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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dale Kerns is the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, and he wants you to know this:
“To me, the Republicans and Democrats, at least the ones that are in Washington DC, they’re exactly the same,” Kerns told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Meaning he offers the only real alternative to Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Lou Barletta.
“Congressman Barletta and Sen. Casey are exactly the same,” he says.
So how is a Libertarian different?
Delano: “What is a Libertarian?”
Kerns: “A Libertarian is somebody who believes you should live your life your way, provided you respect the rights and property of others. It really is that simple. We all have different viewpoints on different issues, but ultimately, don’t want to use force to achieve an end result.”
Libertarians believe government should leave you alone, and that, says Kerns, means a smaller federal government.
“If I was elected to Washington DC, I would go to shrink the size and scope of government every step of the way and get government back to its constitutional roots,” he says.
Like ending the ability of presidents to wage wars without congressional approval, says Kerns.
“Right now, the president, no matter who he is, Republican or Democrat, they’re waging war all across the globe. I would bring war powers back to Congress,” Kerns said.
And Kerns has strong views on the bill of rights.
Delano: “Does Congress have the power to ban assault weapons?”
Kerns: “No. Not at all. Congress has no power to do so.”
Delano: “Does Congress have the power to require background checks?”
Kerns: “Congress has no power to do so.”
Although he says he’s personally pro-life, Kerns would never legislate in this area.
“I have a wife and two daughters, and I would personally never tell them not to do, what to do with their body or how to do it,” he said.
Kerns and his family live outside Philadelphia, but the Liberatarian says he has ties to Pittsburgh.
“My father went to Robert Morris College. For years I would come here to Robert Morris College and play in softball tournaments in the dome. So I’ve been coming here for years,” he said.
State law makes it tough for third party candidates to get on the ballot, which explains why in so many races, your choice is limited to a Republican or a Democrat.
This year in both the U.S. Senate race and Governor’s race, a Green Party and Libertarian candidate are on the ballot.
But in the 50 races for Congress and General Assembly in this region, three races have an alternative to the Democrat or Republican.
In recent times, Libertarians have never gotten more than three or four percent of the total vote.
Kerns hopes to change that.