Joe Wendt, who in 2012 received 43% of the vote for a local office after vowing to abolish his office if elected, has announce his candidacy for US Senate in Florida on the May 27 podcast episode of Rocky and the Gonz. The campaign motto, according to his website, appears to be “Make America Free Again.”
According to social media posts, Jon-luc Tesky, vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Polk County, FL and a former campaign manager of Libertarian nominee (this article’s author) Paul Stanton‘s 2016 US Senate campaign, has taken a position as fundraising director after declining the position campaign manager. Raquel Okyay (writer, former vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Hillsborough County, former Regional Representative of the Libertarian Party of Florida and former campaign manager of Augustus Sol Invictus’ controversial 2016 campaign for the Libertarian nomination for US Senate) will be taking a position as campaign manager.
Joe Wendt’s platform (as of June 3, 2017):
CIVIL LIBERTY AND CIVIL ORDER
I oppose abortion for moral reasons. Forcing individuals to fund a practice they find abhorrent is unacceptable; as with any medical process, I oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion. I also oppose taxpayer funding of organizations that offer “abortion alternatives” (i.e. organizations that encourage adoption). Government created barriers to adoption should also be eliminated. I would like to see more anti-abortion advocates focus on education as a way to reduce the number of babies that are aborted. Additionally, just as a mother can waive parental rights upon birth by putting the child up for adoption, the father of the child should likewise have the legal option of either waiving parental rights, or having the first opportunity to adopt the child if placed for adoption.
Copyright & Intellectual Property
Current copyright and patent laws are flawed, and must be repealed to respect the free flow of information. When you use information to guide your action or configure your own property, the originator of the idea still has the idea.
All peaceful prisoners should be released, so long as their offense does not have a victim. Police should no longer arrest or ticket people for offenses with no victim, and such crimes should be eliminated from federal statutes, state statutes and local ordinances.
The “War on Drugs” costs the federal government over $15 billion per year, State and local governments spend an additional $25 billion each year. These costs include the incarceration of nearly 1 million people for drug offenses; the vast majority of these individuals have harmed no one. Individuals with drug addictions should be treated medically for these addictions, they should not be treated as criminals. There were no federal drug laws until the early 20th Century. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was ruled Unconstitutional in 1969. In 1970, however, President Nixon was successful in getting Congress to pass the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, and States were forced to adopt the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. These sets of laws are a blatant violation of the 9th and 10th Amendments. ALL laws regulating the production, distribution and/or use of any substance should be repealed.
The Federal Department of Education should be abolished, and all voucher programs should be abolished. Parents should take a more active role in the education of their children, something as important as education should not be handed over to a government.
Equal Protection Under the Law
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by any government entity on account of race, creed, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Freedom of Association
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and that no one may be compelled to belong to an association. This freedom of association includes the right of business owners to refuse service to any person for any reason; however no business owner should be compelled by law to deny service.
Freedom of Speech, and of the Press
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. I oppose all forms of censorship, whatever the medium involved; this includes laws and/or regulations that stifle the expression of ideas, especially ideas that are dissenting or political in nature, regardless if the person expressing the idea is doing so on their own accord, as part of a group, or as a member of the media.
Governments should be transparent and free of corruption. I believe the Downsize DC Agenda is one methods for bringing about this reform. Further, all individuals have the god-given right to life, liberty & pursuit of happiness, whenever governments become destructive of these rights, the people have the right to alter or abolish it. The federal government has been destroying rights since 1791, therefore I believe that the federal government should be abolished!
I believe that people should be allowed to travel freely without government interference. This includes the right of individuals to choose where they decide to live. Current federal immigration laws are convoluted and give preferential treatment to individuals from certain countries. The current system also relies on quotas, hosts and in some cases an immigration lottery, as well as preferred treatment to athletes and refugees. This must change, and there should be one uniform immigration law. I believe the best model law is the “wet foot, dry foot rule” in place for people fleeing Cuba. Under this rule, anyone from Cuba who makes it safely into the United States, is allowed to stay; however, the aspect of this rule that I would end is that the Coast Guard patrols the waters looking for people with “wet feet” in order to redirect them back to Cuba. The immigration policy of the United States of America should once again resemble the words written on the Statue of Liberty
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
An aside: most of the people who argue against eased immigration standards point to the “abuse” of the welfare system. That is actually an argument against welfare, not an argument against immigration!
Encroachments on privacy by government should be eliminated so far as it is possible to do so. Electronic and other covert government surveillance of citizens should be restricted to activity which can be shown beforehand, under high standards of probable cause, to be criminal and to present immediate and grave danger to other citizens. The national census and other government compilations of data on citizens should be conducted on a strictly voluntary basis, and the census should only ask the question: “How many people live at this address?”.
