2017 Wisconsin Spring Primary

My friends in Wisconsin, don’t forget there is an election tomorrow!  On Tuesday February 21, 2017 the state will be voting on the next State Superintendent Of Public Instruction.  If you are interested at all in school choice or common core standards, make your voice known!

Here are the candidates and their websites:

Tony Evers – http://www.tonyforwisconsin.com
Lowell E. Holtz – http://www.kidservative.org
John Humphries – https://www.humphriesforschools.org/
Rick Melcher – http://www.melcherforsuper.org

Here are a few other sites I think would be useful in helping you decide who gets your vote:

https://ballotpedia.org/Wisconsin_superintendent_of_public_instruction_election,_2017

http://wuwm.com/post/get-know-candidates-wisconsin-state-superintendent#stream/0

While I am not prepared to make an endorsement in this race yet, here’s what my friends at Wisconsin Family Action had to say:

Today Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) announced it has endorsed Dr. Lowell Holtz, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Julaine Appling, WFA PAC director, made the following statement:

“We are honored to endorse a candidate of the caliber of Dr. Lowell Holtz for this important office. Dr. Holtz’s personal educational preparation and attainment, coupled with his hands-on experience are extremely well suited for this position. But more important to us is his character and his positions on the critical issues surrounding education today.
“Dr. Holtz understands that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Public Instruction don’t need to be adversarial to school choice. He rightly believes parents, not the state, are ultimately responsible for the education of their children; and he is therefore rightly supportive of giving parents more options for fulfilling that responsibility. We’ve not had a State Superintendent of Public Instruction with that mindset for decades. This is the election where that needs to change.

Read more here.

Remember that primaries like usually receive a low turn out.  In other words, your vote matters all the more!  Make your voice heard.

My Thoughts on President’s Farewell Address

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In short – this was just another campaign speech, except with a few personal shout-out’s to family and staff.  The President made a grand entrance and the crowd went wild.  This was red meat to his base.  I had high hopes for this speech as President Obama is a great orator and does desire to bring people together.  But, his pleas for unity just seemed all too political. If you had taken the performance out of this and done it from the Oval Office, perhaps there would have been more dignity and sobriety.  I may be alone on that, but that’s pretty much where I’m at.  Nothing in this speech that I haven’t heard before.  Nothing outstanding or even memorable.  Oh well.

But of course, please don’t consider this a serious response to the President’s Address.  That will come on Twitter around 3am…

I’m no Donald Trump, but here are some of my live tweets from the evening  (they start at the bottom):

Calls to personal responsability and civic engagement – gotta like that. #ObamaFarewell

Overall, this just sounds like another campaign speech. @ObamaFarewell

Bias confirmation is a real threat to our whole political system. Amen, Mr. President.

Did you catch that, Obama attacked safe spaces on college campuses! #Obamafarewell

Absolutely right – the effects of slavery and Jim Crowe just dont go away over night. We’ve got to see is and work together. #ObamaFarewell

He’s right on race/immigration. Problem here is not him, its a congress and Republican Party refusing to open their eyes, minds, hearts.

Mr. President, you keep speaking of a democracy as if we live in one. We live in a Republic, Sir. #ObamaFarewell

Excuse me, Mr. President, thanks to your plan I can no longer afford my health insurance. #ObamaFarewell

From Selma to Stonewall – did you see what he did there? #Obamafarewell

I would love to hear him expound on that idea that rights are endowed by our Creator. #ObamaFarewell

Seems a bit like a rock star on stage. So much for humility. #ObamaFarewell

It will be interesting hearing from a President who can speak in more than 140 characters. #ObamaFarewell

 

 

My Endorsements on the Illinois Ballot

US Senate – Republican Mark Kirk is pro-choice who could be, at best, labeled a moderate.  I cannot endorse him.  He is going to lose any way.  He sealed his fate by mocking the family of his opponent in their debate.  On the other hand, Tammy Duckworth seems to be your average liberal who supports abortion on demand and federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  Nothing there for me to endorse.  That leaves me with Libertarian candidate Kent McMillen.  I have my reservations here, but he is pro-second amendment and will vote to shrink the size of government.  My major reservation is his view on abortion.  When I asked him about this he replied, “I believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I am not in favor of federal funding for abortion. I would not vote to fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood. I would like abortions to be safe, rare and privately funded and if a woman was considering the procedure, it would be my hope that she has a supporting network of family, friends, her doctor and her clergy (if applicable).”  So, while I cannot approve of his pro-choice stance, his view is better than the other candidates.  I will be voting for him, but not endorsing him.

Comptroller  – Leslie Munger seems to be the right way to go in this race.  She vows not to pay legislators until we have a budget.  It’s been way too long, perhaps this might nudge them in the right direction.  She also wants to reign in reckless spending and cut waste.  However, some people I respect suggest the Libertarian candidate Claire Bell would be well qualified for the job.  I think I’ll stick with the major party in this one.

