Tim Crawley, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2015, talks with Lane Students for Liberty on Feb. 27.
Photo: Eugene Johnson
Tim Crawley, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2015, talks with Lane Students for Liberty on Feb. 27.Photo: Eugene Johnson

Tim Crawley, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2015, talks with Lane Students for Liberty on Feb. 27.
Photo: Eugene Johnson

A Republican senatorial candidate spoke to Lane’s Students For Liberty at the club’s Feb. 26 meeting. SFL is a nonpartisan libertarian club according to SFL president Bryan Sanders.

Tim Crawley, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2015, said he is seeking an audit of the Federal Reserve.

“I’m running Republican because of the party system which has bifurcated our government. We are growing further and further apart, and we have two different visions that are pulling at each other,” Crawley said. “We aren’t going in a direction. We are just playing tug-of-war.”

SFL faculty adviser Jeffrey Borrowdale believes that hosting a candidate for national office was a great opportunity for the club.

“Tim’s background in economics, support for free-market principles and moderation on social issues fit with the political sensibilities of our members,” Borrowdale said. “Even though various members had disagreements on policy, overall, I think he made a positive impression.”

Crawley, 31, grew up in Cottage Grove and now lives in Portland, where he practices law for a small firm.

He expressed concern about the effects of inflation and the devaluing of the U.S. dollar. Crawley thinks it’s extremely problematic that the Federal Reserve’s function has become job creation.

“That is our biggest issue,” he said. “They are basically, through legislation, creating control of markets.”

Crawley went on to say that not only people, but entities, are dependent on government contracts, claiming that in any industry the federal government has control of a portion of company revenues.

“So their existence becomes very much based upon the government’s handout. Corporate welfare is another way of putting it,“ he said.

Centralization is the biggest problem, Crawley said.

“The more we centralized, the easier it became for corporations … to grab power because they knew where to go for it. It was right there in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Crawley believes that the main hurdle is the primary, rather than the general, election.

“You are the 1 percent who believe that your votes still count,” he said to the group. “There’s 99 percent of the people out there that are so disenfranchised, so disheartened and so disgruntled by what politics has become in the United States, that they don’t come out for the primary.”

According to the United States Election Project, 21.9 percent of Oregon voters voted in the 2012 primary election.

Crawley said the regulations and counter-regulations put forth by Republicans and Democrats mean that both parties are missing the point, which is to get away from creating more regulation.

He proposes that Republican, Democrat and independent junior senators unite to discuss common values and create some common ground.

“That has to happen at an early stage,” Crawley said. “If you can create some sort of common ground, all of the sudden you’ve gone into preventative care. You’re preventing conflict later on.”

Regardless of party affiliation, Crawley said, there’s a lot for everyone to be upset about, and instead of being pitted against each other, the parties need to find balance and move ahead in the same direction.

SFL describes itself as a group dedicated to individual rights, personal responsibility and a voluntary society guided by reason, freedom and compassion.

“I agree with most of what he said, at least in principle. In practice, I’d have to do more research into statistics. But, a lot of what he touched on is not far-fetched,” Sanders said.

SFL meets Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays at noon in Building 1, Room 212.