LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Lisa Lane Gioia is the Libertarian running for Michigan Attorney General. To see her opponents' responses to the same questions, click here.
*Responses have been lightly edited for grammar
1. Tell us about your personal life and your personal background.
I was born and raised here in the Metro Detroit area, lived and worked in Japan for 11 years, and returned to Michigan in 2002 and founded my own small business that specializes in the translation of intellectual property law documents and patent applications from Japanese into English. Because it is my own company, I have no choice but to be a workaholic, but, when I do take time out, I am usually spending time with friends and family.
2. What inspired you to run?
I have been a Libertarian since my return to the U.S., and am horrified by the increasing powers that all levels of government have assumed, effectively robbing us of our rights and the fruits of our labor through taxes. The law is our only line of defense against violations and abuses of our rights, not only from other citizens, but from government and overzealous law enforcement officials as well. I felt, and feel, compelled to work to protect all of us Michiganders from such violations, and am therefore applying for the position of Attorney General.
3. What are the biggest issues affecting Michigan on which you can make an impact?
Our political climate is becoming increasingly polarized to the extent that it has become dangerous as has been evidenced by recent events. As a Libertarian who is not swayed by the (ever-changing and self-serving) policies of the entrenched major parties, I can ensure that the law is being applied justly without bias toward a political goal or to satisfy special interests. The interpretation and application of the law are not to be tampered with or toyed with by politicians playing their political games which merely end up serving their interests and dividing our country further.
4. What will be your biggest priority if you are elected?
Should Proposal 1 pass, the ensuring of a smooth transition to new laws, including the release of those incarcerated for non-violent, cannabis-related crimes, is a main task. Other priorities include auto insurance reform, the elimination of civil asset forfeiture, and a reduction in occupational licensing requirements.
5. What experiences will make you an effective Attorney General?
I truly believe that it has been forgotten that officials are public servants – they should be there to serve us, the citizens, and not the other way around. As a business owner, I have no choice but to respond to the demands of my client – why should government be run under less exacting standards? My business experience will allow me to lead the team of attorneys and investigators at the Office to prioritize the needs of the citizens, which is the essential role of the Attorney General.
6. What characteristics or principles will make you an effective Attorney General?
Libertarianism is based on two basic principles: (1) the non-aggression principle, which is essentially ‘don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff,’ and (2) the principle of self-ownership, which equates to ‘live and let live.’ The application of these principles demands respect for others, and respect for the rights of others to their lives, property, freedoms and choices. This is not merely a political philosophy for me; these are tenets that I aspire to and try my best to live my life by.
7. What will most inform your decisions as Attorney General?
Decisions must be made on the basis of well-researched facts, evidence and scientific and statistical reports, all while referring to and deferring to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Politics has no place in the law. Even legal precedents may have been tainted by the biases of previous officials and administrations, and should be evaluated before being applied.
8. What is the most important duty of an Attorney General?
Carrying out the duties of the office (the protection of citizens) on the basis of the principles outlined in above answer 6 and in accordance with the guidelines mentioned in above answer 7. In other words, the Attorney General has an obligation to protect the citizens of the state by making sure that laws are applied to defend citizens’ rights and not to take them away.
9. What is the most important trait of an Attorney General?
The wisdom to apply the law while maintaining that delicate balance between keeping the law to its intended scope of protecting persons from violations, abuses and fraud, without expanding the range of the law so that it infringes on individuals’ natural rights to life, property and liberty – all this while fending-off attempts from legislators who would pervert the law to their own political ends.
10. Why should people vote for you?
The Attorney General should be non-partisan, should not be beholden to special interests (my campaign is completely self-financed), and should make judgments while keeping in mind, as the number-one priority, individual rights and citizens’ rights so as to aggressively pursue prosecution of those who violate the law and aggressively work to obtain restitution for victims. I would do that with the sound work ethic obtained from my business experience, and would demand nothing less than that from the workers at the Office of the Attorney General: letting them know that our duty is to serve the citizens of Michigan – not govern over them.