The following complaint with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission by gubernatorial candidate Phil Anderson:
"The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has colluded with the Democratic and Republican parties both directly and indirectly through their gubernatorial debate participation criteria to exclude candidates of other parties appearing on the ballot. Based on the fact that the WBA announced its series of gubernatorial debates less than 24 hours after the polls closed on the August 14 primary election, it is clear they had already decided to include only the Democrat and Republican candidates. They did not even follow their own stated participation criteria of candidate fundraising minimums of $250,000 and at least 10% in a recent poll. No other parties were included in the polls previous to the primary election, so this criterion was impossible for any candidate other than Democrats or Republicans to meet."
Anderson contends that that this active collusion with Democrats and Republicans to exclude third parties from the debates constitutes an illegal in-kind donation to the campaigns of their parties’ gubernatorial committees. The value of primetime exposure on statewide television is significant and of concrete monetary value to the candidates’ committees. "Consider how much either or both candidates would have had to spend to obtain an hour of primetime advertising."
According to Section 11.1112, “No foreign or domestic corporation, no association organized under ch. 185 or 193, no labor organization, and no federally recognized American Indian Tribe may make a contribution to a committee…” By providing valuable primetime exposure to the Democrat and Republican candidates and by excluding all others, the WBA has made an illegal in-kind donation to both campaigns, say Anderson.
"This collusion is further evidenced by a special tax break provided in the 2017 Act 59, the 2017-19 biennial budget. This provision, page 283, item 33, would reduce broadcasters’ net taxes by $147,437,800. Combined with the millions in advertising revenue that Wisconsin broadcasters receive from the Democrat and Republican parties every election year, the mutually beneficial financial relationship between these parties is clear.
"God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.” ~ Daniel Webster
Today we celebrate the Fourth of July, formerly known as "Independence Day." I say, “formerly known as" because July 4 may be a popular celebration but not so much for our "independence."
When the American colonies declared their independence and gained their freedom from one of the largest empires in the world, it was a momentous occasion. Ours was the first nation on the planet in which the individual was considered more important than a government. Furthermore, the government was restricted by a written constitution, so they couldn't make the rules up as they wished.
Today, we aren't as free as we once were or as we should be. More than ever, Wisconsinites love our country but fear our government.
The wisdom of our Founding Fathers was written down. The powers of the national government were designed to be limited and the ratifying states would not have approved the Constitution without a written Bill of Rights. Article Ten says quite clearly that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." What a gift that was! The problem is, we can't depend on politicians to honor it, even though they take an oath of office to do so.
If our state government is merely an administrative zone for Washington, what is the point? The Environmental Protection Agency is after Wisconsin power plants that burn economical coal fuels. (Where is the Office of Energy of our DNR?) This will increase energy costs for Wisconsin industry and other consumers. Wisconsin jobs and industries are threatened by trade policies imposed by Washington.
The Agriculture Department is issuing "guidelines" which may restrict cranberry juice drinks in our schools. Who should be issuing guidelines for our schools?Read more
Wisconsin is home to thousands of military veterans. Unfortunately, veterans have a disproportionately high rate of certain debilitating medical conditions as compared to the general population.
The Veterans Health Administration treats many of the veterans dealing with health issues with opioid pain medications. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to abuse, addiction and even fatal overdose. But, the VA and Attorney General Brad Schimel recently announced that they will give veterans a “Dose of Reality.” A rather ominous name for this campaign, and rightly so.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice may not know much about pain management but they intend to work with the VA to “give military veterans and active service members, and their families, the tools and resources to prevent opioid abuse.” They boast that the VA has made significant progress in reducing opioid prescribing. Unfortunately, the VA has resisted making all recommended alternative treatments available to veterans.
Cannabis has been found to help many patients suffering from conditions that can afflict veterans as a result of their service, including chronic pain, cancer, ALS, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorders, and phantom limb pain. In 2017 all major veterans service organizations in Wisconsin passed a number of resolutions on health care, including one supporting medical cannabis for veterans with a doctors recommendation. AG Shimel and Wisconsin government continues to ignore the veterans' position.
“With another record year of opioid overdose deaths, Wisconsin eyes fixes” (Wisconsin State Journal headline, 5/9/2018) So, Wisconsin still needs a “fix” after all these years?
