The Last Word (for Now) on Fran Powers

This week’s issue of The New Yorker has a wrap-up on everyone’s favorite almost-candidate of the Libertarian Party, Fran Powers of Staten Island. As everyone knows by now, Fran got a ton of media attention for seeking to run against his father, Republican Frank Powers, for the 13th Congressional District seat on Staten Island. Alas, Fran lost the nomination to his very worthy challenger, Susan Overeem.

Fran’s comments to The New Yorker provide some insight into why the nominating contest went the way it did:

Since announcing his candidacy, Powers has struck a fiery tone suggesting less a party line, or even a reformist line, than an everyman’s annoyance with government in general. He says he wants to abolish tolls on the Verrazano Bridge for city residents, increase the number of hospitals on the island, and improve public transportation. “I don’t want to rag on Staten Island, but we’ve got too much development here, crap development there, mismanagement all over the place,” he said. He was pleased by the government’s role in redeveloping the fishing pier down on Midland Beach: “I love that place. They’ve got cleaning stations and everything. And, you know, the people there eat the fish. I’ve seen it myself.”

Railing against “too much [private] development” while praising government projects is, of course, no way to win a Libertarian nomination. Fran isn’t entirely off-base when he complains that “Libertarians just want to talk dogma.” More to the point, ideological parties tend to place an emphasis on ideology. Sometimes we’re human and go for the easy publicity of a high-profile libertarian-leaning candidate, but I’m proud that most of the time we make the hard choice to put our principles first.

But as free-marketeers, Libertarians also love competition. Fran says he plan “to start a new party, called the Free Party, ‘as in, the free party—get it?'”  I wish Fran and the Free Party nothing but success.

2 comments for “The Last Word (for Now) on Fran Powers

  1. Vlad
    June 23, 2008 at 7:47 pm


    http://www.nypost.com/seven/06232008/news/regionalnews/death_of_si_pol_rocks_gop_116790.htm

    In case you missed today’s papers, the Fran/Frank Powers for Congress campaign took yet another fateful turn over the weekend when the elder Mr. Powers died of a heart attack in his sleep. Poor Fran. I know that while the two were at odds this will be painful for him.

    I saw Fran yesterday and picked up some 4th Of July Compilation CD’s and he was clueless. His father had passed away the night before and no one on that side of the family tree bothered to tell him about it. The fucking NY Post once again showed itself to uphold the journalistic integrity of a Gristede’s shopping bag when they published this snide remark;

    “Noticeably absent was Fran Powers, the pol’s Libertarian son, who had planned to run against his dad for the congressional seat.”

    What pieces of shit, had they just called the man and asked he would have told him that he only found about the bad news because of NY1. The man’s father just died, is this the best time to take a political swipe at him?

    My condolences go out to the whole family. I think there is a lesson in all of this. I feel bad.

    Here’s a couple sites:
    The New Yorkerhttp://www.newyorker.com/online/2008/06/23/080623on_onlineonly_howe

    some blog (I think I took that picture):
    http://www.236.com/news/2008/06/10/meet_your_local_politician_sta_7055.php

  2. Mark Axinn
    June 20, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Fran should run for local office–he’d make a great City Council rep. next year.

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