General Assembly

68th District – John Cabello.  He’s a former police officer, pro-life and generally conservative.  He’s the clear choice in this race.  My only hesitation is that he is an early supporter of Donald Trump.

69th District – Joe Sosnowski.  He’s a pro-family conservative whose voice is needed in the midst of Springfield corruption.  He also has connections with Rockford Christian School.

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County Chairman – I am supporting Frank Haney.  Of all the races on my ballot, he’s the clearest choice for me.  Mr. Haney is a conservative who will bring integrity back to the chairmanship.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on several different occasions.  He’s great guy who has strong family values and a faith that grounds him.  I really like him and can’t wait to cast my vote for him on Tuesday.

Coroner – I’ll be voting for Bill Hintz.  He’s had experience in this job and seems like he would be competent.  I like that he’s made himself available on social media, something other local candidates ought to be doing.  He writes, “My commitment to our communities is to continue to practice and promote dignified care to those who have passed on, and provide support to those families and friends who are left behind.  I truly believe that we are the last voice for those who have left us. It is my mission to work very diligently to continue to provide the answers needed to support the healing process for families and friends of loved ones that we have lost.  I truly enjoy my position as Chief Deputy Coroner. I am proud of the work that I have done to serve our communities.  During the past 18 years in the Coroner’s Office, I have embraced the challenges of the investigative piece of my responsibilities.”

Judicial Retention – I will most likely be voting to retain all three judges up for retention.  I’m doing this because I honestly do not know much about any of the judges.  My decision is based solely on this website – http://www.illinoisjudges.net/subhead_retention.htm#circuit17

Constitutional Amendment

“The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed amendment provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State or local share to match federal aid highway funds. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.”

I will be voting yes on this amendment.  It makes sense to me and will ensure budgeted money will be used on budgeted items.  It will promote responsible spending in other areas as it takes away the temptation to use these funds as a piggy bank.

 

There are other races on the ballot other than the ones mentioned here, such as county board seats and forest preserve director.  However, I found little to no information on these races.  In the age of the internet, there is no excuse for this.  If you are not willing to at least throw together a free blog or Facebook group, you are not worthy of my support or attention.

My Endorsements on the Wisconsin Ballot

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US Senate – this one is easy, I whole-heartedly support Phillip Anderson of the Libertarian Party.  Wisconsin didn’t like Russ Feingold so they voted him out and voted on Ron Johnson.  Now, Wisconsin voters don’t like Ron Johnson and are considering Russ Feingold – the very man they voted out six years ago.  They say the definition of insanity is…  Instead of the same old choices, Wisconsin has a better option – Phillip Anderson.  Phil is a man of faith who recognizes life in the womb and vows to defend it.   This is something you won’t hear out of Ron Johnson.  He wants to uphold the Constitution return Washington back to its Constitutional role and size. He will vote to keep us out of war and defend our right to liberty against government intervention.  He is definingly the way to go in this race.

Listen to my interview with Phillip Anderson here.

US Congress

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First District – this is also an easy one, re-elect Paul Ryan.  Since gaining the Speakership, Paul Ryan has brought some sanity back to the Republican Party.  Whoever is elected on Tuesday, Paul Ryan will be needed to oppose the tyranny that is most certain to threaten our Republic.  He is our first line of defense.  If the GOP is ever going to gain back some of its credibility, Speaker Ryan will be the key.  His better path forward is a common-sense strategy that will get our country back on track.  He’s the brightest man out there in Washington and, in my opinion, ought to be in the White House.  And, he’s got a 100% pro-life voting record and speaks passionately about the subject.

petertheronselfie

Second District – Peter Theron is the way to go here.  Peter is a friend and just the type of person you want representing you.  He’s not given to extremes and has the temperament that most of the GOP is lacking these days.  He’s pro-life and pro-business.

State Assembly

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31st District – Amy Loudenback.  I’ve always liked Amy and she’s more than earned my respect.  She’s a person of principle and is willing to stand up for conservative values.  Yet, she also is a reasonable person willing to hear people out.  She’s pro-life and a champion for school choice.

marks

45th District – Mark Spreitzer is not someone I could endorse in any way as we sharply disagree on just about every important issue.  But, since he is unopposed in this election, there are few good things I could say about the man.  Rep. Spreitzer is a genuinely nice person who I have had several very nice encounters with.  He’s been a great guest in my classroom and is willing to listen to those he disagrees with (even people like me).  On a personal level, I like the guy.

Referendum

Question: Shall the County of Rock, adopt the following resolution?