Does the State Journal (and other papers) simply re-write press releases put out by the Governor’s office or does a reporter actually have an opportunity to ask challenging questions so a news article provides some facts which might be useful for a reader to put the Governor’s words in perspective?
Governor Walker is, ironically, quite proud of his “Fight” on this government induced “health emergency.” His office has published lists of numerous bills he has signed, executive orders issued, and cites millions of dollars spent. There is a campaign television ad focusing on how he has fought opioids coming to a station near you.
Keep in mind that, last year there was only a 7% increase in fatal opioid overdoses over 2016 in Wisconsin. Emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased by only 109%, the greatest rise among sixteen states closely tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Wisconsin is #1!) Undeterred, the Walker Administration prescribes more of the same; more laws, more bans, more record keeping, more prisoners, and more spending.
Unfortunately, simply banning or restricting opioid prescriptions has had some unintended negative outcomes, namely increased use of heroin or other drugs with uncertified purity and potency. The Journal of Internal Medicine published two studies that conclude that medical marijuana (or medical cannabis) laws have the potential to reduce opioid prescriptions.
“Reducing the supply of legal prescriptions for opioids is pushing people into black market heroin/fentanyl abuse,” pointed out Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer, a Phoenix surgeon and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “The number one cause of drug deaths is drug prohibition. We need to change our focus to harm reduction. We need to change from a war on drugs to a war on drug deaths.”
Even though legislation was introduced in 2017 to permit Wisconsin doctors to prescribe safe, non-addicting medical cannabis, the bills never got out of committees. Wisconsin is almost surrounded by states where patients can get safe medical cannabis. “Wisconsin is open for business;” the pharmaceutical business.
Things in our state capitol are not always what they seem to be. April has been no exception.
A bill described by opponents as an assault on free speech, democracy, and on our constitutionally protected rights passed the Legislature, barring the state from contracting with companies that participate in an economic boycott of a repressive, apartheid government, Israel. Opponents argued at a public hearing that the bill was dangerous and anti-democratic. [Note: Norwegian MP Bjørnar Moxnes has nominated the international protest movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions for the Nobel Peace Prize!]
On the Easter weekend, following passage of the Wisconsin bill, a thousand unarmed Palestinian protesters were shot, injured, or killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Where was the outrage?
There was no outrage. On the following Monday, Governor Walker signed legislation making it illegal for Wisconsin companies to participate in an economic boycott of what South Africa calls, “the only state in the world that can be called an apartheid state”
Further doubling down on the anti-democratic theme of the law, it also prohibits state agencies and local governments from establishing their own policies on boycotting Israel.
“As governor, I will restore local control to counties and municipalities.”
Gov. Scott Walker on the campaign trail.
In contrast to his campaign rhetoric, time and again, Governor Walker has signed legislation into law which has either restricted the authority of local elected officials or imposed burdensome mandates on local governments.
The right to organize boycotts, to marshal economic pressure to effect political change, is protected under the First Amendment,” explains the National Lawyers Guild.
The American Civil Liberties Union has argued that a similar Arizona law violates the First and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution by forcing contractors “to disavow their participation in political boycotts.” Wisconsin taxpayers must now be prepared to pay to defend restrictions on civil rights in Wisconsin!
Human Rights Watch reports that fifty years after Israel illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, “it controls those areas through repression, institutionalized discrimination, and systematic abuses of the Palestinian population’s rights.”Read more
WAUSAU 4/8/2018 ~ Last week Governor Walker said he is willing to send OUR Wisconsin National Guard to the Mexican border. That is not what they signed up for. They are willing to be activated in cases of a state or national emergency, not political stunts.
Activating members of the Guard has many undesirable and disruptive consequences; on individuals, families, communities, and businesses, not to mention local Guard units themselves. Libertarians are concerned for the men and women members of the Wisconsin Guard being snatched away from classes, jobs or families to serve on the U.S. southern border.
Ed Thompson, former Libertarian candidate for governor once said, “The governor of Wisconsin has a responsibility to watch out for our citizens and the Guard members for which he is responsible.” In the interests of Wisconsin’s ‘homeland security’, Wisconsin Guard members belong in Wisconsin.
The use of the Armed Forces for law enforcement inside the United States would be legal only if authorized by Act of Congress or the President determines that the use of the Armed Forces is required to fulfill the President's obligations under the Constitution to respond promptly in time of war, insurrection, or other serious emergency."
