Five Questions for Adrian Wyllie

By: Margie Menzel News Service of Florida | Posted: September 3, 2014 3:55 AM
Adrien Wyllie

Adrian Wyllie

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie has just completed a statewide tour of 30 brew pubs, discussing issues over craft beer. His campaign accepts Bitcoin. In other words, he's running a vastly different campaign than Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic former Gov. Charlie Crist.

But a July poll by Quinnipiac University showed Wyllie with 9 percent of the vote in a three-way race, while Crist got 39 percent and Scott had 37 percent. "Virtually no one knows much about Wyllie, but there are a lot of Floridians who aren’t keen on either of the major party candidates," Peter Brown, the poll's assistant director, said at the time.

Wyllie lives in Palm Harbor. He and his wife, Dawn, have been married 22 years and have two sons. He attended Dunedin High School and served in the U.S. Army and Florida National Guard. A small-business owner, Wyllie is president of an IT consulting firm and co-founder of the 1787 Radio Network, which calls itself "Florida's Voice of Liberty." He's also been chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida.

The News Service of Florida has five questions for Adrian Wyllie:

Q: You've said if elected, you'll fight to repeal Common Core. Talk about why.

WYLLIE: Well, I firmly believe in the United States Constitution. And the federal government only has the authority to do those things which are specifically enumerated in the Constitution. Education is not one of them. Education is the realm of the state and local government. And one of the problems I see with the Common Core curriculum is that it's coming down from upon high. And parents and teachers and students lose input when that happens.

Right now, it's very easy for someone to get their school board member on the phone and tell them their concerns or make suggestions about curriculum. But with Common Core, everything is being flowed down from the national level, and it really takes away the local community's ability to steer the direction of their local schools. So my objective is to repeal Common Core and to give local school boards more authority over the curriculum and the course of their schools. And also work to ensure that the funding is directed locally to the correct places. Right now we're spending a ton of money on education, and it's not making it to the classrooms. We need to fix that.

Q: You're also running against cronyism. But you've only raised about $62,000, while Scott and his supporters are on track to raise $100 million and Crist about half that. Is it possible to be elected governor without contributions from cronies who'll expect a return?

WYLLIE: (Laughs.) The reason that you see such a large gap in fundraising between our campaign and the campaigns of Scott and Crist is exactly because of the cronyism. We don't have special interests or large corporations trying to buy favors from us because they know that we're not going to be granting those special favors. We're not going to be granting those single-source no-bid contracts at three times the market value. That's the kind of influence that the big-money campaign financing buys. And we're not for sale.

Yes, that is one of my highest priorities: to go after the cronyism, to go after the corruption and the waste and, in a lot of cases, fraud. And that's how we can cut the state budget. We are very pro-business, but we're not pro-business in the way that Republicans or Democrats think of it. They think of it as giving special favors to the corporations that came to the table. We think of it as leveling the playing field for everyone and making sure that nobody has any special barriers to entry or hurdles in their way -- but by the same token, making sure no businesses have any special advantages. That's the difference in the Libertarian free-market concept.

Q: You're also against intrusive government. Both your opponents have been governor -- how would you rate their records in terms of respect for personal liberty?

WYLLIE: Horrendous. We've seen over both these administrations a growing encroachment in our individual freedom. We've seen it in the decimation of the Fourth Amendment here in the state of Florida. We've seen it to some degree in the seeming increase in the militarization of our local law enforcement. We've seen it in the form of REAL ID (federal identification law) and government delving into our medical records to do things like prevent people from owning firearms or prevent people from potentially using a certain type of drug.

And it really has to stop. We have to stop being afraid, and we have to stand up for our freedoms, because if we continue down this path, we're going to lose many of them forever.

Q: Growing numbers of independent voters, disgust with the tone of the campaign, low turnout in a midyear election -- are you feeling you could win an unprecedented share of the vote?

WYLLIE: Oh, absolutely. I wouldn't be in this race if I didn't think that we had a legitimate shot to win this election. Is it a long shot? Yes. But I do believe that we have a chance to get to that 33.4 percent that it will take to win. In the mainstream polls, I'm currently polling anywhere between 4 and 9 percent. However, our internal polling data puts us at around 15 percent.

I think what a lot of the pollsters are not taking into account is the influx of people who are not your typical supervoters or not even your typical likely voters. There's a lot of things that are going to be drawing people to the polls this November. One of them, for instance, is Amendment 2 (a proposal to legalize medical marijuana) being on the ballot. We know that is going to be energizing, specifically, a base of young people that in no way, shape or form have any interest in voting for Crist or Scott. So I would say that our realistic standings right now are somewhere in the teens. So that's what we're looking at. And if we can continue to build that momentum, which we have been, and with a solid debate performance, I really think we can change the course of this election -- and we can win.

