By John Keller | Wisconsin
Mike Hammond, a Libertarian living in Wisconsin, is running for State Assembly in District Six. He has had a successful career farming and is hoping to bring that success to liberating the people of Wisconsin.
Keller: What inspired you to pursue a career in politics?
Hammond: I have had an interest in government and politics for as long as I can remember. I have had friends and family involved in local, county, and state politics so it was easy to stay interested. My actual involvement up until recently has been being a member of our township’s planning and zoning committee. I have been involved in farming my entire life but over the past several years I have downsized myself out of the farming business. I find myself with the time needed to pursue my interest in politics to the next notch and have decided that if I am ever going to try, now is the time.
Keller: When entering politics, what attracted you to the Libertarian Party over the Democratic Party or Republican Party?
Hammond: Over the past several general elections, I have found that there is a lack of candidates that I share political views with. There have been candidates I have voted for and supported in the primaries but they tend to get beaten back by the power players in the major parties in favor of those who toe the party line. I feel if I would run as a major party candidate, the same would happen to me. Libertarian ideas and principles have appealed to me for a long time so I started to look into the Libertarian Party Of Wisconsin. I liked much of what I saw. The campaign of Phil Anderson for U.S. Senate caught my eye in 2016 and I got involved in a small way, collecting signatures, spreading info, etc., and basically learning more about how political campaigns work. I joined the party and attended the state convention in 2017. I liked the people I met, and what they said, and decided to run for Assembly as a Libertarian.
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?
Hammond: It is not an entirely correct description of libertarianism but the one I hear most often, and the one that is easiest understood is that a Libertarian is socially liberal, financially conservative. I believe that does describe me. I do have a couple disagreements with the party platform but choose to concentrate on the things I do agree on.
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 of liberty so attractive as a viable third option?
Hammond: The wasted vote theory is possibly the biggest hurdle Libertarian or other 3rd party and independent candidates have to overcome. I hear it regularly, “I won’t vote for a Libertarian because Libertarians can’t get elected”. All I can say to that is, elect the first one and that argument disappears.
Keller: What three issues and stances form the cornerstone of your campaign?
Hammond: My three main platform issues are:
1. Work towards a smaller, more efficient government. Reprioritize and define what the role of state government should be.
2. Work to develop a statewide school choice system where every student in the state would be eligible to attend any school that wants to be in the program. Right now, one side wants to keep expanding the current school choice voucher system and the other side wants to eliminate it. I think there is a great opportunity to develop a system that both sides could at least tolerate.
3. A return towards an economy based on market influence and consumer choice and away from the current trend of a political influence, taxpayer funding based economy.
Keller: The Foxconn deal has been highly controversial not only in Wisconsin but in America. What are your thoughts on the Foxconn Deal Governor Scott Walker made?
Hammond: Whether it be FOXCONN, the Milwaukee Bucks new arena, or any number of other private projects being bankrolled by taxpayer funds, I do not believe this process should be a function of state government. The state should not be in the banking business, the WEDC does not create economic development, it shifts it. From where it would develop naturally based on consumer choice and market conditions to where it develops because of political influence and taxpayer funding. I favor natural economic development. Political driven, taxpayer-funded economic development is a bottomless pit.
Keller: What is your main goal in getting elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly?
Hammond: I believe there are a lot of people who think like me, that their views are no longer being represented in Madison. My hope would be to be able to be a voice for our shared concerns. There is no guarantee anyone will listen but it could be a possibility.
Keller: If someone is interested, how could they get involved with your campaign or with the Libertarian Party?
Hammond: Anyone interested in my campaign or wanting to contribute or volunteer, can follow along with my campaign Facebook page, Hammond For Assembly.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
There are also several Libertarian candidates with active 2018 campaigns underway. Check us out. The state party web page is lpwi.org.
I would like to thank Mike Hammond for his time! Be sure to get involved with his campaign if interested and visit his Facebook page.