In 2016, with Gary Johnson as the Presidential nominee, the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin made key gains in several regions. Gary Johnson, with Bill Weld as his running mate, received nearly 4% of the vote (106,674). There were many crucial races in Wisconsin, such as Jordan Hansen winning 30% (7,682) of the vote in the 54th Assembly District and Andy Craig receiving 11% (32,183) of the vote in Congressional District Four. As a result, the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin made great gains in the state. High hopes were thus set for 2018, and the unexpectedly crucial race for governor.
By Jack Parkos | United States
Following the Wisconsin 2018 gubernatorial election, which saw incumbent Governor Scott Walker lose, Republican state legislator officials got to work on a lame duck bill. The bill would limit the powers of Democrat Tony Evers, the Governor-elect of Wisconsin.
Republicans defend the bill as “balancing the powers of the legislative and executive branch”. Democrats are calling foul, claiming that Republicans are only doing it to limit Tony Evers because he is a Democrat. Democrats point out how Republicans never attempted to limit the governor’s power while Walker was in office.
The debate went on until the early hours of the morning but ultimately did pass Tuesday night. Walker, who was attending the Bush funeral, was unable to sign (or veto) the bill. Many Democrats are requesting to meet with Walker to encourage him not to pass the bill.
So it seems clear the position of each party. Majority of Republicans support the bill, while the majority of Democrats do not. Where do libertarians stand? It seems to be a difficult issue to take a stand on, but Libertarians should ultimately support the bill.
Democracy Vs. Liberty
The common attack the Democrats have on the bill is that it “undermines democracy”, which may or may not be true. Assuming this is true, the Libertarian should respond “so what?”. Liberty is paramount to democracy. They claim that because the majority wanted Evers, the bill should be vetoed. Libertarians must not fall for this trap. Ben Franklin said that democracy is no more than two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for lunch.
This new bill will weaken the power of the new governor (who is by no means a libertarian). If one believes in libertarianism, this is a great idea. Governor-elect Tony Evers plans on making the capital a gun free zone, but the new bill will take away his power to do so.
Limiting the power of a leader is something libertarians support. Thus, they should logically support the bill, even if it is done for political reasons. It still will limit the power of a governor who is no friend to liberty. Those libertarians who may respond “it undermines democracy”, should ask themselves. Is democratic tyranny better than undemocratic liberty?
Wisconsin is part of a coalition of states planning on suing the federal government claiming the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. This is in direct correlation with the libertarian position. Meanwhile, newly elected Attorney General Josh Kaul plans on pulling Wisconsin out of this lawsuit. The new bill will require legislator support to do such a thing. The current legislation is controlled by Republicans who want to continue the lawsuit. A libertarian would support such a lawsuit that could rule Obamacare regulations unconstitutional. Logically, they should support this collation with the same goal in mind.
Politics is a dirty game. The bill is likely motivated by partisan politics. The bill will balance the power in the state government. It may stop the government from growing bigger, thus it must be seen as a necessary evil.
71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!
By John Keller | United States
Dodge County, a rural bastion in Wisconsin, is in a desperate position following increasing control from Madison. Whereas the inner cities have been struggling under the Walker Administration, rural Wisconsin has begun to suffer in ways they haven’t since the market crash of 2008.
In the last fiscal year, Dodge County had a proposed budget of $111,693,552, an 11.39% increase from 2013. A property tax rate of 5.6% is the average in Dodge County. But the main source of income for the Dodge County government, the property tax, brings in only $33,281,315. So, other taxes and revenue sources had to cover $78,412,237 of appropriations in the county. The reason for such an imbalance is unfunded mandates.
As of mid-July, there are 99 unfunded mandates and restrictions on how local counties can govern from the Walker Administration. Essentially, this means there are 99 instances in which Scott Walker is telling the county how to run itself and how to spend your money, without paying for it with the state’s taxpayer funds. This leads to budget imbalance and growing debt at the local level.
Phil Anderson: A Solution
Phil Anderson offers a different option. Running for governor in 2018, he is campaigning to increase local control. He stated in his platform, “Local municipalities, counties, and school boards ought to be as free as possible to pursue the priorities of their communities without interference from the State. State regulation ought to be limited to those things that only the State should do. All unfunded mandates should be eliminated.”
There is only one candidate that wants change the way Wisconsin runs so that local governments can run their own affairs. He is running to find local, common sense solutions for local problems, not statewide, bureaucratic decisions. In order to keep your money in your pocket and allow Dodge County, and all of Wisconsin. to spend less, vote Phil Anderson for Governor.
To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.
