In the Second installment of the 2016 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Mark Miller, candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission. He is a Libertarian.
Please note: Responses are directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but may be considered during the endorsement process.
TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot and the office that you are seeking in 2016?
MM: Mark Miller
Texas Railroad Commissioner
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
MM: Government has a primary responsibility to protect the rights, liberties, property, and common resources of its citizenry. Good governance simply requires that those goals be effectively executed.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
MM: My top priority will be to seek ways through both rule-making and legislation to provide a better balance between surface property rights vs. subsurface mineral rights and between property rights vs. commercial rights. The dominance of both mineral rights and commercial rights have serious implications for things that are sorely in need of reform – e.g., urban drilling, eminent domain authority of common carrier pipelines, and seismic activity triggered by wastewater injection. These issues are bound to increase in importance as the State’s shale resources are developed in the future. The time to address them is now.
TL: Recent years in American Politics have yielded an environment of hyper-partisanship, the results of which have often led to government inefficiency, and sometimes total government gridlock. Describe how you plan to break through this partisan gridlock for the good of your constituents, and work with those from differing political ideologies.
MM: Texas government has little gridlock because of one-party dominance in our State. But even where the two parties manage to vie for power, gridlock is exacerbated by the duopolistic nature of our current politics. Partisan deadlock can best be dealt with by ensuring that three or more parties share political power. This is one of the main reasons I am running for office as a Libertarian and not as either a Republican or Democrat.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
MM: Because of my petroleum engineering experience and expertise, I am far more qualified than anyone else running for Railroad Commissioner. I am also the only candidate who truly believes in limited government whose responsibilities should be focused solely on protecting public safety, our common natural resources, the rights of all property owners, and personal liberties.
I have also thought and written extensively about the Railroad Commission. My policy recommendations can be found on my website blog and in a recently-published book titled Oil & Gas and the Texas Railroad Commission: Lessons for Regulating a Free Society.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
MM: I like to spend my free time doing things with my grandchildren and working on our new house on five acres in Dripping Springs.
Thanks to Mr. Miller for the responses.
Election Day 2016 is Tuesday November 8th, and Early Voting runs from October 24th through November 4th. For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County. For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.