How Libertarian Politician Jeff Hewitt Won in California

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt is
a successful pool construction entrepreneur turned politician. One of four elected officials governing an
area of California with a population of 2.4 million and the most powerful public official in America affiliated with the Libertarian Party. I always think about is it hurting somebody, is there something I can do to lessen the
imposition of the government and have it instead defend our rights like
it's supposed to. At a recent meeting of the board of supervisors when a bill to regulate the sales of home
baked goods came up for discussion Hewitt dissented. I remember back in the 50s and early 60s my mother would make apple pies for Law's
Coffee Shop up in Oak Glen. So back then it wasn't a problem I think most people around Oak Glen made them
for the restaurants and I don't think anybody ever died from that. My background comes from starting my own business
when I was 19. Just digging swimming pools. Eventually I got to building pools, but the
things I learned about that were to get through the tough times, bring
in my budget and in those really great times, you know,
still put some stuff away so I could survive to see the next day. Before he was elected to his county seat in
November 2018 Hewitt was Mayor of the town of Calimesa where he cut ties with the state fire agency
because it was charging too much. It's common knowledge around electeds, nobody goes against fire because that's political
suicide. So I basically was able to convince my colleagues
over there that don't worry about getting reelected,
let's do the right thing. In 2018 Hewitt, whose largest donor was libertarian
tomato magnate Chris Rufer spent less than half the money campaigning than did his union backed establishment republican
opponent and won anyway. He says that the Riverside County Libertarian
Party has seen a 42% spike in registration since his victory. The nice thing about being a libertarian is
we could reach out to the democrats on a lot of things especially social issues that we agree on and we can also reach out to the republicans
ona lot of the fiscal and regulatory issues. So it put us in a really good place and this is what I think a lot of libertarians
don't understand we are the great consensus builders and peace
makers and we need to go ahead and market that. Hewitt's district is historically republican
but has skewed democrat in recent years something he says he was able to capitalize
on to best his opponent. One of the biggest mistakes that libertarians
make is to think that democrats are harder to persuade
than the republicans are. Now on social issues, criminal justice reform,
we're right there with them we've already made a connection there. A little bit tougher is to say look you want
to go ahead and make people's lives better economically let me show you how free market systems have
worked for me. Don't even need to use the word Capitalism but that sell is a little bit easier believe
it or not than people think. On our board we have two democrats and two
republicans. I'm a libertarian allows me to not only build
a consensus but when there's very contentious issues,
I can be that swing vote too. So being a libertarian is the most important
thing to me and it's who I am. And to aspiring Libertarian Party politicians
Hewitt's advice is to pick winnable races and focus more attention on the basics. Like public speaking and social skills. Take toastmasters and get to know how to speak
in public and also make friends. Like me, get appointed to a planning commission,
you make friends there, relationships, you start building trust int
he community and now people don't care if you're libertarian
or whatever you are. You're going to be someone that they're gonna
have an easier time voting for. But despite h is electoral success, Hewitt still faces considerable opposition
from his fellow board members on several core issues. He dissented from an agreement the board reached
with the Service Employees Union that he believed would ultimately bankrupt
the county. Others on the board, including conservative
republicans voted for the agreement. I sincerely respect the issues being raised
by my colleague supervisor Hewitt. He's right on the money , we have to start
somewhere and I just don't think that it starts with
going after our employees I think it starts up here at that dais, going
after the bigger picture issues that we face today. But Hewitt believes that if he sticks with
his principles, he'll inspire other libertarians to join him
in the fight. Pick a race that you can win. A lot of these local races, they're actually
still very powerful but they don't cost a lot of money. From two to four years, maybe ten years, all of a sudden you're in a very impactful
position, you can really make a lot of big changes then it won't be so lonely for me.

How Government Almost Killed the Cocktail

the title of my piece is government almost killed the cocktail the old fashioned is an extremely simple drink to make but in many ways it represents the ideal of what a good cocktail should be it's an ideal and an idea that we almost lost thanks to Prohibition what happened wasn't just that we lost the booze or the recipes we also lost a lot of the knowledge from those celebrity bartenders in many cases the bartender's retired in some cases they went over to Europe and when Prohibition ended they weren't around to teach people how to drink well again so in the decades after prohibition what we had was a kind of cocktail Dark Ages where people didn't really know how to make a good cocktail a lot of liqueurs just weren't available during that time in part because prohibition had really drawn down the stock of aged spirits thankfully in the 1990s a couple of bartenders started looking at pre-prohibition cocktail books in some cases they even went so far as to resurrect old spirits that hadn't been made for decades so while government almost killed the cocktail thankfully American bartenders brought it back from the brink of death and today may be the best time of all to have a drink in America Cheers you

This Self-Taught Programmer Is Bringing Transparency to California Politics

inside his cramped West Hollywood one-bedroom Rob Pires is navigating a labyrinth of databases he's trying to uncover sources of money and influence in California politics but it's not easy the state's website designed to promote transparency isn't transparent at all which is what Pirates have set out to fix the website he runs is called the California target book California's Cal access website it's notorious for being just sort of an ungodly Byzantine messed it if you have no idea what you're doing it's nearly impossible to get any useful information out of peyer's who describes himself as 95 pounds of concentrated technique has become an expert on pulling data from hundreds of voter databases election filings and campaign finance disclosures while the state's website can seem designed to very useful information the california target book takes that same information and makes it easy to find and interpret most of the stuff that is publicly available but it's just a question of aggregating it all in one spot and trying to make it as easy to digest as possible why is the government so bad at putting out this information why you know why is this not a public function well I mean everyone wants to run a none campaign transparency but actually executing it well but you know that's where entries seems to go away as far as California there's always been a steady drumbeat yes can we fix this can we fix this can we fix this finally last year they passed a bit of legislation that would spend something like fifteen million dollars over the next two or three years trying to look into the 21st century and are already worried about that eating your lunch or do you have faith that they can screw it up again well let me just say that yeah I'm happy to have my system in place in the meantime ok Pires has built the target book system from the ground up despite having no previous programming experience the 41 year old only joined the site two years ago after he was laid off from his job bagging groceries at Walgreens and while the government builds its multi-million dollar system the target book is already proven it's worth the site actively scanned it sources for new information notifying the public as soon as it appears anytime there's a make a contribution over $10,000 anytime there's a major independent expenditure over ten thousand dollars it'll it'll log it tweet out the link and do a screenshot of everything another thing is anyone that is on a watch list that I have set up like anyone who spent like over five million dollars in independent expenditures in the 2016 campaign I added their committee number to add to a list and I'd like to think that day and get doing whatever I can to try to make it everything we have more transparent his efforts have helped expose the unseemly side of establishment politics during one 2016 congressional race the LA Times used pyres data to reveal that candidate Isidore Hall may have misused hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign cash he was endorsed by all the Democratic Party establishment he was the odds-on favorite he was a saving state senator he ended up getting defeated by a grass root candidate who in the final stretch of the campaign managed to raise a ton from an itemized small donor people he ended up with something like six thousand dollars remaining in his campaign account in over half a million dollars in campaign debts he might have a difficult time running again anytime anytime in the near future Pires believes radical transparency is the best method for rooting out corruption because regulatory interventions tend to backfire for too many years you've forged government fail a window again he bases this belief on the real-world effects he's seen in California in 2010 the state revamped primary elections to make them nonpartisan reformers promised this system would help moderates and minor party candidates he said he's storing victory for our state and file people Peyer says it's further tip the scales toward one-party rule all the money that typically would have gone to the Republican versus the Democrat no ma'am I grading over towards so you know the the moderate Democrat versus the Liberal Democrat this system of non partisan elections has if anything increased the power of special interests in almost every case you had a Democrat who was endorsed by the California Teachers Association in the California Federation of Teachers versus one who was endorsed by the California Charter Schools Association and the Charter advocates race at the rate accuracy you have those Democrat versus Democrat races tended to be the most expensive ones out there one Bay Area District assembly race spending by both sides over the course of the year was in excess of nine point three million that's more than any congressional race in California another popular reform is campaign finance limits but again Pires believe such regulations backfire and actively hurt candidates who aren't backed by a major party or special interests I think the problem we're seeing right now it's it's twofold campaigns are getting increasingly expensive they're lasting longer with a tear with the trend towards earlier and earlier voting it becomes more difficult assembling a war chest when you're limited to something like twenty seven hundred dollars per transaction and while at the same time outside groups you know can come in raise unlimited amounts is wasting all of this time and effort and in the end a message can be overwhelmed by someone coming in on outside of them taking control it's not the campaign that they want to run I think deregulating things is then it I think we're part of the way there the problem is it's half-measures you know right now he's taking the shackles off of outside groups but it still leaves them on the candidates themselves so the candidates are at a disadvantage and they cannot legally coordinate with any of these groups that are able to raise all this all this money you've seen how the sausage gets made in California right you know what's behind all the money do you think that there's a negative effect of allowing all of this you know the super PACs and the other groups in it's very unpopular opinion to say that I think that citizens united was correctly decided I think the equitable solution would be to just take all the limits off on candidates allow them to raise whatever they want and require a immediate disclosure yeah so anything is that way you're not going to have these dark money groups with the campaign contributions that they don't legally have to be reported you're able to see where the money is coming from who is paying for this message and as sunlight is a good thing