Reese Wood is the libertarian candidate for the 45th District of the Wisconsin State Assembly. He was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Ashford. Other than running for office, he works for Vivi Media LLC. This interview was conducted to get an insight on running for office, as well as show voters that there is a sane alternative to the two party duopoly.
Keller: What inspired you to run for office?
Wood: Family, friends, and the potential future of Wisconsin. I’m a 32 year old father with four daughters, inspiration is never in short supply.
Keller: When entering politics, what attracted you to the Libertarian Party over that of the two major parties?
Wood: I supported the Obama administration and their campaign as a result of my dissatisfaction with Bush administration policies and agendas. Shortly into the first term of the Obama administration I realized the same policies I disliked under the Bush administration were in fact continuing under our newly elected administration. In 2012 I realized a genuine effort was being made by the Libertarian party to get regular people elected to office at all levels of government. Both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson’s campaign’s attracted me to the Libertarian party, but seeing state and congressional Libertarian campaigns in Wisconsin really convinced me. The Libertarian party has created a momentum, I think many people are taking notice.
Keller: If you had to explain liberty to someone who had never heard of it before, what would say? In other words, what is Libertarianism all about?
Keller: What are the three most important issues to you?
Wood: The three most important issues to me are education mandates and funding, decriminalization of hemp and marijuana, and criminal justice reform. Wisconsin’s Home-Based Private Educational Program (commonly referred to as homeschooling), is a good example of simply allowing choice. No funding is provided to home school parents, and no tax or legal requirement is imposed on them, other than a free annual state application for each student. Funding for local public education should be a decision entirely up to local governments.
The State of Wisconsin has a complex problem with criminalizing people who are simply seeking to live in peace. Both parties are responsible for the incarceration in our state, which has become the largest in the US. Democrats and republicans will continue to offer hemp and marijuana policy that involves needless taxation and discriminate permit requirements.
Keller: The two parties have long frozen political thought by creating an illusion that Americans must either be Republican or Democrat. What makes the message is liberty so attractive as a viable third option?
Wood: The message of liberty doesn’t lie, and honesty appeals to most people. Many people understand a need for diverse independent voices among our elected representatives. The libertarian party has worked to reach the ballot, to be included in debates, and to continue civil political discussions. Voters looking for common sense solutions are turning to the LP.
Keller: The Foxconn deal has been highly controversial not only in Wisconsin, but in America. What are your thoughts on the Foxconn Deal Scott Walker made?
Wood: The Foxconn deal has brought attention to governmental abuse’s against free market solutions. Not only is the Foxconn deal an interference with the free market, the $4.5 in tax money being spent is a complete giveaway. Wisconsin voters will have a chance in November 2018 to elect candidates who appose crony capitalism.
Keller: If elected, what would your first act be? In other words, what is the first piece of legislation you would like to pass?
Wood: The emergence of the hemp and marijuana industry in Wisconsin could mean peace and prosperity for all of us. If elected, I will work to offer an alternative to Wisconsin’s recently passed SB119 Hemp bill, SB38 regarding medical marijuana, and other legislative efforts that distort the right of Wisconsin people to pursue personal use and possession. 50 years ago we began a discriminate drug war, we can look at our prison populations and lack of economy to see the results. This is one issue that should have been addressed long ago.
Keller: How can people get involved with your campaign and with the Libertarian Party?
Wood: Social media likes and shares always help. The campaign on Facebook is Reese Wood for Assembly, Twitter @RW4WI, and website reesewood.com is launching in February.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers, supporters, and potential voters?
Wood: Social and fiscal responsibility relies on our ability as individuals to engage freely without coercion. If elected I will work to give local governments more authority in Wisconsin. More freedom, less government.
I would like to again thank Reese Wood for his time. Follow him on twitter @RW4WI and be sure to visit his website, reesewood.com when it launches in February 2018.
Phil Anderson is a proud father of two and a Libertarian politician from Fitchburg, Wisconsin. He has studied geography at the University of Wisconsin Madison and theology at the University of Balamand. In 2014 Phil Anderson ran for the 47th District of the Wisconsin State Assembly receiving 18.4% of the vote. He ran again for office in the 2016 Senate election in Wisconsin, losing to incumbent Ron Johnson. On April 22, 2017 he assumed the office of Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin. Today he is working vigorously to spread the message of liberty and hopes to bring that message to his home state by running for Governor of Wisconsin.
Keller: What inspired you to start a political career instead of pursuing geography, your bachelor, or applied theology, your master?
Anderson: I decided to get actively involved in politics because our political situation is deteriorating every election cycle. Regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans are in power; wars never end, government coercion and intrusion increase, spending and debt increase, and the basic freedoms of individuals and communities are eroded. While I love geography and theology as educational and career pursuits, our political situation is more serious and emergent.
