LP WIre — August 2019

Words from the Chair

Matt Bughman / LPWI Chair

Fellow Wisconsin Libertarians,

It is my honor to be representing you as the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin. Many of us have yet to meet, but my hope is that this will change as our current executive committee plan to bring a higher public profile for the party and our principals.

My top priority as Chair is to set up a system of continued success in fundraising and candidate support. Achievement in these areas will only serve to benefit Liberty in Wisconsin and the continued growth of the party.

Since being elected to the executive committee, I and the committee chairs are working on several initiatives we see as necessary to more effectively promote liberty in Wisconsin.

  • Candidate recruitment and support is in full swing for both the spring and fall 2020 elections. The LPWI focus in the upcoming elections will be to promote and support both partisan and non-partisan LPWI candidates in local races. If you are interested in running for office or volunteering you can contact us at info@lpwi.org.
  • I will attend a campaign summit at the end of the month in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I hope to bring back much needed resources for those who choose to represent the LPWI in the upcoming elections. I am also working with our LP National Region Representative John Phillips Jr. in acquiring resources to secure ballot access for whomever wins the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.
  • Members of the executive committee and myself will attend a training conference put on by the National Party in Des Moines, Iowa this September. The event will cover a variety of topics for improving communications, campaigns, and fundraising.
  • Our Marketing and Membership Committee is organizing a Membership and Fundraising push this October. These funds will help to support our candidates next year as well as fund our convention and other events that raise our visibility.

I want to take this time to highlight our Marketing and Membership Committee. The committee is working hard to modernize the mechanics, communications, and fundraising of our party and I am extremely proud of the work they’re doing!

Our Vice-Chair Brian Defferding also deserves our thanks and support. For those of you that don’t know Brian is an elected Libertarian serving on the Winnebago County Board. Brian has put forth legislation to revamp mental health courts and institute criminal justice reform in Winnebago Co. The LPWI thanks them all for their dedicated service.

Sadly due to recent tragedies “Red Flag” legislation is now being discussed in Madison that would, if passed, certainly infringe on Wisconsinites constitutional rights. I can assure you the Libertarian Party will remain an outspoken defender of your rights and will hold our legislators accountable.

In the current political climate, I know it can be very difficult to stand by your convictions. Many want to force us into a left-right paradigm. Our opposition enjoys playing on people’s fears and we must meet that with understanding, love, and compassion. Even in adversity I urge all of us to remain true to the core principles of Libertarianism life, liberty, and property.

In Liberty,
Matthew Bughman

Upcoming Events and Meet-ups

August Executive Committee Meeting
Aug. 26, 2019 @ 8pm
Any member of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin is welcome to join the monthly Executive Committee Meetings, where elected officeholders and committee members report party activity, discuss resolutions and plans, and make plans for the future of Liberty in Wisconsin.  We use Zoom, a videoconferencing software, to make these meetings accessible to any member.  To receive a copy of the agenda or a link to our conference, email chair@lpwi.org.

Libertarian Party of Dane County August Meeting and Social
Aug. 20, 2019 @ 8pm • Hop Cat • 222 W. Gorham St., Madison, Wisconsin 53703

Rock County Meetups
Hedburg Public Library • 316 S Main St, Janesville, WI 53545
Aug. 20, 2019 @ 7pm
Sept. 17, 2019 @ 7pm

Milwaukee Meetups
Los Mariachis • 4305 W. Layton Ave, Greenfield, WI, 53220
Aug. 28, 2019 @ 7pm
Sept. 25, 2019 @ 7pm

Southeast Wisconsin Meetup
Sept. 21, 2019 @ noon
2811 Wisconsin Street, Sturtevant, WI, 53177

Latino Festival
Sept. 7, 2019 • Pierce Park, W. Prospect Ave., Appleton
The Fox Valley Affiliate is organizing a booth at this year’s Latino Fest.  Likely topics of discussion will include free movement and immigration.  Come visit with your fellow Libertarians, or consider volunteering if you’re in the area.  Contact info@lpwi.org to be connected with an event organizer for more information or volunteer details.