Sex Politics and the GOP as We Know It: An Interview with Nancy Cohen

the reason we've gone crazy in a word is sex hi I'm Tracy Oppenheimer with reason TV and here with Nancy Koehn author of delirium how the sexual counter-revolution is polarizing America Nancy thanks for being here happy to be here Tracy what is the sexual counter-revolution and what are these sexual fundamentalists about 40 years ago everything changed in America birth control actually used to be illegal gay sex was illegal and then you had the sexual revolution and what happened a small group of Americans mostly religious fundamentalists freaked out about these changes in sexual relations and personal freedom and they became politically active exactly and deliberately to rollback these changes and you say that these people are the most powerful bloc in the Republican Party but they're also a vast minority how is this possible by doing that really you know kind of boring and tedious work of working in your local party committees at the precinct levels and state conventions these people that I call the sexual fundamentalists constitute about 50 percent of the Republican electorate now these are strong identifying Republicans and of course the activists are much smaller minority they really became the gatekeepers of the 2012 primary field and that is why we're seeing you know someone like Santorum that is really a fringe candidate and it's also why Mitt Romney has been forced to talk about birth control and abortion much more than he would want to he would prefer to talk about the economy do you think that part of that responsibility lies with the mainstream media because they've sort of displayed these sex issues as at the top it's much more sensational to talk about sex than it is about deficits granted but there was actually a lot more of these social issues coming up in the Republican primary earlier that the mainstream media wasn't reporting on the candidates we're talking a lot about personhood amendments about the pill is a form of abortion there's the people who care about abortion and birth control and whether or not they should be legal and then the group of people who just don't think the government should be funding it is this sort of unfairly clumping them I don't know that I'm unfairly clumping them the people who feel that way are joined together in the Republican Party people who want to see smaller government who don't believe government should fund it let's leave aside that this is about insurance regulations not the government funding birth control as well which is another see how that plays out in the next few years we'll see Democrats did call it an attack on reproductive rights when the issue arose of religious institutions and companies don't want to pay for birth control most of the people agitating this are reactionaries about sexual issues and people who disagree with this on issues of government regulation and religious liberty didn't do enough to challenge their political allies do you still think the government should be providing funding for these programs we're the only advanced country in the world that doesn't have a real system of universal health care and I think it's a travesty that we allow people to die because they don't have the money by just focusing on birth control I do think it's a fundamental issue of personal freedom and I do think it's a fundamental issue of health if we are going to have regulation because they're not paying for it doesn't mean well it's do it yes some forms of birth control happen to be very expensive if we are going to have any kind of regulation of health care that should be one of the covered services you also acknowledge that Republicans aren't the only ones to blame here I could you talk a little bit about the Democrats or all classic New Deal liberals I had the same kind of reaction against these new issues of sex and women's rights and gay rights coming up in the party every time that Democrats lose election except recently they revert to this kind of collective panic that it must be the fault of our base it must be the women it must be the gays it must be the this college students thank you again for coming and talking to us you're welcome it's pleasure to be your reason TV I'm Tracy Oppenheimer you