Keller: You are running as a Libertarian. What attracted you to the Libertarian Party over the Republican or Democratic Parties?
Anderson: Libertarians acknowledge and promote the concept of individual rights, including personal and property rights. These rights are fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous society. At best, Democrats and Republicans pay lip service to these rights – and usually, in practice, are actively opposed.
Keller: This next question follows a similar approach with the last, but what should attract the people and voters to your campaign and the Libertarian platform over that of the establishment?
Anderson: We have an opportunity, if elected, to begin real, fundamental, humane change in the relationship between individuals and government. Libertarians are philosophically, permanently opposed to infringement on individual rights, and at the state level, we respect the decisions made by individuals and communities over statewide legislation. This is not a ‘partisan’ approach, we have no desire to accumulate power on behalf of our party or our donors. We actively seek to restore authority and tax dollars to the lowest levels possible, all the way down to the individual. All of our positions on issues now, and our proposals if elected, reflect that commitment; from abolishing the state personal income tax, to abandoning the crony capitalism of the Walker administration, and beyond. This is the Free Wisconsin Idea.
Keller: Wisconsin’s economy has had many issues recently. The most controversial economic deal in Wisconsin recently has been the Foxconn deal, which Scott Walker approved for a new factory that will cost taxpayers $3 billion. This deal could be a critical point in the gubernatorial election, what is your stance on the issue?
Anderson: The FoxConn deal is the worst kind of crony capitalism and manipulation of Wisconsin’s economy for political ends. I believe in the talent and energy of the citizens and entrepreneurs of Wisconsin. If their taxes were lowered or abolished, THEY would stimulate Wisconsin’s economy, THEY would create new jobs. As Governor, I will show that faith in the citizens and entrepreneurs of Wisconsin by letting them keep the money they earn, and get out of their way as they invest it in their own businesses and communities. Governor Walker, on the other hand, has made promises to ‘grow jobs’, and since government does not, and cannot, actually ‘grow jobs’, he has made the FoxConn deal in a desperate attempt to make it look like he has succeeded. But look at the deal: $3 billion in promised assistance, to a company with a poor track record in dealing with communities, in an industry where projecting long-term trends and profitability is uncertain at best, with exemption from environmental standards and legal/judicial process and accountability? Scott Walker sketched out a sucker’s bet on the back of a napkin, committed money better left in the pockets of Wisconsinites, cracked the whip on the state GOP to get them to pass it, and he’s hoping we don’t find out until after he’s re-elected.
Keller: The national versus state control of power has been a long lasting issue, ever since the founding of this nation. Which do you believe holds more power? As governor, would you fight for Wisconsin’s interests over national interests? More importantly, would you fight for state interests or county and city interests?
Anderson: I will fight for state interests over federal, per the 10th Amendment, and will allow and defer to the wishes and democratic processes of county and local governments, while supporting individuals’ rights.
Keller: A topic of major consideration in recent months has been illegal immigration. As a result, sanctuary cities have become a major issue in the United States; due to this last election and the Trump Administration. What is your stance on the issue?
Anderson: I support the right of local communities to make their own decisions. The problem is there is too much federally procured taxpayer money flowing back to states and communities, which creates the incentive to heel to the demands of the federal government. The solution is not obedience, but a return to a political system where power and authority extend from the individual outward, by consent, to different levels of government, not one where power, authority, and federal coercively procured tax dollars flow downward from a distant, unintelligible, coercive bureaucracy.
Keller: A running mate is just as important to voters. I have heard Patrick Baird is running with you, what do you feel qualifies him to be lieutenant governor?
Anderson: Patrick is very smart, principled, and passionate. He loves to dive into issues and problems, finding the real crisis and the most effective solution. He has experience with many different types of challenges, from health insurance to public education and beyond, and I am proud to have him as a running mate.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers and to the people of Wisconsin?
Anderson: Yes. Wisconsin, Libertarians aren’t just another political party, a third political party. We represent a radical return to the basic principles we ALL believe in: that people have the right to lives their lives as they choose, as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of others to do the same. LIVE and LET LIVE. It’s the most fair, and the most humane way for us to coexist in peace, prosperity, and privacy. So if you are sick and tired of the same old politics, to the point where you’re voting for the lesser of two evils, or have tuned out or given up, NOW is your chance. NOW! Connect with us at TeamGuv.org. We need your support in order to make a real positive difference in the lives of all Wisconsin citizens, not just those of a particular party or philosophy. Now is your chance.
I would like to again thank Phil Anderson for his time with this interview.
Stay in contact with him at the following links: