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Katherine Youngblood Glass: The TT Interview

The Libertarian Party's gubernatorial candidate talked to the Tribune on Friday about why more Texans should be armed, why same-sex unions should be allowed and her admittedly slim chances of dethroning Gov. Rick Perry.

Katherine Youngblood Glass

The easy part for Katherine "Kathie" Youngblood Glass was securing the gubernatorial nomination of the Libertarian Party of Texas, which she did by a 3-to-1 margin over the party’s 2002 choice, Jeff Daiell, on June 13 in Austin. Glass, 56, a Houston trial lawyer, knows she has almost no shot of winning in a state where the most successful Libertarian candidate since 1992 mustered less than 1.5 percent of the vote.

Still, she's ready to do battle — on general principle — and she'll get her first shot at Democrat Bill White on July 5, at the candidate forum of the Kerrville League of Women Voters. Gov. Rick Perry won’t be there — he has refused to debate unless White releases more of his tax returns — but Texans thirsting for right-leaning rhetoric on states' rights, gun control and secure borders won't be disappointed by Glass.

In some ways, Libertarians combine elements of far-right and far-left ideologies: They want government out of most everything, and definitely anything that leads to high taxes or reams of regulation. She admits that her party's platform sounds, in some ways, like that of the Republicans. The main difference between the two, she told the Tribune on Friday, is that the Republican Party has never lived up to its limited-government rhetoric — her party does. Or would, if only its candidates could get enough votes to break the stranglehold of the two-party system.

In the wake of Perry’s now-famous remarks at a Tea Party rally in April 2009, some advocates for states’ rights have been unjustly labeled “secessionists,” Glass says. In reality, rising anti-government sentiment in Texas and elsewhere harkens back to a time when the “constitutional framework of federalism” was respected.

Glass does see a role for government in securing the Texas border, espousing the “boots-on-the-ground” campaign embraced by the major parties to varying degrees. But she says those boots should instead be filled members of the Texas State Guard, an agency she called a "gem" and that she came to appreciate after the 9/11 attacks.

Like most hard-liners on immigration, Glass wants to cut off all state services to non-citizens and advocates for aggressive prosecution of aliens accused of crimes on U.S. soil. Glass acknowledges, however, that many immigrants enter the country seeking peace and productivity. They are “people, just like everybody else,” she says — but there's no room in Texas for people who don’t follow protocol and enter the U.S. illegally.

On the issue of gay marriage, Glass is resolute: Don’t deny Texans their fundamental right to enter in to whatever partnership they like with whomever they like, including those between same-sex couples. Texas faces far more important concerns, she says, than what two men or two women do behind closed doors.

After the state made legalized concealed handguns, many feared a surge in violent crimes. But that's been disproven, Glass says, and that's why the state should focus less on licensing and more on arming citizens who want to be armed.

Libertarians — despite their minuscule chances of winning — often have proven to be spoilers in down-ballot races. In 2008, several House members, mostly Democrats, likely were helped because a Libertarian candidate pulled a votes away from the Republican candidate. Glass declined to say which party she would help or hurt this time, saying it’s up to Democrats and Republicans alike to pay attention what's missing from their messages.

If losing is all but assured, why run at all? Because the Libertarian Party “is committed to giving the best effort it can," Glass says.

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Courts Criminal justice State government 2010 elections Bill White Gay marriage Governor's Office Griffin Perry Guns In Texas Rick Perry Texas House of Representatives Texas Legislature