They don't like government meddling in their lives.
Their philosophical heroes are Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Adam Smith.
And some of them think taxes should be little more than voluntary contributions.
They are Libertarians. They are plentiful on this year's local ballot. And, not to be outdone, a few independents also have qualified for positions on the general election ballot to join their Democratic, Republican and Libertarian counterparts.
"Basic libertarianism is the philosophy of limited government. You should be free to do whatever you want, so long as you do not harm anyone else," said Frank A. Kaul, a 30-year-old Lawrence Libertarian running for the 3rd Congressional District.
Kaul, an environmental health and safety specialist at INTERx Research Corp. on Kansas University's West Campus, is one of six Douglas County Libertarians on the Nov. 3 ballot.
There also are two independent candidates on the ballot in area Kansas House races.
DURING a convention in May in Wichita, the Libertarian Party selected 37 candidates for Kansas seats, including the U.S. Senate, all four U.S. House seats, 11 of the 40 Kansas Senate seats and 17 of the 125 seats in the Kansas House.
Kaul said 1992 is the first year Libertarians have been recognized as a party in recent history, and local Libertarians are fairly organized. As of Oct. 21, there were 308 registered Libertarians in Douglas County.
People involved with the local organization entered races primarily to spread the Libertarian philosophy "and not for their own ego trip," Kaul said.
"I don't think my chances of getting elected are that important. Every vote that I get is going to be a clear signal to those in office about what the people who vote for me want," Kaul said. "They will notice because they are politicians. It will have an effect."
KAUL, WHO faces incumbent Republican Jan Meyers and Democrat Tom Love for the 3rd Congressional District seat, said that if elected he would work to cut the size and scope of government.
"I'd work for severe spending cuts. And work to repeal legislation which infringes upon individual liberties," he said.
The Libertarian Party's federal budget plan its national ticket is headed by former Alaskan legislator Andre Marrou has more than $500 billion in spending cuts, he said. That includes forcing U.S. allies to pay for their own defense, eliminating subsidies for businesses, eliminating pork barrel projects and reforming entitlement programs.
"The nice thing about $500 billion in spending cuts, it leaves $100 billion surplus in the budget, which you can give back to the people in the form of tax cuts," Kaul said.
FOUR Lawrence Libertarians are running for the Kansas Legislature.
Rodger Woods, 1137 Ind., a KU junior studying history and journalism, is running for Lawrence's state Senate seat.
Woods, 23, said his goals if elected are to slash property and sales taxes, to end the state monopoly on gambling, to maintain abortion rights and to find solutions to the problems in education.
He is most concerned about property taxes. Lowering property taxes would bring new businesses into the state and allow those that are here to expand and compete, he said.
One of the big problems with higher education is that too much emphasis is being placed on getting federal research grants and not enough on the education process, he said. For example, some classes at KU have 600 to 700 people, "which is ridiculous." He said the state should rethink its higher education mission.
IN TERMS of public elementary and secondary education, he said he would like to see a system where parents could get a voucher to send their child to the school of their choice. He also advocates giving tax refunds to businesses that would pay for the education of a child.
"It would eliminate the state being the middle man," he said.
Jay D. Germano, 23, a KU graduate student seeking a master's degree in anthropology, is running for the western Lawrence 44th District seat in the Kansas House.
Germano, 2040 Heatherwood Dr., said one of his goals is to "eliminate coercive taxation by reducing government to the size which can be supported by voluntary contribution."
Germano also wants to "get government out of my forests, off my farm, out of my factories, out of my pharmacy, out of my churches, out of my schools, off my highways, out of my state courts, out of my pocket, out of my life."
GERMANO said he would have two goals in office: to reduce taxes and to put a freeze on government hiring. He said 7 percent to 10 percent of the government work force leaves each year through attrition, so the money saved could be used to reduce taxes.
Michael Davidson, 35, a former microcomputer consultant at KU's special education department, is running for the Kansas House 45th District seat, which covers most of western and southern Douglas County and parts of Lawrence.
Davidson said if elected he would help to reduce government intrusion in the economic and private lives of citizens.
"I hope to enable and encourage individuals to make responsible and moral decisions for themselves," Davidson said. The means to achieve that goal is to reduce taxation and regulation by government, he said.
MATT CONRAD, 21, 1107 Ind., a KU biochemistry student, is seeking the eastern Lawrence 46th Kansas House District seat.
Conrad, who works as a pharmaceutical researcher at KU, said that if elected he would work to reduce government, cut taxes and introduce tax-control measures, and defend the Bill of Rights, particularly the Ninth and 10th Amendments.
"I advocate freedom with responsibility," Conrad said.
He said he is not running an active campaign, but he wanted to give people another option to the major party candidates and to promote the Libertarian budget.
RICHARD SMALL, the only independent candidate on the ballot in Lawrence, has been actively campaigning by going door to door and by putting up yard signs in his quest for the 46th House District seat.
Small, 41, 1017 R.I, said he entered the race to get people to realize government has extended beyond the context of the Constitution.
Government's primary role should be to protect individuals, to protect the environment and to provide roads and schools, said Small, who has a bachelor's degree in math and a master's degree in economics from KU.
Small, who served about six months in state correctional facilities after being convicted of drug-related charges, said the government should spend less on prosecuting the war on drugs and less on regulating business.
The Douglas County Commission 2nd District race also has a Libertarian candidate Damon Black, 28, a local businessman.
Black, who lives on Rt. 3, is a former air traffic controller who now owns Custom Guttering of Lawrence.
A KU SOPHOMORE, Black said if elected he would explore alternative methods of financing county projects, such as user fees, industry contributions and fund-raising drives.
"I have some pretty specific ideas about what would work," he said. "If you don't have any incentives about how people use the community property, you tend to get abuses. If you have a user fee financing program, people will think twice about using that."
Black said he put his name on the ballot to give people a choice, but he didn't expect to win.
"If I do win, I intend to work for Libertarian principles," he said.
PHIL URBAN said he chose to run as an independent candidate for Kansas 3rd District Senate seat because he feels in touch with the issues concerning Kansans.
Urban is vice chairman of the Concerned Taxpayers of Leavenworth County and co-founded the Kansas Taxpayers Coalition in 1990. He said his work with the two groups kept him in close touch with the Legislature during the 1990 and 1991 sessions, and he continues to work for fair taxation.
He said the 1989 classification and reappraisal created a sales tax system that selectively exempted certain types of businesses and property. By lifting some of the sales tax exemptions, additional money would be generated to relieve some of the property tax burden, he said.
"Do not give us property tax relief if the only way to do that is to create a new tax or increase another tax," he said.
Urban said a number of state programs could be revamped to be more efficient, which would save money and invigorate the economy.
"Our tax groups stand for fair and equal treatment, and I won't support anything that would hurt the farmer and help business or vice versa, only those that are fair to everyone."