Congress After Ron Paul

Meet the men seeking to fill Dr. No’s shoes

(Page 6 of 6)

reason: Any one particular thing set you off?

Bentivolio: The one thing doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be that one straw that breaks the camel’s back. I’m a rancher, and the state came out and said I have got to do a fence inspection once a month and turn in reports to them once a year. Now why would the governor of the state of Michigan think I’d allow $35,000 worth of animals to roam free in the neighborhood? Another personal issue that worked me up was requiring me to have a license for animals on my property for 15 years. Why are they doing this? Did I do something wrong?

[On a national level], the NDAA Section 1021, that’s a real travesty. I’m a veteran of three wars, and I saw some things I didn’t agree with, but something is really wrong here.

reason: What formed your beliefs about politics?

Bentivolio: I was a teacher, taught American literature. I knew about the radical writers of the late 18th century—Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin. I taught social studies and taught about three branches of government that were supposed to be checking and balancing [each other]. Now the government’s just writing the checks and we are getting the balance. 

reason: What committee assignments did you get?

Bentivolio: Small Business, which will help our district quite a bit, and Oversight and Government Reform. I was very interested in Armed Services [but] we don’t have a military installation in the district so that was a shot in the dark. 

reason: How do you see being on Small Business as helping your district?

Bentivolio: People might expect their congressmen to have all the answers but to be quite frank I don’t have all the answers. We’ve got two ears and one mouth so we can listen more than we talk. I’d like to have a roundtable, a council of businessmen from my district come and meet and instead of the congressman telling them, let them tell the congressman what their concerns are. I work for them—why should I be the person with all the answers?

reason: When thinking about what your constituents might want from you, will you be mindful of constitutional limits on government power?

Bentivolio: Absolutely, you have to think about not what laws you can pass but what you can repeal. I will spend lots of time looking for what you can repeal.

My job is to protect rights, not take them away, and if [any law is] violating a right in the Constitution I can’t vote for it. But I have to be very diplomatic. I have to be a bridge between conservative constitution-minded Republicans and some of the middle-of-the-road [people].

I’d like to be that middleman, a Ronald Reagan type. I worked for Reagan in ’80 at the convention here in Detroit. One reason I think I won this election was I could bridge the gap with common issues that Tea Party folk and liberty folk in the district had in common; every [Michigan] Tea Party group supported me. Liberty folk came out in droves, worked hard door-to-door. The Republican Liberty Caucus group—I firmly subscribe to what [they stand for]. Not going to create departments, going to eliminate them; not going to raise taxes, but do everything in my power to eliminate them; not violate people’s rights, but protect them.

reason: Do you see a role for yourself as a national liberty movement leader, not just a representative for your district?

Bentivolio: It is not a goal to be a national leader. I greatly admire Ron Paul, he’s a legend, but asking me to fill his role.…

[In the election someone] called me “Ron Paul on steroids.” I am not Ron Paul on steroids. Those are big shoes to fill, and there’s no way.…He’s an inspiration and someone I greatly respect.

I’m a regular guy who managed to get elected. You can say it was because McCotter mismanaged things, but I think it was divine providence. But I’m just going to Congress to do my job. I don’t want to be president or speaker of the House. I don’t even care to be chair of a committee. I really don’t want to be a national spokesman. I just want to represent the people of the 11th district the best way I can. I’d like to be a citizen-legislator, do my job and then go home, but I’m not going to [term limit myself] with a hard deadline. If the citizens of the district think I’m doing a good job and want me to stay, that’s entirely up to them. I’m 61, and when the time comes I will groom someone to take my place. I’m going to raise the bar on constituent services. I’ll know I’ve done a good job when other congressmen tell freshmen, “If you want to know what to do with constituent services, see Bentivolio—he’s got it down to a science.”

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  • A Frayed Knot||

    Next up, Brian Doherty After Ron Paul.

  • Mike M.||

    Ted Yoho would be a great name for a pirate.

  • CE||

    I'm takin' shore leave, with my buddy, some booze, and a girl we met in port. It'll just be me, Yo Ho, Ho, and a bottle of rum.

  • The Derider||

    Just like Ron Paul and his son Rand, none of these men believe that personal freedom includes a woman's right to get an abortion. And just like Ron Paul and his son rand, all these men get no critical questioning on the issue from Reason.

  • iggy||

    If you believe abortion is murder, then that trumps a woman's right to choose. I don't necessarily agree with them, but there is nothing unlibertarian about being against abortion.

    So why should Reason care?

  • The Derider||

    Apparently Reason shouldn't care when someone's religious faith causes them to pass laws which force women to bear children they do not want.

