This blog began centered mostly on the intertwined topics of liberty, politics, and economics. My story:
For the first 25 years of my life, I was politically apathetic but this all changed when I worked in Shanghai, China, from 2005-2009 and saw firsthand government’s restriction on human liberty. In 2007, I began to realize that the wars and foreign policy of the United States government were prime sources of death, destruction, and instability in the world. I learned how the Federal Reserve helps enable the endless wars, endless debt, and reckless spending of the US government. Then I discovered the Austrian school of economics and read works by Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, Frédéric Bastiat, and many others. Below are three short (and free!) reads that ended my apathy.
At the end of 2008, I was angered by the TARP Banker Bailout decided to return to my hometown to run for US Congress in March 2009. In 2009-2010, I managed and led a grassroots campaign in PA-15 under no political party against the incumbent Charles Dent (R) and John Callahan (D). I ended up with 15,248 votes which was 7.5% of the vote total. The vote totals and nearly $60,000 raised were both among tops in the nation for independents and third parties that year. My campaign had well over 250 unpaid volunteers who helped me, which included completing the arduous ballot access work that the Republocrats use to limit voter choice. Days before the election, I earned the endorsement of the Express-Times newspaper, based on the results of a televised debate.
In 2011, the Republocrats heavily gerrymandered the district (which had been primarily the Lehigh Valley) in half, practically right through where I was living at the time, and I decided to return to work and starting a family with the talented and beautiful Jane Horvath. Although the courts ruled the gerrymandering unconstitutional under the state constitution, this doesn’t matter much to the Republocrats.
In 2012, I switched my party registration to Libertarian and was elected as a write-in for Judge of Election in Bethlehem Township. I served all 8 elections during my term. In 2016 I volunteered to help Paul Rizzo run as the Libertarian candidate against Charles Dent, which was a lot of fun.
In 2017, I represented the Libertarian Party for township supervisor, auditor, and judge of election in Lower Nazareth Township and for School Director of Nazareth Area School District, mostly since I objected to ever-increasing local property and income taxes. I strongly believe those who cannot afford or pay their taxes should not have their home and property seized by armed bureaucrats. I won two offices where the Republocrats did not run any candidates – Judge of Election and Township Auditor. Since holding multiple offices is mostly banned, I decided to accept the auditor position. My plank consisted of a single sentence – “If elected, I will fulfill the duties described in 1933 Act 69.” I think it is fair to say the township did not appreciate an auditor asking to view public documents. I ended up resigning in protest on July 4, 2019 to avoid taxpayer court fees. You can read about my adventures as auditor here.
In 2018, I stood for office as a Libertarian for Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives in the 138th district. You can view my platform here and the district map here. However, I did not run an active campaign, and instead focused on volunteering as treasurer for Tim Silfies’ campaign for US Congress in the 7th district, which comprises all of Northampton, Lehigh, and southern Monroe county. You can view his Facebook page here or visit his website here.
From 2018-2021, I was maliciously targeted for my efforts to combat government corruption. This was a politically-motivated attack by both the Democrats and Republicans against the free speech of third parties. The state GOP Executive Director, and local Republicans began a “fishing expedition,” hoping to find me guilty of something. Attorney General Joshua Shapiro, a Democrat, enabled the GOP to escalate a single sheet of bad ballot access signatures into a 16-month Grand Jury investigation.
I believe three of my own lawyers were working against my best interests. Collectively, they used fear tactics to try to influence my decisions, failed to disclose conflicts of interest, and provided incorrect information about my legal rights. But by far the most glaring acts of malice were those who attempted to destroy my marriage by making false allegations about my partner, Jane Horvath, and urged me to take their unsolicited advice regarding matters unrelated to my case, while advising me to take a plea deal knowing I had not committed a crime. If not for Jane’s enduring support, I would have collapsed under the pressure. Jane did the legal precedent research and fought for me because she knew admitting guilt and being portrayed as a fraud in the public eye would destroy me.
I incurred legal debts totaling over $50,000 to defend my reputation. Besides the 16-month grand jury investigation, I was under arrest for 2 years. Politicians and lawyers arbitrarily interpreted vague laws as a way to manufacture criminal charges. When it became glaringly obvious that there was no basis for this case, instead of backing down, the AG scrambled to justify their allegations. They submitted a supplemental brief containing misleading information which compelled the judge to proceed to trial.
The AG repeatedly urged me to plead “no contest” to lesser crimes, although I hadn’t committed any. Unscrupulous former attorneys encouraged me to take the “sweet” plea deals. Fortunately, I found an ethical lawyer who did an excellent job defending me and I was declared innocent and not guilty of all charges on November 22, 2021.
I’ve written over 300 articles, mostly during 2008-2010 which are at NolanChart.com. My writings have also been published at the investor website, SeekingAlpha.com and goldseek.com among others. I can be reached at jaketowne AT ProtonMail.com or via Facebook.