Secession and Self-Determination
I fully support the right of self-determination; that is the right of “determination by the people of a territorial unit of their own future political status.” Though there are no established guidelines regarding how a group of people exercise their right of self-determination. During the 1860’s several States attempted to leave the United States of America, several counties in these States took secession one step further and seceded from their seceding State. It was this act of self-determination that allowed West Virginia to become a State, it also led to several “Free State’s” throughout the Confederacy. The United States of America was founded on the principles of self-determination. Not only has the U.S. government violated the self-determination rights of the Native Americans, but also the people of Hawai’i, Guam, Puerto Rico and many other people who have become dependent on the U.S. government. I believe that every person and/or group of people should be allowed to decide for themselves if and/or how they will be governed.
I support the right to privately own and possess firearms or any other weapons for self-defense purposes. I oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, transport, or transfer of firearms, ammunition, or any other tool that could be used for self-defense. Additionally, I oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition, and oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the use of other self-defensive tools, including (but not limited to) pepper spray, stun guns, tear gas (mace). I further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition.
TRADE AND THE ECONOMY
Budget & Economy
I fully support abolishing the Federal Reserve, IRS and all unconstitutional spending. I support a repeal of legal tender laws, and a free-market monetary system of competing currencies. I also oppose any attempts to regulate virtual currencies.
I oppose all governmental subsidies and bailouts, direct or indirect, to business, labor, or any other special interest; a business should be allowed to succeed or fail without governmental interference.
Energy & Oil
I support the use of alternative energy sources. While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. I oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and/or production.
I share the opinion of Dr. Mary Ruwart “The environment would benefit immensely from the elimination of sovereign immunity coupled with the privatization of land and beast. The third and final step in the libertarian program to save the environment is the use of restitution both as a deterrent and a restorative.”
I support the existence of free-market certifications and believe such certifications are helpful to those looking for qualified health care. I believe that individuals should be free to choose the medical care they believe is best for themselves. This includes the freedom to seek alternative forms of treatment, such as holistic, homeopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, shaman, or any other form of treatment they choose. Governments should not mandate what qualifies someone to give medical treatment, nor should any government use force, or the threat of force, to prevent an individual from seeking treatment from an “unqualified” practitioner. I support the repeal/abolition of the FDA, Medicare, Medicaid, forced vaccination, mandatory health insurance laws, and any other governmental dictate that interferes with than individuals right to choose the medical care the wish to seek.
Infrastructure & Technology
Government should not be involved in this area, this is an issue best left to private industry.
It is not the job of any government to create jobs. This is an issue best left to private industry, without interference from government.
Social Security is nothing more than a Ponzi-scheme, whereby a fraudulent investment operation pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. Every individual should be responsible for his/her own retirement. Therefore, everyone should be allowed to opt-out of the Social Security system. Those who decide to opt-in to Social Security should have their contributions placed into a private account, such as a 401k or Money Market Account, which they control.
I wish to phase-out the system altogether to remove the coercion of government from an individuals retirement.
I support abolishing the IRS and all forms of coercive taxation (this includes tariffs, excise taxes, payroll taxes, etc), and government programs should be funded voluntarily.
Welfare & Poverty
The welfare state, supposedly designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor themselves. I oppose government-enforced charity such as welfare programs and subsidies, but heartily applaud those individuals and private charitable organizations that help the needy and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile causes through voluntary activities. Taxpayer funding for welfare should be phased out as quickly as possible.
There is a saying “If goods don’t cross border, armies will.” I believe American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Peace will never be achieved through force. Libertarians seek the withdrawal of troops from the 900+ military bases in over 130 nations around the world.
I support an end to taxpayer funded foreign aid.
Free Trade does not require a treaty, rather a lack of government involvement. I support real free-trade (not the bureaucratic version of “free trade” that exists under NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, etc). To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, I support peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
I support abolishing the Department of Homeland Security. Constitutionally, the military is responsible for protecting the country; however, I do not support a standing army, rather I support calling up a military only in times of declared war or in cases of imminent defense.
I support the immediate withdrawal of the United States government from, and an end to its financial support for, the United Nations. Specifically, I oppose any US policy designating the United Nations as policeman of the world, committing US troops to wars at the discretion of the UN, or placing US troops under UN command. I oppose US government participation in any world or international government. I oppose any treaty under which individual rights would be violated.
War & Peace
I am opposed to war for moral and philosophical reasons, not for political reasons. Force is only justified in defense of person or property; preemptive use of force is always wrong. The foundation of libertarianism is mutual respect. It is a principle that extends to our relationships with people throughout the world. All American troops currently stationed around the world, excepting those troops who are protecting embassies, should be brought home immediately.