Resolved, that “We the People” of the County of Rock, Wisconsin, seek to reclaim democracy from the expansion of corporate personhood rights and the corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending. We stand with communities across the country to support passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution stating:

  1. Only human beings are endowed with constitutional rights – not corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities, and
  2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting speech.

I would be voting no on this question.  While in general I like the idea of getting money out of politics I don’t think it would be very practical.  Removing money from politics (by public funding for example) would give an incredible advantage to the incumbent.  I also cannot conceive how money does not constitute speech.  Limiting the amount of money I can give to a candidate is limiting my support for him.

Instead of this, I would much rather make all contributions to political campaigns completely transparent.  Let’s publish the names of all donors along with amount they are contributing.  That way everything Is above board and we know who is pulling the strings and who is beholden to others.  That makes more sense to me than limiting liberty.

My Endorsements for President 2016

Yes, you read that right, I am making presidential endorsements, not merely an endorsement.  I will explain.

My first endorsement will be for independent candidate Evan McMullin, but only if you live or vote in the state of Utah.  According to the latest polls, McMullin (who is only on the ballot in 11 states) actually has a shot at the state’s 6 electoral votes.  This would be huge.  In the best-case scenario, McMullin keeps both Trump and Clinton from getting 270 electoral votes in a close outcome, thus throwing the election to the House of Representatives.  There in the House, McMullin could be seen as the moderate choice between the other two disliked candidates.  Of course, this would take a miracle, but the Cubs did win the World Series this year…  A more likely scenario is that McMullin becomes the first third party/independent candidate to receive an actual electoral vote since 1968.  A win in Utah would send a huge message that we dislike both candidates and want something better.  A vote for Trump or Clinton would not send a message at all.

However, that endorsement only applies if you live in Utah.  I, in Illinois, will not be voting for Evan McMullin.  While he is pro-life, I don’t consider him to be consistently pro-life.  He’s a war-hawk neo-con.  I don’t want to be the world’s policeman and am tired of sending our troops to places like Iraq and Syria with no end in sight and no clear mission.  Innocents killed by drones is not what I consider to be pro-life.

I make this endorsement for McMullin because I consider him a better choice than Trump or Clinton and would really love to see an independent candidate accomplish something.

Instead, I will be voting for Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle.  While he is not my ideal candidate, I consider him the lesser of seven evils.  I’ll explain:

I cannot in any good conscience vote for Donald Trump.  I’m tempted to vote for the man only because I do see the Supreme Court as important and I desperately want to see the end of Obamacare.  Yet, I am not willing to sell out my soul for either one.  Trump is a vulgar demigod who preys on women, demeans anyone opposed to him and has promised to leave abortion laws untouched.  He has flip-flopped on every major issue.  You cannot trust this man at all.  No one knows what he really believes.  Even when it comes to the Supreme Court, he released a respectable list of potential appointees but then said he doesn’t feel confined to that list.  In fact, he even suggested his pro-choice sister would make a great justice (though said he would not nominate her because she is his sister).  You cannot trust the man.  He even flip-flopped on Mexico paying for the infamous wall he wants to build on the border.  A vote for Donald Trump sends the message to the Republican Party, we are your lemmings.  We promise to vote for whatever candidate you nominate, no matter how bad he is.  I’m not willing to do that.  Also, let’s get this straight – only names appear on the ballot, not platforms or worldviews or anything.  When you pull the level for Donald Trump you pull the lever for that man, not that party.  There is nothing on the ballot that allows you to vote against someone.  Your vote sends the message that you support Donald Trump and all that he is.

Hillary Clinton is also not an option for me.  Like McMullin, she tends to be quite hawkish when it comes to sending our troops into foreign conflicts.  Even more concerning for me is her extreme views on abortion.  She wants to do away with the Hyde Amendment thus opening the door to tax-payer funded abortion.  She adores Planned Parenthood and has opposes even the most common sense regulations to abortion and abortion clinics.  She supports even the most abominable and cringe-worthy forms of abortion – partial birth and late term abortions.  It makes me absolutely sick and outraged.  I could never even think of throwing my support behind such a person.  Not to mention those e-mails…

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is so far left that she is not even on my radar, though I am intrigued with her ideas about eliminating student loan debt.

America’s Party candidate is very interesting.  Tom Hoefling is a passionate pro-life advocate.  His passion is contagious.  I wish he had won the Constitution Party nomination.  He would have been a better candidate than Darrell Castle.  I think the only thing he and I disagree on is immigration.  I’m for amnesty and he is not.  But, even with that, it’s hard not to vote for him.  Yet, I don’t believe the America’s Party practice of not accepting any donations is not practical or realistic and will inhibit them from ever becoming a major factor.

