
in an honest, non violent way, even if it means medical marijuana. The fact is,
that the government does stand in the way of us using medical marijuana. This is
an oppression of our Unalienable Right to Health Care.
The Trinity Tripod>News
Trinity College, Hartford, CT.
Mayoral Candidate: Marijuana Key to Reviving Economy
Libertarian Focuses on Small Businesses
Published: Monday, October 27, 2003
Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 17:04
Richard Lion wants your vote. A Hartford resident, Lion is a Libertarian Party candidate looking to unseat Eddie Perez in the upcoming mayoral election. Judging by precedent alone (in 2001, Lion received 260 votes of 13,463 cast winning just under two percent of the vote) he may be a longshot. Nevertheless Lion is actively spreading the Libertarian gospel in overwhelmingly Democratic Hartford.Lion is running on a solidly pro-marijuana platform. Although Lion would not technically be allowed to decriminalize the drug in the city, he would not enforce the laws currently on the books.
"The stigma [against marijuana] is created by television ads run by our government," he said. "[The ads] don't mention the medical use, they don't mention that you can power your automobiles with it, running your car virtually pollution-free and at less than what we are spending now on gasoline. They don't mention George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it, and that the textile advantages of it [are] making paper and how many acres of forest it would save if we used it for paper ... I think most teenagers find the [anti-drug] ads offensive or insulting and because teenagers tend to be rebellious, they rebel against it and smoke marijuana."
Lion's campaign is entirely self-funded. "I do not accept even one penny in campaign contributions," he said. "I am spending up to a thousand dollars of my own money but I do not accept campaign contributions out of principle."
Lion faces some real challenges as he makes political battle with Eddie Perez and his $183,000 war chest.
Hartford's poverty, Lion said, can be abated with the introduction of more jobs into the community and the changing of local laws. "To create jobs," he said, "you've got to do two things. One is to lower taxes, towards especially small businesses, so that they have more opportunities to grow and make a bigger profit ... Step two is legalizing marijuana. I mean, people travel all the way to Amsterdam to use marijuana, where it's legal. And if we legalize marijuana here in the city of Hartford - or, basically, decriminalize it - we would be able to get people coming from New York City, from Boston, from Albany, New York, coming here on weekends and extended weekends and things to be a little bit like a mini-Amsterdam. And they'd come here and spend money and that would create jobs."
Lion believes that the two-party system has to be changed, on local and national levels. "The Democrats and Republicans in general ... know about the benefits of marijuana yet they continue to pursue this war on drugs, more than likely to protect the profits of the major oil companies, or the DuPont Corporation and others synthetic fabric manufacturers so they don't have to compete with industrial hemp [or medical marijuana]."
Lion sees the major political parties as part of a Faustian pact with corporate America, one that protects the free-enterprise system at the "expense of the environment, and at the expense of increasing terrorism."
In government ads decrying marijuana use, Lion explained, drug sales are said to fund terrorist groups. It would be much better if those dollars went to American farmers who could grow marijuana plants legally, he said.
When asked about his arrest during the Libertarian Tax Day Protest in April 2002, Lion described a scenario in which he stood up to the government and maintained his principles. The protests are made annually by local Libertarian Party groups to protest the government reaching into the wallets and pocketbooks of private citizens.
"[We were] basically handing out Libertarian flyers, and a police officer came and looked though a flyer and then said 'You've got to go.' ... I'm on public property, and I said 'Well, I'm not leaving.' So I kept handing out the flyers, and he said 'Well, if you hand out one more of those flyers, I'm going to arrest you.' ... I handed out two or three more, and he said 'Alright, you're under arrest.' So, he put the handcuffs on me, and basically read me my rights and led me to jail."
Lion was charged with trespassing and obstructing traffic. Rather than agree to face a minimal punishment of raking leaves for a day, he spent $1,400 dollars of his own money to hire a lawyer. He won the case.
Professor of Political Science Clyde McKee hosted Lion earlier this month in his American National Government class. According to McKee, the candidate "is an individual who I think has had considerable experience with government. When he spoke to my class, one of the questions I asked was 'Why are you a Libertarian?' He said 'I'm an angry person ... I've been lied to by various presidents.'"
McKee noted that Lion had been in the military, and had served during Operation Desert Storm. "Then he [Lion] said that presidents had made commitments and promises that they didn't keep."
Richard Lion believes in vouchers and homeschooling to allow for greater choices in education.
He is against affirmative action in city government "in principle, but in reality we probably do need some degree of it."
Lion asserts that the Patriot Act "should be called the Un-Patriot Act" and, of course, sees marijuana not as a threat but as an economic and even social good.