Candidates Featured Nonpartisan Spotlight

Despite Transparency, There’s More Than Meets the Eye – Noah Dyer (AZ)

Our politicians seem to hide their personal lives from us so well that we truly don’t know who they are. Only after a major scandal or legal action do we get to fling open their closet doors and see the many skeletons piled inside.

Fortunately, Arizona has a man running for governor who decided to open his closet for public viewing, and the media took notice.

Unfortunately, the media fell victim to tunnel vision — staring at the closet and never checking out the owner. They never took a chance to learn who this Independent candidate was and what he stands for, meaning Arizonans were being let down.

That’s where we step in. Below is our interview with the man with the see-through closet door, Noah Dyer. Read it and see if he is worth your vote.

Free Wheel Media – Please tell us why you’re running for governor.

Noah Dyer – Arizona lacks genuine political leadership. Our elected officials violate the sacred trust we place in them to look out for our best interests. They place their personal wealth and power above their loyalty to the people and their responsibility to empower us to live prosperously. They quibble about ideological differences instead of creating an environment where everyone can succeed.

I will provide leadership that is loyal to the people. I will stand beside them and won’t shift alliances with every political wind or negative news cycle. I will stop abuses and loopholes that let people and companies get more out of the system than they put in. I understand and will honor our sacred expectation of selfless leadership. I will stand up to the bullies and speak for those without a strong voice, especially our children. I am the leader that has the right priorities for a prosperous, rewarding future.

Free Wheel Media – Why run as an Independent?

Noah Dyer – Growing up I wasn’t constantly bullied, but I experienced my fair share. I was always younger than most kids in my grade, and I was incredibly skinny. In 9th grade biology, I sat one row in front of the girl I thought was the most beautiful girl in the whole freshman class. She sat next to a kid who was super handsome and stocky: everything I wasn’t. Wanting to impress her in a way that only a high school freshman could think of, he would spit on the back of my neck.

I was brought up not to fight, and also not to snitch, so I was in something of a bind. But one day I’d had enough. In order to get a rise out of me, I guess he needed to get closer. The teacher turned his back on the class, and he saw his opportunity. He stood up, leaned across his desk, and got close enough that I could sense his face very near to the back of my head.

Prior to this moment, I’d never imagined that such an opportunity would present itself, but when I saw the opening, I knew what I had to do. I quickly leaned forward in my chair, and with all my might threw my head and body backward, headbutting him in the face with the back of my head.

The Republican and Democratic parties have been spitting on Arizona voters for too long. At the end of 2016, I decided to headbutt them in the face. That’s why I’m running as an Independent. And because voters see all the same partisan abuses I do, I believe they’re ready to be part of the epic retaliation against the status quo that my campaign represents.

Free Wheel Media – Are you targeting any specific voters?

Noah Dyer –  I am a centrist with a slight right lean. My campaign obviously appeals to independents, but it also appeals to Republicans and Democrats who are tired of bankrupt partisan leadership. Voters want their elected officials to get things done. They don’t want empty rhetoric, broken promises, and blame. Anyone who disagrees that those are the dominant results of the current political climate is not going to vote for me in November.

My values align very well with the principles that conservatives care most about, though I’ve found that many people on the left also agree with these values:

  • The government has to pay for the things it buys when it buys them. And for every challenge we face, we are likely to get the best results if we confront and overcome the challenge with as little government as possible.
  • We must be very careful about making massive changes to our time-honored traditions and institutions.
  • We must sustain our leaders and work with them for a brighter future, rather than against them.

My platform has many specifics that Republican, Democrats can be just as excited about as Independents and people registered to 3rd parties, even though they may traditionally be thought of as progressive issues:

  • Strong public schools
  • A commitment to celebrating Arizona’s diversity
  • Allowing all adults the freedom to consume cannabis responsibly

So I truly am a candidate for moderate voters from across the political spectrum.

Free Wheel Media – We noticed some of those values on your campaign website, noahdyer.com. Your website goes into quite detail about the social issues, but we noticed it skimmed over the economic ones. Can you explain a bit about your economic policy for us?

Noah Dyer –  We will be releasing a comprehensive economic policy sometime around early March. But I can summarize it right now.

