Riley J. Hood: How Much Power Should a Good Man Win?

Riley J. Hood is the Constitution Party of Wisconsin state chairman. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 as a write-in candidate; he received 70 votes. 

Posted August 21, 2014 

Where no counsel is, the people fall,

but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

By Riley J. Hood-CPoW State Chairman


CP of Wisconsin state logo

The current call for “Limited Government” includes the elimination of elective offices. “If you eliminate the State Treasurer, you cut money out of the State Budget,” the saying goes. Our Platform at the Constitution Party of Wisconsin (CPoW) states, “CPoW opposes any proposal to change any state-wide (Secretary of State or State Treasurer) office … currently filled through popular election to appointed positions. Such changes will reduce the officeholder’s accountability to the electorate and instead make the office essentially a political patronage position.”

Jerry Broitzman is calling for restoring the Election Commission under the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State should certify elections not the Government Accountability Board (GAB); an appointed board whose members are handpicked by the following process: Supreme Court picks pool of five or six retired judges, the Governor picks from the pool, and the legislature ratifies these picks. The board has a dedicated funding source that renders it immune from being defunded by our State Legislature.

Andrew Zuelke calls for the State Treasurer to assume the stewardship over the state’s Rainy Day Fund (for surpluses). “During my research for this campaign, I was shocked to find out that the unelected Secretary of the Department of Administration, ‘determines the amounts (of surpluses) to be transferred from the general fund to the budget stabilization fund (rainy day fund).’ He determines the amounts? Seems like a lot of power for an unelected bureaucrat to have, ” Andrew states “I want to protect this office from state politicians who claim that Treasurer is ‘obsolete’ and ‘unnecessary’ after they stripped it of its duties. They want you to have fewer ballot choices and less say in government. I don’t…and I never will.

The State of Wisconsin is not to be a carbon copy of the Federal Government. The US Constitution was written with a large measure of foreign policy in mind. Our State Constitution was written with a domestic “closer to home” policy in view. In the name of short-term savings, will we bequeath to our posterity “an Executive branch on steroids?” Since the gutting of our Constitutional Offices by the State Legislature, those duties have not been eliminated, but transferred over to administrators. Progressives who favor this form of efficiency are certain having a laugh at the expense of “no taxation without representation” and “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

In response to the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) gave America a myriad of “Alphabet Soup” agencies to deal with the crisis. Government by administrators, the progressive dream; quickly become reality. The main obstacle in FDR’s way was the US Supreme Court. FDR issued a proposal in February 1937 to retire all members of the court over 70. If a justice refused to retire, an “assistant” would be appointed to vote in his place. FDR meant to achieve a handpicked Court. There was bi-partisan opposition in Congress to the “court-packing” plan. Sen. Frederick Van Nuys, (D), Indiana, said “I shall not be a party to breaking down the checks and balances of the Constitution.” Rep. Samuel B. Pettengill, (D), Indiana: “A packed jury, a packed court and a stuffed ballot box are all on the same moral plane. This is more power than a good man should want or a bad man should have.”

While Scott Walker is no New Dealer, I will not hesitate to say that the elimination of Constitutional Offices in the State of Wisconsin, whether by Constitutional Amendment, or by Legislative “gutting,” and the transfer of these powers under the Governor’s supervision is in principle, “More power than a good man should want or a bad man should have.”


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