HELENA — From his website featuring an iconic scene from the 1976 movie “Network” to his direct-democracy plan for representing Montanans, Libertarian Dave Kaiser is not your average congressional candidate.
"I call myself the 'common-sense Libertarian,'" said Kaiser, a business consultant from Victor. “My issue is to clean up Washington. I look at waste as a cancer, which we have an enormous amount of in Washington, and you’ve just got to get rid of it.”
Kaiser is running for Montana’s open U.S. House seat, against Democrat Kim Gillan of Billings and Republican Steve Daines.
Kaiser has never run for office, but said he’s a political junkie, and that dismay over increased federal incursion into the economy and the open congressional seat compelled him to run.
“I thought: It’s an open seat; all the stars are aligned; I’ll give it a shot,” he says.
Kaiser came to Montana three years ago as a consultant and sales broker for a chain-restaurant owner looking to buy additional outlets in Montana. The Montana deals didn’t happen, but Kaiser says he liked the state so much he decided to stay, and arranged to manage two of the restaurant outlets himself, with an option to purchase them.
Kaiser describes himself as “very conservative,” but said he differs from Daines and most Republicans in that he doesn’t think the government should be telling people what to do on social issues.
Yet while Kaiser is a Libertarian, he said he’ll defer directly to Montana citizens when deciding how to vote in Washington.
If elected, Kaiser said, he’ll post every bill up for a House vote on his website, asking Montanans to weigh in. If a clear majority of Montanans leans one way, he said that’s the way he’ll vote.
“My idea is to engage the voters, so they don’t just get involved in politics the last two months prior to the election, hit the voting lever and then leave,” Kaiser said.
He also invites voters to register on his website, www.vote4you.us, and said he’ll call every voter who registers, post all his campaign-finance expenses and ask for donors’ approval of those expenses.
Kaiser, who admits to some righteous anger himself, also posted the ultimate angry-man rant on his website: Peter Finch in his Oscar-winning role as TV anchorman Howard Beale in “Network,” urging viewers to open their windows and shout “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”