Howell said that if elected on Nov. 5, she will push for an end to the income tax and an increase in individual liberty and personal responsibility.
“Small government is beautiful,” Howell said to the nearly 40 people in attendance.
She said that as governor, she would place more faith in individuals’ ability to make decisions without government interference.
“I’m not running for God, I’m running for governor,” she said.
This year marks the third time Howell will appear on statewide ballots in Massachusetts. In 1998, Howell ran for state auditor and in 2000 ran against incumbent Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy ’54-’56 for a spot in the U.S. Senate.
While handily losing both races, Howell—with 13 percent of the vote—came within a whisker of beating Republican senate candidate Jack E. Robinson III in 2000.
Howell spent much of her speech arguing for gun freedom.
She called for “100 percent gun freedom,” claiming that gun control laws increase numbers of crimes committed with guns. Her statements garnered a visible audience reaction ranging from raised eyebrows to supportive applause.
Howell also said the government should not control education, touting the importance of parental responsibility and the value of home schooling.
“What is a vote for small government?” Howell asked the crowd. “A vote for small government is a vote for no income tax, the right to self-defense and personal responsibility.”
While students questioned Howell’s libertarian ideals during the question and answer period at the end of the address, she did not appear flustered until a question from Matt Malone, a Boston University graduate.
“How will you get along with the legislature?” Malone asked.
As she answered, Howell paced the across the front of the lecture hall.
“The legislature and I are opposed on almost every issue,” she said. “I’m going to represent the people and I’m not going to back down.”
Julio R. Machado ’03, the president of the Harvard Libertarian Society, said Howell’s values make her candidacy unique.
“She has faith in her constituents,” Machado wrote in an e-mail. “No mandates-from-above, no godly pronouncements.”