Grieving mother and patriot: Liberty Candidates founder Gigi Bowman

Danny de Gracia interviews one of the liberty movement’s leading voices, Gigi Bowman. Photo: Gigi Bowman is the founder of Liberty Candidates.

LONG ISLAND, NY, January 23, 2013 ― The rallying cry of the Ron Paul Revolution has been a call to action for some of the most sincere and idealistic people from all across the United States. Many of them have no prior experience in politics but feel a heartfelt mission to make a difference in a world needing desperate change. One such woman is Gigi Bowman, founder of the Liberty Candidates organization which helps unite libertarian minded people of all parties to get their message out and win elections.

Since founding Liberty Candidates in 2009, Bowman’s organization has fielded hundreds of candidates and given their message a national forum to be heard and recognized.

Bowman, who is one of the Ron Paul movement’s most dedicated organizers, entered politics following the tragic loss of her daughter in 2003 to prescription medication. She has been a dynamic advocate for such controversial topics as pharmaceutical reform, GMO labeling and many other issues that candidates and parties are too timid to challenge. Taking her advocacy to the next level, Bowman announced last week her intention to run for office, seeking the New York State Senate seat for District 5.

Gentle yet every bit a courageous mother figure, Bowman wrote in an announcement e-mail to supporters, “I have watched as the loss of liberty has become more and more apparent … I am stepping up today to run for office because I cannot sit back and watch any longer as our beautiful country and the freedoms and liberties that our founders fought so hard for are diminished daily by political parties and administrations that are working against the people, not for the people. While we are struggling to afford what we hope are fresh, healthy food for our children, our legislators spend their days doing photo-ops, ribbon cuttings and running photo contests about our environment instead of educating us about what is happening to our community – most likely they don’t even know themselves!”

I sought out Gigi Bowman for an interview to discuss what her take was on President Obama’s new term and how national politics would affect her candidacy and state policy. 

Danny de Gracia: Gigi, you’re the founder of Liberty Candidates and for years you’ve been active in supporting national and local campaigns, but now you’re running for state senate in New York! So tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got into politics and why you’ve decided to run for senate!

Gigi Bowman: I’m a real estate agent from Long Island and I’m a mom. I basically wasn’t paying attention to politics for the first forty years of my life and then I had a tragedy. My daughter passed away at the age of fifteen because she was on SSRI medication and I didn’t really put the pieces together until years later when I started noticing that so many kids are on this medication and they were killing themselves.

And then we started having school shootings and the kids were all on SSRI medication, and I started looking into it and realized that there was definitely a correlation between the killing of innocent children, the children committing suicide and this medication that’s being handed out like candy.

I got involved. A friend of mine brought home a couple of movies – I think the first movie I watched was American Freedom to Fascism – and immediately I was jolted awake. Ron Paul was in that movie and I looked him up and read all about him and I don’t think it was more than a month later that I started the Ron Paul Meetup for Long Island when he was running for the 2008 presidency.

I’ve just been very active since then, I started Liberty Candidates in 2009 because I had a friend that was running for Congress and there was nowhere to promote him and he was a Ron Paul supporter and I realized there was a need for us to promote people running for office because of Ron Paul. Ron Paul always said that he needed to be duplicated and we needed “Dr. Nos” in every seat in the land.

I thought that was just an important thing to separate Ron Paul supporters from other people and people that were awake and aware and had been inspired by him. So I guess you could say Ron Paul inspired Liberty Candidates and from there we have had about 450 candidates that have been vetted by our committee, that have run on a platform of liberty and we’re continuing to grow and we’re going to have a big year in 2013 and 2014.

DDG: So what are some of your thoughts about President Obama’s new second term and some of the policies he’s committed to so far? If you get elected to state senate, do you see yourself introducing a lot of Tenth Amendment related nullification-type bills, or do you see yourself being primarily focused on statewide issues?

Gigi Bowman (left) seen here with former Republican Congressman Ron Paul (right) has been instrumental in advancing the cause of the liberty movement and Ron Paul.

Bowman: I think that the reason that I’m running for office is because of the ability at that point to nullify and repeal some of these horrible laws that we have, especially where I live in New York. I really was jolted into doing this last week when I sat for six hours and watched the assembly vote in the New York House for the gun ban, and this was appalling to me.