How Jay Leno Changed the Politics of Late Night

when I started hosting marijuana was illegal and you can smoke cigarettes any place you wanted I believe he did the greatest monologue ever and I think it was because of his political sensibility and the worst thing about losing this job I'm no longer cover NBC I'd have to sign up for Obamacare after 22 years as the host of The Tonight Show Jay Leno said goodbye to late night though he was no favorite of TV critics Leno held the top ratings spot for over two decades after succeeding the legendary Johnny Carson recent TV sat down with longtime Leno producer Dave Berg author of the book behind the curtain an insider's look at Jay Leno's Tonight Show to discuss lenez legacy of elevating politics and late-night talk Johnny Carson who of course is a legend the greatest there ever was he set the bar very high for all of us however Johnnie emphasized entertainers on his show I'm not saying he didn't have politico's from time to time he did but the emphasis was on entertainers well the strategy that we used to kind of expand and maybe get better ratings was to move beyond entertainers and I think that this is what distinguished Jay not only in the guests that he chose I mean basically we had every major presidential candidate from 1996 on but also in his monologue which he expanded it from Johnnie's with seven minutes and Jay expanded his to 14 minutes and added a lot of political humor he set the pace I believe he did the greatest monologue ever and I think it was because of his political Sensibility you talked about having presidential candidates the you guys were actually the first to get a sitting president when you had President Obama on can you talk a little bit about the story of how that happened five years before he became president I was watching him speak at the Democratic convention in Boston and that was in 2004 Kerry was the the Democratic candidate that year and and I had never heard of this unknown political Illinois and I thought oh my gosh this guy is the best speak I have seen since Ronald Reagan I'm not talking politics here I'm just talking about the ability to communicate and I was very impressed and the next day I started calling on his people to express an interest in getting him on the show now we did finally land him on the show as as an author the the audacity of hope' when he was a presidential candidate so when he did finally agree to appear as a president he had already been on he had already had a trust yet and it kind of a chemistry with Jay but nevertheless when he decided to appear on the show on his 59th day in office that was amazing because no other president had ever appeared on a late-night show it was actually considered unpresidential that was a huge moment and you know looking back at that why do you think it took so long for that to happen I mean do you think that politicians are kind of afraid of going on platforms like that because they're afraid of being made fun of I do and as I always told the political people actually we're much easier I'm not saying Jay didn't ask tough questions he did he certainly did but we weren't Meet the Press and Jays attitude about guests is he believed that that it was a family environment at the Tonight Show and and he actually acted as though guests were like guests in his house so he always said I'm not going to throw you a curve ball you don't have to worry I'm I will ask you a tough question I'll ask you this I'll ask you that but he never never asked gotcha questions so we were actually easier than Meet the Press it never seemed like he was really accepted among you know the comedic elite and here he is now he's going to get the Mark Twain humor award at the Kennedy Center this fall what do you think is so misunderstood about his success I think that the critics the Television Critics basically early on starting when Jay took over from Johnny Carson early on they said this guy doesn't have the chops he doesn't have what Johnny Carson has and by the way he's not cut from the same fabric as David Letterman it is so much more edgy and they are the ones that basically set the tone for for how J was perceived among if I may use the word among elitist not among the folks who live in the flyover States those wonderful flyover States but among the elitist who felt that J's humor was much too milquetoast actually I think J's approach was was exactly what it should be what you want to do is you want to tell jokes that appeal to a broad band of viewers we weren't narrowcasting we were trying to reach a wide group of people and I think J did that very successfully and I think the Mark Twain award is justification finally J gets the credit that he deserves and a lot of people you know would always try to tie a political label to him but you know because we have more of a libertarian audience do you think kind of that independent streak that he was more working-class he worked really hard I know you talked a lot about his work ethic in the book do you think that kind of came through the fact that he was just a little bit more independent and that's maybe why he broke through to such a larger audience I definitely do and again I think you could see it in his monologue jokes I think that resonated with people I really do the fact is in the last you know two three years none of the other late night hosts were doing Obama jokes well Jay felt well J happens to like President Obama but his feeling was you got to go after who's ever in power and he alone was doing jokes about Obama for a long time finally when Obamacare you know became the disaster that it was at least for a while the other host started following soon do you think that his willingness cuz I see it now with Kimmel yeah and a little bit with Fallon and Letterman they've kind of followed suit but do you think that that is kind of one of his main legacies as far as you know being an equal opportunity offender oh my gosh yes I mean I really think that distinguishes him and and yes if I understand your question properly there doesn't seem to be a healthy skepticism of those in power and that concerns me because late night is so influential especially among younger people I think yeah and you know there's also kind of this I guess you can call it a PC movement going on where you've seen a lot of comedians lately having to you know apologize for jokes do you how do you think that affects the material right or did it really come into play when he was crafting his monologue that was a big problem and I have to say that among the the comedy writers and comedians whether they were liberal a conservative they hate PC they do not like political correctness because that restricts them in their job and that was very damaging and it hurt a lot of jokes we had to sort of water down some of the jokes everybody did and and I think everyone suffers as a result you're you're missing SATA you're missing good satire when you look at who's out there now you have Kimmel you have Letterman as stepping down you have Colbert coming in now and now you have Jimmy Fallon who do you see kind of emerging as as that standard bearer of being the top dog I actually am a Jimmy Fallon guy and I like Jimmy Kimmel they're both really good I watched them both but Jimmy Fallon when he took over for Jay honestly I did not want to like him I didn't like the fact that Jay was you know being let go when he was doing so well but when I started watching a Fallon on a regular basis he won me over and I like him because he continues with that really positive upbeat attitude that that Jay represented and he has brought kind of a new perspective he has redefined late-night on his own terms now it's about comedy bits it's about performance the guests get involved they want to get involved Jimmy gets involved because he's so talented and he has done very well I would go so far as to call him the king of late-night he's going to be the guy to be that's my feeling