WMU alumnus and former Western Herald contributor running for US Senate seat in Michigan

Courtesy Photo

Ted Yoakum

Staff Reporter

Though it may sound cliché, Michigan politician Scotty Boman was one of the many people whose life was radically altered during his years spent as a Bronco.

During his early years spent studying physics and philosophy at Western Michigan University, the Detroit native considered himself a social liberal, supporting the belief that people should little restriction on what they choose to with their own bodies.

“I could not understand just where people were coming, supporting all these weird laws restricting people’s personal behavior, be it sexual behavior between consenting adults, be it drug laws,” Boman said. “I have no comprehension on why people would want to do these things.”

A few years into his collegiate career, the student discovered Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, a collection of essays written and complied by Ayn Rand, a prominent 20th century philosophical writer. Although he had previously read similar works such as Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Rand’s ideas on laissez-faire economics made a permanent impact on how Boman viewed government’s role in society.

“I could not consistently argue for the right to control their own, to control their own lifestyle, without also acknowledge their economic freedom, and their right to possess property, to decide what to do with their own wealth,” Boman said.

The physics student reconciled his internal schism the only way he knew how: by switching his political allegiance to the US Libertarian Party.

Now, Boman find himself embroiled in the race for the US Senate, running as the Libertarian candidate against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow and Republican Pete Hoekstra.

In a recent poll his campaign commissioned through Gravis Marketing, 7 percent of the 970 respondents said they would likely vote for Boman. While this is well below the 48 percent of respondents who favored Stabenow or the 39 percent who favored Hoekstra, Boman pointed to the results as a sign that popular support for his party’s cause is growing.

“I think there are more people becoming more libertarian at a time when society at large is becoming more authoritarian,” Boman said. “People are reacting with horror at their liberties being taken away by their neighbors, indirectly, through the elections and realizing that they can no longer rely on the candidates in the major parties to support their desire for more liberty.”

The politician claimed that laws such the USA Patriot Act and the annual National Defense Authorization Act have allowed the federal government to more freely invade the privacy of its citizens, something he is strongly opposed to.

This is the second time Boman has run for the US Senate in the state of Michigan, the first being in 2008, where he was defeated by long time Democrat Carl Levin. During that election, the Libertarian said his ticket barely cleared 2 percent of the vote.

Boman has made a name for himself over the past two decades in realm of Michigan politics. The politician has been running for public office with the Liberterian Party since 1994, participating in elections for Michigan Secretary of State, the state House of Representatives and for the Detroit City Council though out the last three decades.

Boman’s passion for politics was kindled at a very age, he said. His father was an active democrat back in the Detroit area, and Boman actually went door-to-door encouraging residents to vote for his father when he ran for judge.

However, when it came time to further his education, the politician choose to study physics at WMU, with the dream of becoming an astronaut.

“I looked into a number of universities, and Western seemed like a good fit,” Boman said. “I was able to work more closely with faculty there, as opposed to some other colleges where I found out that most classes were taught by grad assistants.”

During his time at WMU, Boman was a frequent guest columnist for The Western Herald, writing about his Liberterian beliefs and his views on the government.

“I enjoyed living in Kalamazoo,” Boman said. “For me, it was the first time I actually got to live in a small town, which is kind of funny, because there were people in the dorms who told me it was the first time they were living in a big city, so I guess it’s all relative.”

While he eventually earned a master’s degree in the subject in 1987, Boman later changed his career trajectory, receiving another master’s degree in education from Wayne State. He is currently serving as a physics instructor at Wayne County Community College and an astronomy instructor at Macomb Community College.

Over the last few years, Boman has attempted to transition from running as on the Libertarian ticket toward running as liberterian in the Republican party, similarly to Ron Paul, the Texan Congressman who been a candidate in the Republican presidential primary. However, Boman has found little success pursuing this avenue, failing to gather the amount of signatures necessary to run in the Republican primary for Senate this year.

However, Boman said that much of the support he’s received in recent weeks is due to far right Republican voters’ anger over Hoekstra’s nomination.

“Hoekstra voted for the Wallstreet bailout back when he was in [the House],” Boman said. “The Wallstreet bailout was the thing that galvanized tea partiers against mainstream politicians. Stabenow, to her credit, actually voted against the bailout. He was the perfectly wrong candidate to pick against Stabenow.”

The candidate said he remains hopeful that the Liberterian Party will continue to grow, thanks in part to castoffs from the Republican party who are frustrated with the direction of the current party.

“I think a lot of these people I picked up have totally had it with the Republican party just falling back into the same big government approach, supporting these politicians who don’t seem to stick to principle,” Boman said.

He also believes that Democrats have also been betrayed by the party, pointing to Obama’s failure to hold up to his 2008 campaign promise to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.

“If you’re somebody who believes there is too much intervention in your private lives by the government, and if you’re looking for an alternative to what you’ve consistently been getting from the Republicans and Democrats, then the Liberterian party is for you,” Boman said.

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