How a Libertarian Can Win in Milwaukee

Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District covers all of the city of Milwaukee and a few small adjacent suburbs within Milwaukee County. In 2014, incumbent Democrat Rep. Gwen Moore won re-election against a Republican opponent 70% to 27%. In 2012, Obama carried the district over Romney by more than 50 points, 75% to 24%.

In 2016, the district is presumed to be such a “safe seat” for the Democrats, that no Republican candidate is running.

I don’t think that’s how our elections should work. Nobody should go into the voting booth and see only one name on the ballot for Congress. No incumbent should be able to take another term without having to defend their record and their positions on the issues.

I’m running as a Libertarian candidate, because I think this country is desperately in need of more choices and more voices in Congress than just Republicans and Democrats, and I think we can make this the most viable campaign to place a Libertarian in Congress in 2016.

Only a principled, pragmatic, and positive Libertarian message can win the votes of both fiscal conservatives and social liberals here in Milwaukee.

On taxes, economics, and free-markets, the quarter of the district that has voted against Barack Obama and against Gwen Moore in the past can feel comfortable their principles of fiscal conservatism and smaller government are well-represented.

At the same time, there are those on the left dissatisfied with Gwen’s endorsement of status-quo Democratic politics, the hypocrisy on crucial issues of war and peace, and the failure to focus on the important issues affecting Milwaukee.

Gwen Moore endorsed Hillary Clinton, but half of this district’s Democrats voted for Bernie Sanders. By raising the issues we agree on, but Gwen Moore doesn’t want to talk about, we can build a winning coalition that crosses Wisconsin’s notoriously stark partisan divide. Rounded out with independents and the plurality of voters sick of the disorder and misery of two-party-only rule, and suddenly we have a race that is competitive and maybe even winnable.

In particular, there’s one issue that needs to be at the top of the agenda for any candidate seeking to represent Milwaukee, and that’s the moral crisis of mass incarceration that has played out on the city’s African-American community harsher than anywhere else in America.

Repealing victimless crimes and reducing mass incarceration go hand in hand, and Gwen Moore has declined to take a position on even as simple and popular a measure as legalization of marijuana, which is overwhelmingly supported by voters in the 4th District. She voted against ending federal funding of police militarization. She spent the better part of two months arguing with a Republican Congressman from Texas over whether or not it’s racist to say abortion is racist, while in her own district one in eight adult black men currently reside in prison.

That’s unacceptable, and we can do better.

#NeverTrump + #FeelTheBern : A Winning Coalition of Independents

In the presidential election, the Libertarian Party is offering a credible, viable alternative to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, in the former two-term Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, who is already polling in double-digits and has a serious potential to be in this year’s presidential debates.

Even at just 11% in the presidential race, down-ticket races suddenly become winnable, particularly in districts where a Libertarian candidate is bringing smart, targeted messaging to a mathematically winning coalition.

Milwaukee and Wisconsin have been the springboard for both #FeelTheBern and #NeverTrump. It now seems apparent that both those efforts will be defeated, on the one hand by the status quo Democrats and the other by a wave of insanity overtaking the GOP. Libertarians are here to welcome both of them, united around the areas of agreement that are more numerous than many of them realize.

Gov. Gary Johnson is fond of saying “Good government is easy, just watch.” That riles some Libertarians who bristle at the very phrase ‘good government,’ but he’s right.

We all want the same common-sense things. A government that protects us from those who would do us harm, but otherwise leaves us free to live our lives. A government that lets us make the important decisions for ourselves. A government that keeps to a minimum its burden and restrictions on our ability to make a more prosperous world for ourselves and our loved ones. A government that defends America, without sending our friends and family to die in foreign wars as part of a globe-straddling empire.

Republicans and Democrats can’t deliver those things, because they have to focus on the divisive. The things which get us all rallied into their predefined camps so they can manage to come off looking less dangerous and evil than their counterpart, which is all they have to do. A sane, principled third-party can bring a perspective to Washington, DC that neither major-party can articulate, including building bridges with both left and right in order to actually accomplish these shared goals.

Principled progressives and conservatives have both been driven away from the two established political parties. But the bulk of the American electorate– the vast classically-liberal center: the independents, the fiscal conservatives and social liberals– remains unrepresented.