  • As Governor, I will focus on economic growth by promoting the interests of local small businesses and entrepreneurs. What matters is that we stop trying to grow by begging big companies from the East and West Coast to build a branch here. Let’s stop giving big tax breaks to out of state companies, and start giving them to mom and pop businesses in Arizona.
  • Make sure that government contracts go to small businesses and entrepreneurs, not political cronies who make millions from contracts that rob the people.
  • Aggressively pay down state debt.
  • Investigate creative opportunities to make more localities self-sufficient and create a culture of incubation and investment (more specifics on these when the full policy is released, but we love things like Gangplank and FABRiC).

Free Wheel Media – One comprehensive plan you already released is your education plan, which our readers can find here. Can you tell us more about this?

Noah Dyer – I think Arizona needs a great education system, and I think we need to collect revenue to support that goal. But I’m not so passionate about education that I would ask my grandkids to pay for my kids’ education, which is what paying for education with state debt does. It is nothing short of immoral, and politicians from the parties have shown themselves to be cowards when it comes to balancing the budget.

Free Wheel Media – Obviously, funding the education without state debt is where the complexity lies. We noticed you had a very creative funding idea for this. For readers, here’s what Mr. Dyer proposes:

At just over $7500 each, Arizona is 48th in per-student spending in K-12. This is strongly correlated with our bottom 10 rankings by many measures of academic achievement. We have still not returned to our 2009 funding levels.

To achieve rank 25 in per-student spending, putting us just barely in the top half of states, we need to increase student spending to $11,000 per student, an increase of $3500. In a class of 20 students, that’s an additional $70,000 per year to help ensure our students have great outcomes! With about 1.1 million students that’s almost $4 billion that must come either through additional revenue collection or redistribution from other programs.

While I do support trimming expenses in other areas, there are not enough programs to be cut to make a significant dent in this goal. However, we do not have to create new taxes. Rather, we simply have to close tax loopholes and fairly enforce the taxes that already exist.

The Arizona Department of Revenue generates a report on the value of tax loopholes, which they call tax “expenditures.” They’ve determined that tax loopholes cost Arizonans over $13 billion annually. In fact, there are over $1 billion dollars in loopholes that escape the prop 301 education tax. We don’t have to close all remaining loopholes to pay for education, just about 25% of them.

So with the above Mr. Dyer, why close only 25% of loopholes? Why stop there?

Noah Dyer – Unlike most current politicians, I understand that we can’t simply get what we want – there are others at the table with whom we have to work to get things done. Promising to eliminate 100% of tax loopholes would be overly ambitious, and is not necessary to achieve the educational goals that are the context of this initiative.

By targeting the top 25% we can work with legislators to determine which loopholes should be eliminated that will make the most significant improvements. It is conceivable that the legislature will want to cut loopholes that I don’t personally find egregious while leaving some of the loopholes that I would have eliminated first. This is a tradeoff I’m willing to make in order to ensure we strengthen the education system.

Free Wheel Media – Staying on the topic of education, we noticed you have quite a forward-thinking idea about adding the new language of computer programming to the public education curriculum. Can you explain the thought behind this?

Noah Dyer – 100 years after the invention of the printing press, most people couldn’t read or write. At that time, no one would have been able to understand what a literate society would mean. Today, though most of us are not professional readers (e.g. news anchors) or professional writers (e.g. journalists and novelists), the fact that we can read and write is amazingly beneficial.

2018 is to computer programming as 1518 was to reading and writing.

While today, millions of people have employed writing, we do not learn to read and write because we expect that it will be our primary vocation. Rather, we learn because it benefits us in myriad ways – chats, emails, thank you notes, business proposals, to do lists, calendar entries, facebook video subtitles, billboards, flyers, airline schedules, maps, bank statements, instruction manuals, etc.

I certainly can’t fully predict the ways in which a programming-literate society would make use of that talent in the day to day life, but I am confident it would get used, and the results will be spectacular. Not to mention the growth of jobs that employs people full-time as programmers.

Free Wheel Media – Obviously, we have to touch on what’s made you famous — your radical transparency. Why did you do this in the first place? Why take this risk?

Noah Dyer – My initial comments about my life were not meant to be salacious but to show that I am an honest and transparent person, and to prevent political opponents from creating a scandalous storyline when none exists.

Bottom line, people can continue to vote for politicians who espouse puritanical virtues yet have a high probability of being hypocrites, advocating for bad policy, and making backroom deals.

Or, they can vote for people who understand they are mere mortals and are committed to working transparently on policies that truly benefit the people of Arizona.

 

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