FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2019

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

Contact: Souraya Faas
sourayafaas@gmail.com

 

Souraya Faas

MIAMI – Marcos Miralles, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, announced today the newest convert to the LPF, Souraya Faas, Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee Committeewoman for Dist. 32.

“As a Libertarian, I want to highlight the party and show people that they are Libertarians,” Faas said today. “I registered Republican since I was 18 because I thought I had to choose between one of the two major parties. But I’ve always considered myself a libertarian because I was conservative about some things, and moderate about others. I was in the Republican Liberty Caucus.”

Increasingly, politicians are choosing Libertarian to run for office. Faas joins Coconut Grove Village Councilwoman Courtney Omega as the latest

Souraya Faas with Marcos Miralles

South Florida politician to switch from Republican to Libertarian Party during the past year. In 2012, Gov. Gary Johnson left the Republican Party to run for president as a Libertarian.

Faas, 37, has been active in politics most of her life. In 2016, she ran for president as a write-in Independent in 2016, but lost her lawsuit to get on the ballot in Texas. At the time, she was the youngest person and the first person of Arab descent to run for the office. Last year, she made a bid for U.S. Congress, but lost to incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo in the Republican Primary.

During the 2018 campaign, Faas denounced the U.S. intervention in the Syrian War and praised a House Democrat who opposed U.S. military involvement.

“Time and time again we see history repeating itself where, in the name of freedom and peace, wars have been provoked and fought for special interests,” she wrote in a RT op ed piece last year.[1]

“The Libertarian Party is a place where diversity is valued and a place where everyone works together to enhance our community’s quality of life,” Miralles said.

Faas says she will continue to seek public office. “I feel like people have lost the perception of what it’s like to be a politician,” Faas said to the Miami Herald last year. [2]

“Politicians are no longer what they used to be: for the people,” she said today. “They are more worried about getting re-elected and listening to special interests than they are about listening to the people.”

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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[1] Divide & conquer: America’s blueprint for ‘world peace’ simply a roadmap to disaster

[2] Miami congressional candidate says chemical attacks in Syria were staged

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mar 15, 2019

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

MIAMI – Imagine driving down the street and you take a swig of coffee: you may soon get a ticket for doing that. Imagine driving down the street and looking over to check on your child in the backseat: you could get a ticket for doing that.

Now, just imagine doing just about anything you do now while driving. You may soon get a ticket for that.

Two pieces of legislation moving quickly through the Florida House and Senate would indeed give law enforcement the right to stop and ticket any driver for doing anything except driving. The so-called “Driving While Distracted” legislation seeks to curb hazardous driving by making it a traffic offense to doing anything that may cause distraction. Law enforcement would not need any other reason to stop a motorist.

The legislation on the House side is House Bill 107 – “An Act Relating To The Use Of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving.” On the Senate side is the revised Senate Bill 76 – “Florida Driving While Distracted Law.” Both have moved through committee review and could soon be voted on by the Legislature.[i][ii]

It’s important to understand how far-reaching these proposals would be. Indeed they would make Florida among the most restricted-driving states in the entire county. Activities prevented include:

  • Reading;
  • Writing;
  • Grooming;
  • Applying beauty products;
  • Interacting with pets and unsecured cargo;
  • Using personal wireless communications devices, which includes talking on cellphones.

Soon illegal?

This means if a law enforcement officer believes the motorist is distracted by something, they may stop and cite the driver even if that driver is not violating any current motor vehicle laws. The fine would be $30 plus $10.50 in administrative assessments.

Currently, only texting while driving is banned in Florida, and then, only as a “secondary offense.” That means a law enforcement officer may not stop a driver just for texting unless in conjunction with another offence. HB 107 would allow LEOs to stop a driver solely for texting, talking on a cellphone or taking a sip of coffee.  In the event of a vehicle accident with injuries or death, motorists would be required to turn over cellphone bills and other private records.

 

DISCUSSION

The Libertarian Party of Florida opposes this legislation which represents a deep invasion into the privacy of safe motorists. Most studies show most of us can talk on a cellphone without endangering other motorists. This bill presumes we cannot with no justification to back that presumption. Due to the difficulty in prosecuting this proposed law, more motorists may choose to fight these citations in court but they could face revealing their cell-phone records.

In general, this type of regulation represents wrong-minded approaches to social ills. The issue we should focus on is irresponsible motorists who are unable to safely control their moving vehicles, regardless of the reason. This bill attempts to control behavior in the semi-privacy of one’s vehicle. For most of us, our motoring outcomes are just fine even if we talk on the phone or pet a pet. For some, their motoring outcome is not so good for any reason. These are the motorists who need to be held responsible for the results they create.

It bears mentioning this approach is not dissimilar to many laws that seek to prohibit actions rather than hold offenders accountable. It is bad drivers, not laws that harm others.[iii] Our focus should be on drivers who are incapable of controlling their vehicle for existing conditions. They should be held accountable for their poor behavior in some manner but not at the infringement of the other, more responsible motorists.

The Libertarian Party of Florida opposes HB 107 and CS for C S for SB 76 and urges the state increase responsibility not regulation.

We urge all Floridians to contact their local Legislators to oppose these proposals. To help find your local Representative and Senator, try this handy tool: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

 

References

[i] CS/CS/SB 76: Driving While Distracted

[ii] HB 107: Use of Wireless Communications Devices while Driving

[iii] LPF Platform – IV Public Safety

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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