Fox Valley Libertarians September Business Meeting
Sept. 11, 2019 @ 7pm • 620 E. Longview Drive, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911

Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival
Oct. 5-6, 2019 • Library Mall, Madison
Legalization is our jam!  Stop by the Libertarian booth at the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival to chat with like-minded individuals, learn about cannabis, and support the end of the War on Drugs!  For more information about the booth and volunteer opportunities, reach out to info@lpwi.org and we’ll put you in touch with the right guy.

State Party’s Software Switch

Kevin Litten / Newsletter Editor

Wisconsin’s switch from Nation Builder to CiviCRM has not been without difficulties. This newsletter is late. The editor hopes that it looks good. Mostly he hopes that everyone who was expecting it received one. If you know someone who didn’t or someone who wants to begin receiving it, have them send a request to info@lpwi.org

What I’m working on for August

Our state party continues to struggle with its switch from NationBuilder to CiviCRM. You probably noticed that you did not receive the post convention issue or June’s The LP Wire. These issues are posted on the party’s web page under the News Section. More troubling is our inability to retrieve, use, and continually update our membership database. We are discussing these issues with the vendor. If they can not be resolved the party will need to switch to a different bulk email program. For now, if you are receiving this, count yourself lucky. If you know someone who didn’t or someone who wants to begin receiving it, have them send a request to info@lpwi.org We are asking all affiliates and district representatives to assist us in getting the newsletter list back to where is was. Could be a lot of work, but it is the life of the party so, it needs to be done.

If you signed up to give a monthly contribution to the state party, say $5 a month for your membership– and have noticed that your contribution is not happening – please sign up again on the new web page. That functionality did not transfer between platforms.

Announcing: LPWI Month-long Membership Marathon!

LPWI Marketing, Membership, and Fundraising Committee

This October, join your fellow Libertarians in welcoming new members into the party of principle! Starting October 1, we’re asking you to hang a flier, sell a raffle ticket, check out an affiliate meeting, or just strike up a conversation about our goal to achieve a world set free in our lifetime. Some of our active members will be on the radio to talk about what the Libertarian Party stands for and what the state party is doing to gear up for the 2020 presidential election. It’s all hands on deck, and at the end of the drive we’ll announce the winner of a statewide raffle for a two-night stay at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay and a gift basket stuffed with Wisconsin-made goodies.

We’ll release more information about this event as autumn approaches, so stay tuned for news, chances to buy raffle tickets, and volunteer opportunities! Details about tickets, prizes, and the date of the drawing will be announced as they are confirmed. There is much to organize yet, but things are coming together nicely.

The Tough Road Ahead

Kevin Litten / Newsletter Editor

Political parties in power do all they can to stay in power This article isn’t about counting the ways they do it other than to say part of it is making sure that only two parties dominate the process. Two parties gives the voter an illusion of choice. We know that isn’t true.

The 2020 elections are 15 months away. Today our party finds itself in a worse situation than it was in 4 years ago. To get our presidential candidate on the ballot, as an independent candidate, we will need to collect 2000 signatures. To do the same thing as a Libertarian Party candidate we will need to collect 10,000 signatures.

Our state does not allow the use of straw men or substitution candidates. That means our party must first elect its candidate at our national convention in May before we can begin to collect signatures for him / her. The deadline for filling is in August. 10,000 Signatures in 6 weeks? It can be done. Probably not without paid professional petitioners.

Let’s see 10,000 signatures at $3 each, a good price, is equal to all the life blood this party’s got. Can we do this with volunteers? Other states routinely do it. Wisconsin’s LP never has.

Are the laws of this state so onerous that they are unachievable? Possibly. Should we sue? Kentucky’s LP recently successfully sued their state. Could we? Possibly. Lawyers take money. Would it be cheaper to hire professional petitioners? I don’t know.

Several of our party officers are discussing our difficulties with our elected officials. In a just society they would see that our situation is unreasonable and agree to modify the regulations governing third party access to the ballot. Unfortunately we live in an age that lacks statesmen. Our politicians live out their careers to only end up as dead politicians. I’m not hopeful although I would not call their efforts a lost cause yet.

Anyway you look at it we will need to gather a great many petition signatures fast. Think about the festivities you recently attended: the July 4thparades, the farmers markets, the community festivals, those Summer band concerts. Now imagine you are there next year only this time you have 2-3 clip boards with you and are passing them out. Cause that is what it is going to take.

In the next few newsletters we will cover how best to get this done; what lines to use, who best to approach, that sort of thing.