There was some great legislators who actually stood up for the Second Amendment but I think the vote was something like 43 to 105 and where I live on Long Island even the Republican legislators, as a matter of fact I think all of them except one voted for the gun ban! You know, if nothing else I think we see that there’s no difference between the right and the left and it’s time for people to wake up. I think if they haven’t woken up after what just happened between New York’s gun ban and Obama just making executive order after executive order … look, we have to step away from the whole party thing. We need to run on issues. We need to talk about the issues and that’s why I’m running.

I’m not a politician. I’m a mother. I’m a real estate agent. I’m a woman from Long Island. I have a husband. I have a job. I’m not a politician, I’ve never wanted to be a politician, but we need to talk about the issues affecting us and more and more we see that the government is in bed with all these corporations and corporate entities and it’s no longer a playing field that’s for the people.

We’ve got major, giant corporations running our country and where do we stand? How do we fight this? We fight this when the people realize what’s going on but nobody knows this. I realize that nobody knows this because I’m out there and people say “Wow, I had no idea.” So it’s time for people like you and me to just get out there and just start talking. I run a group called Save Long Island with a couple of friends of mine and what we do is we show movies every month and we talk about this stuff.

[For example] we showed Generation Rx one month, which was about pharmaceutical companies killing our kids and this month we’re doing a survivalist movie and we’re going to teach prepping. Last month we did a movie about industrial hemp. I had no idea how many people had no idea that industrial hemp wasn’t marijuana. These issues are not talked about. Industrial hemp is illegal, why is it illegal? Nobody wants it to be legal because they don’t want competition.  

DDG: Definitely. It’s a complicated, layered special interest web out there, it really is hard to break in. So are you going to be running as an independent candidate for senate?

Bowman: I’ll most likely run as a Libertarian because I am a libertarian. It’s hard to run on it because you have to collect so many signatures because, you know, third parties aren’t really recognized. So yes, I’m gonna have to bust my butt going out there and collecting signatures, I could also … I’m also thinking I could primary the man who’s in office now and run as a Republican as well. In New York state we have the ability to run on as many lines as we can get on, which I find totally ridiculous …   

DDG: (Laughs)

Bowman: but that’s the way it is! We had one guy that was running for a county executive and I went to vote, this was in 2011 and for every office I had a choice of one because everyone was running on the all the lines at the same time! I was like, whoa, I don’t have a choice here at the polls, and that’s what they do here, it’s kind of odd.

So I haven’t made a decision yet, but I’m definitely a libertarian but to me, party is nothing more than merely a vehicle for running for office. I have no party platform. My platform is the platform of liberty which is the things I want to talk about: GMO food being labeled, hemp, nullifying the NDAA. These are not platforms, these are issues.

DDG: Gigi, you’re a very inspiring woman and I wish we had more people involved out there like you stepping up across the country. You’re right. It’s about doing what’s best for the people and that often gets lost in the party in-fighting and the political backstabbing and the pedantry and everyone wanting to be absolutely right. We just need to do what’s right.

Just one last question, you know a lot of people across the country would like to get involved in politics because they’re becoming increasingly more upset and confused by what’s going on, but they don’t know where to start because they have no political background or even any political friends. What would be your advice to them?

Bowman: Well I would say, like me, just do it. There’s no reason not to take the step forward and do it. Liberty Candidates has a book out, you can get it on Amazon.com, it’s called How To Run For Office On A Liberty Platform and it was written by Liberty Candidates who most of them ran for the first time. It’s their experiences, they tell you how they ran with no money and everyone who’s ever read this book said it inspired them to run for office because of how easy it is to do. They didn’t have to be a “Slick Willie” politician and have gone to law school or whatever, they can just run on the engine of their passion.

Even if you don’t win, look at how many people hear you. Did Ron Paul win when he ran for president twice? No, but look what he’s done, look at the amount of people he’s woken up and we have to do the same thing as him and that’s what the revolution was about.

It’s our job to go out into the communities and wake up the people, because if we don’t do that what will happen to our kids? It’s just getting worse and worse. We’re in a world now with no liberty, everywhere I go there’s a camera looking at me, there’s a law that threatens to get you arrested if you don’t follow it. I’d like to leave but I can’t leave. If I’m going to live here, I’m going to make a difference and run for office.

So my advice is just run for office. Even if you run for the smallest office – the school board – you can make a difference in your state.

 

Danny de Gracia is a political scientist who lives in Hawaii. For more articles, interviews and to find out more about Danny, follow him on his official blog!


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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