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When voters head to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, two names will stare them in the face for United States Representative in District 19: the well-known Republican incumbent Randy Neugebauer and Libertarian candidate Richard "Chip" Peterson.
Peterson is currently a Professor Emeritus at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He is a former Professor of Finance at the university, where he is also the holder of the I. Wylie and Elizabeth Briscoe chair of bank management.
While he considers himself a long shot, Peterson shared in a phone interview that he is running for office as a means to influence the vote. He has debated against Neugebauer in the past and he believes that his presence has already made a difference in regards to government spending.
Peterson criticized Neugebauer's support of the Patriot Act, which the Libertarian candidate says will take away citizens' Fourth Amendment rights. Another governmental concern of Peterson's is Neugebauer's support of the National Defense Authorization Act and two specific provisions within the act, which are currently an issue within the courts.
Peterson noted that one of the provisions will take away a person's right to "habeus corpus"--defined by dictionary.com as "a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, especially for investigation of a restraint of the person's liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment."
In addition, Peterson says that the act also authorizes that the United States military can be used against civilians. Democrats in Congress took measures to try and repeal the revisions, but Peterson says that his opponent voted to keep them in.
As a Libertarian, Peterson is a strong supporter of civil protections, which he says the National Defense Authorization Act goes against. He wants to warn voters about the act, which President Barack Obama used his executive order toward back in March of this year.
Peterson says that powers within the order are frightening, citing the act which points out that people can be placed into work camps, their resources can be seized and the possibility of total government control of the economy.
In addition, Peterson said that his party believes in limited government and holding onto the principles set by the Founding Fathers. Any kind of regulations, he believes, should be done at the state and local levels.
He urges voters to be careful with their vote, as he says people are gradually losing their freedoms. In regards to the National Defense Authorization Act, Peterson points out that Congressman Neugebauer voted in favor of the act.
In order to get his message and name across to voters, Peterson has toured the area and visited various places and events. On Monday, he made a stop in Abilene, with an appearance set for Tuesday on the professors' radio show in Abilene. He additionally is slated to appear at a meet-the-candidates event at Lubbock Christian University.
The Libertarian candidate says that voters tend to pay more attention to the election toward its end, thus prompting Peterson to travel and hopefully make a dent at the polls.
But his entry into politics, says Peterson, began as he started working on his book, "The REAL Social Security Problem: What Everyone Must Know Before It's Too Late". He states that the Social Security system can be easy to understand, in which his book gives readers a way to know how it works.
He also learned during his work on the book about politicians on both sides of the aisle wasting money. Peterson says that these funds must be invested wisely in order to prepare for the future.
With his discussion on economics and finance within the book--aided by stories and illustrations, Peterson says everyone can learn something from his book. While the book isn't on store shelves or being sold online, anyone who personally meets Peterson can get a copy of the book from him.
As he continues his travels of getting around and talking to people about the issues that affect him, Peterson says that he hopes voters will look at their civil liberties as they head to the polls. To learn more about Peterson and his stand on the issues, visit his website at www.chippeterson.com.