Thomas Paine said it best, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated”

They fought against tyranny then. We fight against tyranny now. They bled with their lives. We are asking for your time and inconvenience.

Does Tragedy in Texas have bearing on Natural Rights in Wisconsin?

Jim Mass / Former chair of LPWI

Could Wisconsin citizens who haven’t done anything wrong lose their constitutional rights because of a tragedy in Texas? Add in never-ending media reports on the same event.

Someone shot up a bunch of people in another state. Not surprisingly, there are politicians in Madison and Washington who are willing to compromise our constitutional rights and make us less safe. We have to watch them carefully.

Like Texans, Wisconsin citizens have had the legal option of Open Carry, or the right to carry a pistol on the hip, since the 1880s. While it is legal, it can be awkward, unfashionable, and make others feel uncomfortable. Most responsible gun owners are sensitive about that and usually don’t carry openly except at events where others do it too.

Wisconsin citizens have the advantage of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms according to Article I, Section 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution, passed in 1998. It makes bearing arms a right, rather than a privilege, just like the right to free speech.

Wisconsin citizens can also get a concealed carry permit. Libertarians don’t like having to pay for permission to exercise our constitutional rights but, it is an option for some.

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison

Of course, both of the old parties like to control us with regulations, fees and bureaucratic hoops to jump through.

What about “Red Flag” laws, which remove rights from certain scary people without due process? ”Honest, decent, law-abiding people should not lose their rights because some judge thinks they might do something in the future. That’s the Soviet Union model, not the American,” observes Judge Andrew Napolitano

“There are forces in this country that have been trying to take guns away from Americans for generations,” Napolitano said. “These forces will try to use this tragedy to walk closer to their goal, which is to disarm citizenry. And a disarmed citizenry is a nation of sheep.”

“Sens. Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal announced Monday a bipartisan bill that would create a federal grant program to assist states in adopting “red flag” laws, in response to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend.” -(Fox News)

“Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is joining with fellow Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul in supporting a law allowing judges to take away firearms from people determined to be a threat to themselves or others.” -(AP) Take away guns which are already legally owned.

Freedom is in our interests for many reasons, while gun control (a.k.a., “victim disarmament”) is against the public interest, whatever the excuse. I bet there are WalMart customers who carry concealed daily.

We would all be safer if private businesses and public places took down their “No Weapons Allowed” signs. Have there been any mass shootings which occurred in a place which had not been posted?

It’s not hard or complicated. Take them down. Rather than whining about government protection, let’s demand that we be allowed to defend ourselves and our families.

Libertarians believe “The only legitimate function of government is to recognize and protect the rights of those under its jurisdiction.”

Jim Maas, Madison, is a former Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin.

Libertarians Fight Violence with Love

Ren Ronnander / Marketing, Membership, and Fundraising Committee

When we face tragedy, it is our instinct to act out of fear. When violent individuals take the lives of our neighbors, it is natural for our first thoughts to be born of that fear.  In just a few days at the beginning of August, lone shooters killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas; nine people in Dayton, Ohio; three people in Gilroy, California, and four people in Lake Hallie, Wisconsin.  The death toll totals 40. Many are grieving, shocked, afraid.

It is the chosen path of the Libertarian to overcome those first pangs of panic and instead redouble our efforts to achieve a freer, more peaceful world.  Love, not fear, will lead us to this achievement.

Fear compels us to disable one another.

Love compels us to uplift others through good deeds.

Fear compels us to shackle others with restrictions beyond the scope of justice.

Love compels us to set each other free.

The Libertarian Party position on firearms is loving. It places the highest value on the life of the human individual.

The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.”

What, then, can Libertarians do to prevent individuals from committing violence and bringing harm to innocent people?

  • We can advocate for local solutions and personally invest in the livelihood of our communities.
  • We can advocate for the elimination of barriers to providing support to those who need it.
  • We can advocate for criminal justice reform and the end of the War on Drugs.
  • We can advocate for educational freedom, so that more children can be brought up in healthy, safe, loving environments.
  • We can advocate for the end of government intervention in health care, so that more people can access the mental health services they need at an affordable cost.
  • We can teach the value of human life, and that the inherent rights that each person is born with – Life, Liberty, and Property – can never justly be infringed upon.

