Erne’s early years were in Hobart, Oklahoma, a small town in the southwest corner of the state. He moved to Seattle after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. His professional life, until 1974, was as an architect in the Seattle area. In 1974 he and two associates began a new aquaculture venture that grew to become a major source of salmon for the Oregon and Washington coast. Erne was its president for many years. In 1990 he and Marti purchased and outfitted a 48 foot ketch and sailed the Caribbean for a year. Erne has been sailing and writing ever since.
Philosophically, Erne has been an Objectivist since reading Atlas Shrugged in 1963, and politically a libertarian. He was active in the Washington State Libertarian Party from 1992 until 2002. He helped write an initiative to stop the use of asset forfeiture by Washington state and local government and then led a signature drive sponsored by the Libertarian Party. He co-hosted a weekly libertarian television program where he interviewed many knowledgeable and eloquent libertarians.
He was a candidate for Congress in 2000. His candidacy was intended to educate the voters as to the differences between the Libertarian Party and the other political parties. In a public debate with the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent, Erne first described the two-headed monster in terms similar to those he used in his debut novel An Act of Self-Defense. The audience of 400 Democrats, independents, Republicans, and libertarians roared in approval. The description and approval seemed to shock the incumbent as well as the challenger.
In 2002 he and Marti took another travel break. They sold their home of 17 years, put everything in storage, and traveled with backpacks through Italy. Eventually they reached Taormina, Sicily, where they stayed for a year and where Erne began writing An Act of Self-Defense. They eventually returned to the Pacific Northwest after living a few months in Hawaii.
Erne believes a third political party cannot influence politics in any substantial way because of the political stranglehold of the two-headed political monster. He does believe libertarians are favorably influencing the course of our nation and may even succeed in restoring individual liberty.
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