Ron Noyes of ‘Ron Noyes Band’ fame is running for public office. A little over a week ago Noyes announced that he would be running for Concord NH State Representative in District 27. Being that Ron Noyes has always been a fixture of the NH music scene, we jumped at the chance to sit down and ask him a few questions about his campaign.
Thanks for doing this Ron, first off, could you briefly outline the key points of your platform.
1) Jobs – In order for the state of New Hampshire to thrive, it’s citizens must live in a climate that breeds prosperity.
2) Government Efficiency – No resources that should ever go to waste.
3) Personal Freedom and Liberty - The nation’s core strength and greatness came from it’s citizens ability to exercise their freedom.
What made you decide to run for office?
I have, since I was a kid, been drawn to civics for some reason. I am more likely to be watching C-Span or the news than anything else. I have also worked on campaigns before so running wasn't too big of a leap. As for what exactly made me run, there are some things happening across the country that should concern everyone. We see raids on raw milk farms, impromptu lemonade stands becoming illegal, farmer’s market crackdowns and massive intrusions on privacy and special interest abuse is rampant. Our national finances are also a mess and we are crippled with debt. If we look closely at what is happening in the Eurozone with Greece and Spain, we are next if we aren't careful. Given the demographics of Concord, for me to pull off a win is next to impossible but I am up for it, if for nothing else, to bring new concerns to the table and highlight some of these issues.
Do you have any concerns about how running for office and expressing your political opinion might affect your music career?
No. I think we can all move beyond that. What we are really talking about is a different view or philosophy and we aren't all going to agree on every issue. That is great and it opens channels for discussion. One of my favorite moments from the most recent primary was at a polling station in Concord. A friend of mine, who has completely different views than I do was walking in to vote. I had a group of people helping out one of the opposing campaigns and they started clapping for her, because she was invested in the process and it really made for a great moment. In the end, we all want everyone to thrive and we all have different views on how to get there.
Currently in NH most performing bands and musicians are not unionized. Do you think having a more active union for performing artists in NH would help increase pay, benefits and foster better treatment of musicians?
Unions generally have more power when their members provide a necessary asset like labor or education. As much as I would like to say we provide a great service, unfortunately for us, we as musicians at the local level are not necessary. I would like to think we are but I don't think a more active union would get very far. I think a more effective approach would be to support venues and bars that treat musicians well and avoid those that don't.
Creating Jobs is one of the key points of your platform. How do you propose to create jobs in NH?
There are two things that I would like to highlight regarding jobs. First, we need to take a new look at regulations and step back and see if they are helping or harming the job market. For example, it is currently more difficult to become a barber than it is to become an EMT. The state requires barbers to attain a license to shampoo. I know a lot of people who shampoo just fine and walk away unscathed every day. So, I think we need to take a hard look at streamlining regulations and how they might deter individuals from starting or expanding a business. The other part of creating jobs is effectively letting people know that New Hampshire's has great advantages compared to other states. If a company can't survive the tax burden in Massachusetts, they can either close or relocate. For the good of the economy, it’s obviously better if they stay in business. I think we could have a great impact if we encouraged companies from other states who otherwise can't keep their doors open to relocate here, employ our people and pump money into towns like Concord.
Are you affiliated with a political party?
I am a liberty minded Republican.
Who is your personal hero?
I would have to say my personal heros are my parents. My father is relentless and is always pushing himself. A few years ago, after he retired, he decided to become a Marine Patrol Officer and went through State Police training while in his mid 60's. He is never complacent. My mother decided on a whim a few years to pursue yoga. She now has her own studio, is in amazing shape and very happy that she followed her passion. They are both constantly moving forward.
What are your views on the boundaries between religion and government?
I fully support churches and religious organizations to operate how they please, its their right. That being said, the separation of church and state is integral to maintaining our democracy. If we look at Theocracies around the world, there is not much to be jealous of.
Are there any parts of the music industry as displayed in NH that you feel could benefit from more or less regulation?
Do you believe health care is a right or a privilege? Should we have a social contract for health care the way we do for education?
The health care issue has many layers. When we ask if it is a right or privilege, we should take a moment to see what we are really looking at or if we are asking the right question. If we were to ask, "Is it in our best interest to make sure that our citizens have access to medical care?" then the answer would be "yes." My concern with a national health care mandate is that it demands that citizens purchase a product from a private business. It also takes away the rights of someone who doesn't want to buy insurance. When we have the Federal government dictating that we must purchase something, that is unheard of. In big terms, what do we want? We want people to have access to affordable care and we have to figure out the best way to get there but I don't think government running health care it the best way to go. The notion of having health care run by the same people who run the DMV is scary.
A lot of local musicians work jobs that pay minimum or close to minimum wage. What initiatives or plans do you have that might help your average musicians?
Well, the best thing we can do for everybody is take the necessary steps to create or allow a thriving economy. I want everyone to get paid as much as possible. For this to happen we need strong competition in the markets, allow individuals to more easily start their own companies and keep taxes low so people can hold on to the money they earn. I personally see the impact every day. I have given guitar lesson here in Concord for 10 years and you know what? It's been a long time since I didn't have to worry about making it through the month. There is a lot less disposable income these days and that hurts everyone across the board. If people lack disposable income, they aren't going to be able to pass it along in the market to the next person who would pass it to the next.
Thank you Ron Noyes for sitting down with us. You can learn more about Noyes here: https://www.facebook.com/NoyesForNH
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