Out of desperation we could campaign to hobble one another.  Those who would be hobbled learn to fear the fearful, and with each regulation we pass we shed our own defences, leaving a nation disarmed, more helpless, distrustful and divided than ever before.

Let us instead grieve together, and move forward with renewed dedication to our shared vision: a world that is free and prosperous, where no one must fear that their livelihoods or lives may be taken from them.

Freedom to Work

Kristin Calhoun / LPWI Member

As Libertarians, we all support individual ideas and the freedom to choose our own paths in life. This includes things like starting or running a business if we so choose with few to no obstacles from government, as well as supporting individual life choices that best suit individual needs and desires. Intersecting all of these things is something often discussed in whispers and with confusion: sex work.

Although the Libertarian Party supports the full decriminalization of sex work, many don’t know much about sex workers. I am a sex worker and am a member of the Libertarian Party. I am also one of the cofounders of the Libertarian Party Sex Worker Rights Caucus. Our caucus was created to dispel the myths surrounding sex work and also coalign with other sex worker rights organizations to push forward for full decriminalization of sex work.

First and foremost, consensual sex work and sex trafficking are not the same. Opponents of the decriminalization of sex work continue to feed misinformation to the public, claiming that no sex workers would voluntarily choose this profession, that all sex workers are being trafficked, that all sex workers have pimps who steal their money and beat them daily. These things do unfortunately occur sometimes, but they happen to only a very small percentage of sex workers. The majority of sex workers (including myself!) live very normal lives. Normal can be pretty boring, and normal and boring do not make for sensational news stories.

Although the job title is sex worker, many would be surprised to learn that sex is really a small part of what I do. My clients book hours to spend with me, sometimes even days. We do all of the normal things that people would do on a date. We share a bottle of wine, eat dinner together, snuggle on the couch while we watch a movie, or even get silly and share lots of laughs while playing the card game Uno. We hug, we kiss. We talk about our day. We talk about our families. We talk about our struggles in life. We connect.

People start in sex work for many reasons, but often the reason is quite simple: it is a lucrative profession. People work part time as a sex worker to pay for their college tuition so they are debt-free when they graduate. Moms do sex work because they are able to support their families with a part time job that allows them to stay home when they need to care for their children. Some people do sex work just for the thrill of it, so they are able to live out sexual fantasies. One thing that all sex workers have in common is that they are all individuals who want to be able to do practice their profession without fear of arrest. This fear is real, even though there is clearly no victim.

Sex workers are regular humans who want the same things in life that you the reader also want in life: liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With the help of the Libertarian Party, we know that this can be achieved with the full decriminalization of sex work.

Kristin Calhoun is the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin’s alternate representative for the 7th Congressional District and chair of the Libertarian Party Sex Worker Rights Caucus.  She serves on the Marketing, Membership, and Fundraising Committee for the party.

Want to Contribute?

The LPWI Marketing, Membership, and Fundraising Committee is redoubling efforts to publish more Libertarian content on our website, in our newsletter, and on social media.  With this campaign comes a need for great content. We aim to promote Libertarianism and Libertarians by providing a place for our members to send stories, articles, essays, editorials, photos, and more.  If you’ve a knack for writing, rhetoric, or even drawing comics or making memes, we would love to consider your work for publication. Please contact Ren Ronnander (renronnander@gmail.com) and let us know what you can do.

Affiliate Reports

This newsletter only hears what you choose to tell it. It is important, if you have an event coming up, to let The LP Wire know.

The Fox Valley affiliate is in the planning stages of attending Latinofest in September.

The Eau Claire affiliate is putting together a college outreach program for UWEC. Part of this will involve alumni from Wisconsin universities.

Short Notes

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx

As Democrats scramble over each other to increase government control over guns, body armor, and limit our freedoms, kindly look over at Hong Kong; where people are peacefully protesting, but being violently suppressed by their government. Think about it.

The LP WIre is published in even numbered months. Permission to publish has been given by the LPWI Executive Committee. Editor in Chief is Kevin Litten. The editor of this newsletter may be reached by email at kdlitten@charter.net . Submissions are welcome but are subject to editing for applicability and length. Copyright © 2019, permission to copy only given for research, scholarship, criticism, or comment.

This newsletter is intended for Libertarians and interested persons.

Articles are welcome. Images are appreciated.

P.O. Box 20815
Greenfield, WI 53220

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