Q: Your opponents are spending tens of millions of dollars to attack each other. Do you have any strategy other than to keep out of the way?

WYLLIE: (Laughs.) Basically, at this point, their attack ads have been extremely successful on both sides. And really all we need to do is reach enough Floridians and let them know that there is a third choice. I can't tell you how many people I talk to that say -- they may know nothing about my platform, but they just tell me, "I'm voting for you because you're not them." And I think that sentiment is very broad here in Florida.

So I believe that if we can just reach enough voters through grassroots campaigning that we can win this election. And you know, Mason-Dixon did a poll -- I believe it was a couple of months ago -- and even then, we were already at about 21 percent name recognition statewide. I think as that number grows, if we can get to 60, 70 percent name recognition, we've got a real good shot.

(Your brewery tour reached a lot of people.) Oh, it was absolutely phenomenal. We got a good amount of press coverage. Basically, we got TV or print coverage -- in a lot of cases, both -- in every market that we visited. We reached thousands of people. Our smallest event probably only drew 20 people, but we had some events that drew 150 people. And what we're doing: we're asking those people to spread the word. We distributed thousands of campaign signs and T-shirts and bumper stickers and literature. So the word is getting out there. It's growing organically.

We do plan to run some television ads, probably in October. However, we're never going to be able to run three every commercial break like the other guys are doing. So we really need to rely on the grass roots, and so far, it's been phenomenally successful.

Tags: News, Politics

Comments (27)

Mike Dino
4:11PM SEP 15TH 2014
Can't wait to get my absentee ballot next month and make my mark next to Adrian's name!
J Burkiewicz
11:12PM SEP 6TH 2014
We all will be voting for the good man Adrian Wyllie for Florida Governor, not one of the corrupt republican governors.
William Dail
5:59AM SEP 6TH 2014
You know something is seriously wrong when the D's & R's are spending millions of dollars to land a job that only pays $130,000 a year! Wylllie is the true fiscally conservative in this campaign. Awesome interview! Adrian nailed it!
Billy Akerman
1:44PM SEP 4TH 2014
If the real Americans stopped making excuses as to why we always end up with a politician is because of stubborn voters like FedupinFl who say stupid crap like..."You're just helping the Democrats win."
We need to ACUALLY stop the BS and vote for the third party. I WILL be voting for Adrian Wyllie because I have the balls to stand up for America.
Paul Harrison
12:25PM SEP 5TH 2014
What if we don't agree with the third party or think its agenda would be even worse than the other two? ;-)

Whatever the case, can't say I'm looking forward to November.
William Dail
6:02AM SEP 6TH 2014
There are 15 people running for Florida Governor you should be able to find one in that list you can agree on.
Paul Harrison
11:55AM SEP 9TH 2014
Made an attempt to research a few and must admit the following major problems with this idea (do YOU know anything about the other candidates?):

1. Very, very, few have even a dedicated website beyond a Facebook page.
2. The Facebook pages don't tell you anything about what they stand for.
3. High kookiness factor amongst many and very little evidence the remainder knows enough about politics to be likely effectual in any way. Hey, I know this is Florida politics, but still.

If you're lucky enough to find out someone's views/positions/where-they're-coming-from, hard with zero press coverage (not that I trust the media these days) and most unwilling to put out an issues site or anything similar, you generally don't find something at the end of it that's likely electable.

Truth is November will be a pain. I think the reality is that there are only two real candidates standing and both are ridiculously flawed. Wyllie? Hard to agree with, and even harder to believe would have the political skills capable of getting anything done. And the "others" aren't much more than random names on a list.
7:10AM SEP 4TH 2014
The only problem with Wyllie is he will ensure a Crist victory. Remember Ross Perot? That's how we ended up with Bill Clinton!
Dan Ray
10:51AM SEP 4TH 2014
There is no problem with Wyllie! He and his platform combined with honesty and courage demands that he get your vote and support if you are truly fed up! It really will not matter which one of the liars gets in if we fail to get Adrian elected..........you will still be fed up! Twiddeleedee, Twiddeleedum........
Alexander Snitker
10:42AM SEP 4TH 2014
It is too bad that the facts do not back up your claim.

When you actually look at the stats on the Perot election you will see that he pulled evenly. Perot even brought in many who would not have voted.

The same thing is going on with Adrian. When you break down the polls you see that he is earning votes from those that may have voted for Crist as well as Scott. He is also bringing in disenfranchised voters who would not have voted for either Crist or Scott.