    Of course there's something unlibertarian about the state criminalizing abortion.

  • MSD62581||

    Laws against abortion really don't "force" women to do this. Crimes aren't crimes until after they have been committed. It is really not correct to identify the pro-choice movement with libertarianism considering the big government that is wrapped up in the pro-choice lobby. We are funding Planned Parenthood to the tune of half a billion dollars a year. There's nothing libertarian about that.

  • The Derider||

    Hahaha, yeah, the threat of state violence does not "force" anyone to do anything! Feel free not to pay your taxes, because that's not illegal until you do it.

    I like the honesty in the second answer, though. Libertarians can't oppose abortion restrictions because democrats do, too. Team red 4 life!

  • MSD62581||

    Actually it doesn't use force. No one is advocating for state violence to force a woman to give birth. Again, crimes aren't crimes until after they happen.

  • The Derider||

    So the state doesn't use force to make you pay income taxes because tax evasion isn't a crime until after it happens?

    The state doesn't use force to prohibit drugs because drug sales are only crimes after they occur?

    This argument is terrible.

  • MSD62581||

    The state can't infringe on your liberties in order to prevent some future crime from happening. Also, tax evasion is not a violent crime that is committed against an individual. Your analogy does not hold up.

  • MSD62581||

    Your assessment that I think that libertarians shouldn't oppose abortion restrictions because of Democrats do the same thing is misguided and incorrect. My objection to this is because the issuing of tax dollars to abortion clinics is fundamentally un-libertarian. It is forced government compassion that comes from the point of a gun. This of course, is not compassion at all. If opposing abortion is a symptom of being on "team red for life," then wouldn't support for abortion on demand be a symptom of a "team blue for life" mentality?

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    Some Libertarians believe that abortion violates the non-agression principle, and is inherently illegitimate. By "critical questioning" do you mean initiating dialogue or "calling them out" on it? I believe the latter to be a bit presumptuous.

  • The Derider||

    Of course you won't see either one.

  • MSD62581||

    Very true. Laurence Vance addressed it pretty well here.

  • The Derider||

    He says that his opposition to abortion is rooted in his faith and the bible. What a comforting reason to support state restrictions on personal liberty.

  • MSD62581||

    Once again, being pro-life is not desiring a state restriction on liberty. And I'm pretty sure people use the things they believe in to formulate their opinions all the time. It doesn't make it "dangerous" for religion to be among those reasons.

  • The Derider||

    Vance writes: libertarians should not only be opposed to abortion, but in favor of making it a criminal act just like murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, assault, and robbery would be in any libertarian society based on the non-aggression principle.

    He favors the state imprisoning abortion doctors and their patients. Why? Because Jesus said so. That's clearly the pro-liberty position.

  • MSD62581||

    Pretty sure he doesn't say anything about imprisoning patients. He concedes that he is not sure as to how abortion should be treated if it were to be made a crime. But he also says he is not exactly sure how each state should treat other crimes in which a victim is harmed. Ultimately this decision should be made at the state level. The Bible/Jesus also spoke of not murdering and stealing. Are laws against these things also illegitimate?

  • Renfred43||

    my best friend's mom makes $70/hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her income was $18311 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site http://www.FLY38.COM

  • CE||

    You know the IRS monitors this site, right?

  • CE||

    Dude, 18311 at 70 an hour is over 260 hours in a month. That's over 65 hours per week. Who wants to work for a slave driver?

  • ||


  • John C. Randolph||

    Boehner is probably the #2 example of the kind of asshole the Republican party needs to get rid of, if they ever want to be credible again. #1 is a tie between John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Willard was #1, but since he lost the election, he doesn't matter anymore.


  • Roderick||

    Liam. I can see what your saying... Frank`s remark is terrific, I just got a great Car from having earned $9986 this-past/four weeks and-over, 10-k this past munth. it's actualy the nicest-work Ive ever had. I actually started six months/ago and almost straight away began to earn over $87 per-hour. I went to this website,, http://www.FLY38.COM

  • Brand||

    Well now I'm just baffled, who the hell is Liam?

  • ||

    Amash: "I was elected to Congress to follow the Constitution"

    Ok, let's follow its seventh article and think logically about it until we understand a painful truth: Article VII is not law before "Establishment" of the Constitution of which it is part. So you are prohibited from using it to know that ratification is sufficient or that conventions may be involved in establishment. Furthermore, that article would be superfluous even if the Constitution were established. So there is no justification for having included Article VII in the text.

  • دردشة بغدادية||

    Nicest chat and chat Iraqi entertaining Adject all over the world


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