Michael E. Arth, NPA candidate for Florida governor, stopped by the offices of the Independent News after biking the state from Key West to Pensacola. Arth made his mark in Deland, Florida where he and his wife moved in 2001 and bought 32 crumbling homes and businesses in what was then known as “Cracktown” and successfully turned the neighborhood into Downtown DeLand’s Historic Garden District.
His bike ride took him along Florida’s eastern coast to Jacksonville, then to Tallahassee and finishing along Highway 98 on the Gulf Coast. “I met a lot of Floridians in an intimate fashion, starting with a parade in Key West and ending with a meeting at Pensacola City Hall,” Arth said.
Arth lamented the lack of real debate over the issues. His campaign flyer has the slogans: “The status quo has got to go,” “We need real change,” and “End the two-party duopoly.” He talked with us about this nation’s energy policy, which he believes is being determined by the big oil companies like BP and Exxon.
“Richard Nixon started Project Independent and we’re are still dependent on foreign oil,” said Arth. “If 40 years ago we made a serious investment in energy, we could be an energy exporter. The oil companies are holding us hostage.”
Arth told me about his confrontation with a Glenn Beck fan outside the First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach. “She saw my flyer that said ‘I want my democracy back!’ and told me ‘We have a republic’ and started to give me the lines from Beck that only the good people were supposed to lead our country and we’ve watered down our republic by letting more people participate.” Arth strongly disagrees and believes instead we should have more proportional representation.
I asked Arth what his plans are now after biking the state. “I plan to see my wife,” Arth said with a smile.
Here is his campaign website. We will have more of the interview in August 5 issue of the IN.