Libertarian Party of New York
Christopher B. "Chris" Garvey is a Libertarian candidate and committee member. He ran for Governor of New York in 1998. He was the 2018 nominee for Attorney General of New York.
1998 campaign for Governor of New York
Positions of Chris Garvey, Libertarian Candidate for Governor of New York Less government- lower taxes
The Libertarian Party has been called The Party of Principle, because, rather than entering politics to obtain power over others, Libertarians run to promote and implement a simple principle: "People have a right to do anything they wish, except: to initiate force, the threat of force, or fraud against other people or their property."
Another way to say this is: "That government governs best that governs least."
While the optimum for "least" may be open to debate among libertarians, we all agree that New York State governs too much, and takes too much tax money from those unfortunate enough to be governed by New York State.
New York taxes: income, capital gains, corporate income, sales and use, estates, racing, boxing, wrestling, containers, auto rental, highway use, insurance, motor fuel, vehicle registrations, driver's licenses, petroleum businesses, wagering, real estate transfer, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco licenses, vending machines, utilities, utility franchises, transport, new corporations, and natural gas importation; among others.
The most intrusive tax is the income tax.
The most regressive is the sales tax.
All these taxes impede the economy of New York and diminish the welfare of New Yorkers.
Taxation is a form of theft. Some people say taxation is a necessary evil, but once one accepts the historical fact that voluntarism and user fees have provided superior alternatives to taxation, one begins to wonder which services could not be provided without the clumsy hand of government.
New York State spends 41% per capita more than the average state. We could cut this across the board. Many NY "services" do not serve us.
The LILCO Bailout
This year the worst State program will be to socialize the Long Island Lighting Co. by paying $7 billion for the useless LILCO Shoreham Plant, with unconstitutionally issued state bonds. [The NY Constitution says governments need voter approval to borrow money.]
The resulting Long Island Power Authority [LIPA] will try to buck the modern trend towards competition among utilities, by forcing Long Islanders to buy LIPA's overpriced product.
When Long Islanders figure out how to avoid LIPA (by making their own power or by leaving) LIPA's bonds are likely to fail and Pataki will make taxpayers pick up the tab for the "moral obligation" that George Pataki dumped on them without asking. But not if I'm governor!
Most of the alternative proposals for Shoreham are different flavors of Government takeover. Libertarians, in contrast, oppose government takeovers and government monopolies that force you to buy monopoly products. Such monopolies are immorally based on force. (We call them coercive monopolies.) Coercive monopolies violate our libertarian principle that you should be allowed to buy from anyone who will sell.
Our solution to LILCO's mess would be to open Long Island to competition from the many power companies who would love to do a better cheaper job than LILCO. Let LILCO's shareholders and managers pay for their own mismanagement.
Since all legislative power has now been ceded by the legislators to their respective house leaders (Bruno and Silver), the legislators could simply elect these leaders and go home, saving $1.3 million per senate office and $633,000 per assembly office, almost $177 million in the legislature. Even if the legislature were to re-institute democracy, there would still be room for substantial savings by shrinking the legislative and executive staffs. (By giving Bruno and Silver effectively all power under the legislative rules, state legislators have tried to avoid blame for anything the legislature does or fails to do.)
Eliminate: Dept. of Economic Development - $50 million/year (development comes from low taxes and sparse regulation, not from professional grant seekers and advertisements.) Dept. of Agriculture and Markets - $88 million (farmers already know how to farm and sell.) Energy Research and Development Authority (We are unaware of any breakthroughs from this "research".) $36 million. Subsidies for banks and developers: Empire State Development Corporation was the UDC $92 million. Div. of Housing and Community Renewal $180 million. (Urban Removal) Affordable Housing Corp. $25 million. Housing Finance Corp. $2.8 million. Housing Trust Fund Corp. $41 million. State of NY Mortgage Agency $97 million. Olympic Regional Development Authority $8 million. NY State Science and Technology Foundation $34 million (While individual inventors struggle to pay taxes to support this boondoggle, bureaucrats give subsides to a favored few.)
After we get rid of welfare for the rich, and we get rid of regulatory and tax impediments to becoming rich --or even just self-sufficient--we can think about how to eliminate the dependencies that welfare for the poor was designed to create.
Authorities (Long Island Power Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, etc.) These can be abolished or sold. State subsidies should be stopped for all unconstitutional "moral obligation" bond payments for these authorities. Stop all back door borrowing.
Regulators Businesses regularly pay to be inspected by duplicate inspectors from local, county, state, and federal regulators, some of whom have conflicting requirements. Since some of the rules can't be complied with, some of these inspectors have a long history of accepting bribes to ignore unavoidable violations. As governor, I would get the State out of this stupid game.
Libertarians believe in voluntary certification by private organizations like Underwriter's Labs. We don't agree with compulsory licensing (like for lawyers), where all providers must meet arbitrary requirements imposed by a state monopoly. No more no emergency hair braiders regulations -- nor required five-week manicurist courses as a prerequisite for using an emery board.