Maybe instead of voting out of fear you should try voting principle.
Dan Ray
10:51AM SEP 4TH 2014
Right you are Alex - as usual!
8:44AM SEP 4TH 2014
That's how the two party wants it, so that's why the two party supports your opinion. If people weren't so lazy and stuck in neutral they would do some research on their own and find there is a better way, it's called choice. After doing some research on my own, Adrian Wyllie has 2 votes from my household. Now who to vote for to replace Bondi. Vote yes for amendment #2 even if it's not for you.
Ken Hinnenkamp
1:03PM SEP 9TH 2014
Vote the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General. Bill Wohlsifer certainly beats Pam Bondi in my book!
Billy Akerman
1:51PM SEP 4TH 2014
This is for the commentor "Fire". There is another choice for Attorney General. There is a Libertarian candidate for Attorney General name Bill Wohlsifer. Visit his website at wohlisfer4ag dot com.
Andrew Nappi
4:54PM SEP 3RD 2014
D and R party purists will always vote their candidate even if it's the devil himself. It's up to us, the thinking voters to marginalize them by giving our support to honest,integrity driven candidates like Adrian Wyllie. Anyone who has ever thought about restoring trust and honor to government in Tallahassee is duty bound to vote for Wyllie. Expecting any improvement with two ethically challenged already proven cronyists is insanity. So, be sane, be smart and be serious about who you trust with the chief executive position this November. This is particularly true for "tea party" voters. If you honestly believe any of the words you ever heard or spoke about smaller government and lower taxes,intellectual honesty alone requires you to vote for Wyllie. #WinwithWyllie in November!
Dan Ray
10:32AM SEP 4TH 2014
Right you are Andrew!! This the time where the TEA PARTY must vote with their convictions - all the Liberty minded Republicans Must break away from the republicRATS!
Jote' Thompson
2:10PM SEP 3RD 2014
Finally a breath of fresh air in the Gubernatorial race and his name is Adrian Wyllie.I used to vote the "lessor of two evils" and where did it get me? Got me more evil. Crist and Scott are woven from the same cloth and Wyllie can win this race, I have no doubt. Wyllie has my vote!!!
Dan Ray
10:36AM SEP 4TH 2014
Don't just give him your vote, but spread the word to others! In this case your previous way of voting would be the "evil of two lessors"! If we all do our job and get Adrian's name and message out to fellow Floridians - HE WILL WIN! Don't give up, and don't give in!
1:24PM SEP 3RD 2014
I'm happy to hear there is a third choice. I can't put any trust in the 2 current candidates.
I am 73 years old and NEVER even smoked let along used Cannabis or any other illegal drug. However I have been learning a lot more about the benefits and am 100% for Amenendment #2. Discovered too late and in the wrong state how it could have helped my husband dying of pancreatic cancer. Probably would go so far as to agree to make Cannabis legal - period. I believe alcohol and tobacco are far more serious drugs.
I'm looking forward to learning more about your position on various topics.
Dan Ray
10:46AM SEP 4TH 2014
Check out his website wyllie for governor dot com
10:30AM SEP 3RD 2014
My wife and I already decided we weren't going to vote for the 2 major party candidates. We'll be seriously considering Adrian Wyllie this time.
Dan Ray
10:39AM SEP 4TH 2014
Vote for Adrian if for no other reason that he is an honest man and will uphold his sacred oath of office!
10:08AM SEP 3RD 2014
Great article with great questions and answers. This is what I like to see in media. Great job Sunshine State News, hats off to you.

Why vote between 2 known liars? Florida, we are fortunate enough not to
be stuck picking one liar or the other this time. We actually have an
alternative. Take advantage of the opportunity. Adrian Wyllie deserves
my vote. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is
willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here
in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned
and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your
face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we
complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round,
election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a
stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to
take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of
Florida and stop voting for these ‘paid for’ career politicians that are
only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians.
Even if it’s just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of
the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours
and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the
face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do
what is right for our (yours and your children’s) future and vote for
Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the
word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very
powerful. Visit his website today
Dan Ray
10:41AM SEP 4TH 2014
Right you are Chris! I have donated money and time. Got my 58th vote for him this morning! Just getting started!
Steve Hough
10:36AM SEP 3RD 2014
I could not agree more, and the word is getting out.
A-Hole Adelson
6:20AM SEP 3RD 2014
STOP GOP terrorism against Veterans using Medical Marijuana for PTSD.
Republicans are alcoholic hypocrites, bigots and thugs...
Dan Ray
10:43AM SEP 4TH 2014
Not all of them - we need all the Liberty minded republicans, and there are many! Let's go and get them, and convince them to break away from the phonies!

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