If the President needs troops on America’s southern border, we remind him that there are thousands of Americans who remain stationed all over the planet as a result of past conflicts dating all the way back to the Spanish-American War. Bring them home.
Jim Maas, Chair
Marathon County Libertarians
I'm really tired of hearing about the Second Amendment! To be clear, that is because Wisconsin has a better constitutional amendment to protect our rights.
• Some critics of the Second Amendment bring up the unfortunate wording about a well organized militia. I don't want to be sidetracked to a debate about a militia. Wisconsin's amendment is short, clear and to the point. It is hard to misinterpret.
• Some critics note that the Second Amendment was written centuries ago and weapons were different then. Wisconsin's amendment was written in the 1990s. And, unlike the US Constitution, was approved, twice in statewide referenda!
Gun rights activists worked hard to pass our gun rights amendment then. Why don't they refer to it now?
Well, okay, Article I, Section 25 doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? I still like the content.
"The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose."
If you agree, share.
Libertarian candidate for governor says he offers a break from two-party bickering
by Lisa Speckhard, The Cap Times
There are a lot of declared Democratic contenders for governor of Wisconsin in 2018, but Republican Gov. Scott Walker thinks they’re all pretty much the same. "For me, it really doesn't matter who comes out of that primary; it’ll be more of the same," he said right before announcing his run for re-election.
Phil Anderson, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin and another gubernatorial candidate, agrees. But he thinks voters will get "more of the same" whether they vote for a Democrat or Walker.
“People know what the two-party system is. They resign themselves to it, but they know that it’s corrupt. They know that no matter who’s the governor, a Democrat or Republican, spending goes up and up and up and up,” he said. “More intrusion into our lives increases all the time. And they’re really, really tired of it.”
Anderson appeared on the Sunday political talk show “Capital City Sunday,” to talk about his bid for governor. As a libertarian, he advocated for small government, small spending and a big emphasis on local control. “We want to give the state of Wisconsin back to the people of Wisconsin,” he said.
It is all over the newspapers, magazines, and television; we have an Opioid Crisis!
According to Healthy Wisconsin, “Over the last ten years, opioid related hospital visits and deaths in Wisconsin have doubled, especially among young adults. Prescription opioids are the most common culprit, but using heroin—a strong, cheap and easily available alternative to prescription drugs—is also on the rise. In fact, three out of four heroin users started by abusing prescription painkillers.” (Not marijuana.)
Unfortunately, then this state agency, as well as our President, promote more government “solutions.” The real cause of this “crisis” goes back to many government policies which must be dismantled.
Why do we have an Opioid Crisis?
- Big Pharma (large pharmaceutical companies which have a powerful, negative influence.) has influenced doctors and government agencies to accept increased doses of prescription drugs. When addicted and their prescriptions run out, some patients then switch to black market drugs (more pills or heroin). Big Pharma also influences legislators to prohibit cannabis (marijuana) as a safe, natural, non-addictive alternative to the chemicals they sell. Recent bills in the Wisconsin Legislature to permit more adults to use licensed cannabis have been blocked.
- Drug Prohibition. Until the Harrison Act was passed in 1914, heroin and cocaine were both perfectly legal and easily obtainable over the counter. There was no opioid crisis because there was no war on drugs. With drug prohibition, the black market took over and the availability of the drug one wanted from a clean store in a specific strength in a safe, legal transaction disappeared. Thanks a lot, Washington. Why does this failed program continue? Follow the money.
Provisions tucked into a Republican bill relaxing Wisconsin's concealed carry would allow felons to possess antique firearms. Right now, felons in Wisconsin can't own firearms for the rest of their lives.
Wisconsin's constitution (Article I, Section 25) clearly states that “The people” have the right to bear arms for “any lawful purpose.” Do ex-felons stop being people for the rest of their lives?
Many people believe that most felons are violent. That simply is not true. With mandatory sentencing guidelines, most drug possession charges are felonies. So are check fraud charges, tax offenses, and other frauds. As a result, Wisconsin has a huge group of former felons today who were guilty of victimless crimes and the majority are entirely non-violent.
My favorite example of an ex-felon is Martha Stewart. In Wisconsin's system of perpetual punishment, she would be prohibited from lawfully exercising her constitutional right to bear arms because of a dispute with federal law enforcement. Who seriously considers her a danger to the community? Libertarians want former lawbreakers who have paid for their crimes to fully become productive and participating parts of our society once again.Read more