Ball pork No state welfare for George Steinbrenner. Let him buy his own stadium.
2nd Amendment Veto legislation that infringes Second Amendment civil rights. Repeal the Sullivan Law - It has protected muggers since 1911. Overcome the Sullivan Law administratively.
Prohibition Take New York out of the war on drugs. Before marijuana prohibition there were about 25,000 pot smokers. After half a century of pot prohibition 80 million have smoked pot. Prohibition is not working, but drug prohibition causes crime, murder, accidental death, and spreads disease. It also overcrowds our overpriced prisons. Enough already! And let's not make the same mistake again by prohibiting tobacco,
Civil Asset Forfeitures - are not just for drug dealers anymore - towns and lending authorities are using them to steal real property, homes, cars, and money from ordinary people. Let's end these constitutional violations in New York now.
Allodial Rights - Various property rights were stolen from voters by means of incomprehensible referendums that hid the meaning of purported amendments to the State Constitution. For example: until such an amendment in 1962, homes could not be stolen for a missed tax payment. - I support the OSCAR lawsuit to declare these "amendments" a nullity.
Abolish the state liquor authority - a long tradition of corruption Return the 18 year-old drinking age.
Slash the Budget End Back door borrowing
Prostitution – Voluntary transactions involving sex should be legal.
Separation of school and state - Before government schools the illiteracy rate in the Northeast was 2 to 6%. Today it's much higher, and the cost of this poorer job of education is much higher. Poor children were taught on scholarships or on sliding-scale income-dependent tuitions. Today's government schools cost too much and often fail to teach. Getting government completely out of the school business is the preferred solution. If we can't get rid of Government schools completely, at least let them all compete on a level field with all other schools, both government and free market. Vouchers and charter schools still give government the opportunity for too much control over education, but would be better than the no-choices system that we have.
Gas pump auto-pump latches - You stand over the filler breathing gas fumes in the cold with your hand wrapped around an aluminum gas nozzle, while professional gas station attendants get to use the latch (removed by law from your pump) and automatic shut-off. This anti-competitive law was thinly disguised as a safety measure at the beginning of self-service to protect the full service stations from competition. It's just one annoying example of the many stupid ways government makes your life a little worse.
Unions - People have a right to associate, organize, contract, and to withhold their work (strike) as a bargaining tool. They have a right to non-violently demonstrate their grievances (picket). They have a right to advocate selective purchasing (boycott). We believe in freedom of contract and of speech.
THE ENVIRONMENT - Nuisance law once allowed any landowner to sue and stop the noxious activities of his neighbor. But 19th century courts started balancing the harms done by pollution against the benefits of industrialization, and your right to a clean environment was compromised. The rights of the individual were sacrificed for the "good" of the majority. Consequently the environment (an important good for the majority) were also sacrificed. Procedural hurdles to class actions were erected, and even the Federal pollution act of 1973 took away the very effective citizen Qui tam actions of the pollution law of 1899. Thus, individuals have lost their best legal weapons against big polluters. Libertarians don't believe you can benefit the majority by taking rights (such as the right to sue those who dirty our air) from individuals.
Government makes the problem worse:
Big polluters get to trade pollution credits with each other. Government subsidizes logging roads to cut old growth forests. Where locals bought a clear-cutting timber contract in order to protect the forest, the U.S. Forest Service withdrew the contract, saying the contract was a license to cut down the trees, not to preserve them. The locals did not have a right to leave the trees alone. The contract was then given to a lower bidder who would cut down the forest. The military is an environmental disaster. Municipal sewerage is the biggest water polluter. The EPA causes environmental disasters. Nuclear Power is subsidized by artificial limits on liability. Ill-conceived auto-emission laws emphasize the wrong pollutants, and raise costs in a way that keeps old gross polluters on the road longer. (One old bomb can emit as much pollution as a hundred well-tuned new cars.) CAFE (economy), "safety", and pollution standards for cars encouraged people to buy dirtier and less economical trucks instead. Roads were subsidized while railroads were taxed.
Government has not been a friend of the environment. The environment's best friends are citizens with enough wealth to worry more about clean air than about their own starvation. Let such citizens use the courts according to well established nuisance laws. Let more people become wealthy enough to care by letting them keep the money they earn and by getting out of the way of their enterprises.
Libertarians oppose taxes in general, but if I couldn't abolish taxes I would compromise and trade away a tax on a good thing (sales or income), for a tax on a bad thing (pollution). I would not impose any pollution tax without simultaneously abolishing another more harmful tax. I refuse to be the first Libertarian in history to add to our tax burdens.
2006 campaign for Attorney General of New York
- U.S. House, New York District 1, 2016 (not on ballot)
- Suffolk County District Attorney, 2017
- Attorney General of New York, 2018
- Justice of the Supreme Court, 10th Judicial District, 2019
- Suffolk County Representative (2004; 2015—2019)
- At-Large Committee Member (1995—1998; 2006—2007; 2010—2014)
- Vice-Chair (2007—2008)
- Vice-Chair (since 2016)
- State Representative (?—2019)