Governor Garry Johnson

Governor Garry Johnson

Finally, there is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  I want to vote for him, I really do.  I’ve met him on a number of different occasions and find him to be a great guy.  He is very personable and genuinely wants to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.  He actually wants to promote freedom and liberty.  Of all the third-party options, this ticket has the most credibility and governing experience.  I lived in Massachusetts while Bill Weld was governor.  I liked the guy and so did many others.  However, both Johnson and Weld are pro-choice and I simply cannot ignore that.  I’m also quite upset that Johnson has simply blown his chance.  He’s received more attention than any other third-party candidate since Ross Perot but instead of capitalizing on it, he blew it.  While on nation-wide television, the guy didn’t know about the crisis in Aleppo and couldn’t even name one foreign leader.  What the heck!

Darrell Castle

Darrell Castle

So, that leaves me with Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle.  As I mentioned before, he’s not my ideal candidate.  He’s not inspiring and lacks a passion that a man running for the oval office ought to have.  I disagree with his views on the United Nations (I believe we ought to stay in) and he seems to be, in general, to the right of me on most issues.  The biggest issue I have is that he’s not on the ballot in my state.  However, he is a decent, honorable man who would do well if he won the job.  He’s staunchly pro-life and actually wants to govern by the Constitution.  Unlike the others running, he served in combat as a Marine in Vietnam, yet wants to keep us out of foreign wars.  Castle would balance the budget and bring sanity back to Washington.  Sounds great to me!

My final endorsement is simply this – vote your conscience.  In this election, I do not feel the moral authority to claim that you ought to vote for anyone.  Instead, I’ve shared with you my thoughts. These are just that – my thoughts.  I claim no moral authority and recognize that my thoughts are binding on no one.  In reality, there is no ideal candidate, or even one I feel like I can completely back warts and all.  You need to do what you feel is right.  This also includes your right NOT to vote.  But, if you choose not to vote, please remember there are some important down ticket races worthy of your consideration.  I’ve been very vocal in my opposition to Donald Trump, but in the last month I’ve stepped away from that.  Instead, I’m choosing to respect your beliefs and your conscience on this one.  You do what you think is right.

On Wednesday, November 9th, I’m hoping you and I can come back together after this divisive election and pray together for our next command-in-chief.  We’ll all breathe a sigh of relief when this one is over.

The Winner of the Third Presidential Debate

Clearly, this was the most substantive of the three presidential debate.  Chris Wallace was clearly in control and made for a much better discussion of policy.  The very first question (which Hillary never answered) asked about Supreme Court justices and how constitutional interpretative philosophy.  That was the best first question of any debate I’ve ever seen.  Kudos, Mr. Wallace – you’ve been the best moderator of a presidential debate this season.

Who was the winner?  As a #neverTrump guy, it pains me to say it but I think Trump won.  He did what he had to do, which was sure up his base.  Did he change any minds?  I think he gave conservatives who have been abandoning him a reason to come back.  He was throwing red meat to evangelical voters who have serious doubts about the guy.

Overall, we saw a different Donald Trump last night.  He seemed much more informed and prepared.  The first 20 minutes were almost flawless.  He was even patient, at times.  But, of course, he was still slinging mud and hurling insults like a little child.  But, I will give him credit for much needed and appreciated improvement.

My number one issue has always been abortion.  I appreciated Trump’s stance.  Was he sincere?  I have no idea.  But, he stuck to his guns when it would have been easy to waiver.  He threw the horrors of partial-birth abortion in her face and made her own this disgusting, vile butchering of human lives already born!  Was it the best defense of pro-life values?  No.  But, it was the strongest stance I’ve seen the Donald take.  I’m going to give him credit for that.

For many people, Trump disqualified himself for not vowing to accept the results of the election if he losses.  Now, these charges of a rigged election are simply ridiculous.    The media is behind this, really?  The guy is delusional (thus my #neverTrump stance).  But, why should the guy vow to accept an election result no matter what?  There could be legitimate issues that night (think 2000 election).  My problem is not him refusing to take a vow but the reason he would not.

Ok, here are my live tweets starting from bottom to top (@kevinjthompson):

Hillary is hitting this rigged election question out of the park.  #debatenight

Donald was actually doing well until he puts on the tinfoil hat and starts talking rigged election.  #debatenight

Trump pivots to Hillary’s e-mail and thus no one will push Hillary to answer about her husband’s philandering.They’ve moved on #debatenight

Ok,  the wheels are now coming off for  Trump.  He was incoherent trying to defend himself against groping allegations #debatenight

kevinjthompson ‏@kevinjthompson  9h9 hours ago

If he can’t mention wiki-leaks, she can’t mention Trump’s illegally leaked tax returns. #debatenight

“Because he wants a puppet.” – Hillary’s best line so far, and she’s rattling Donald.  #debatenight

I’m actuality rooting for Trump, this is a different candidate tonight.   #debatenight

Would love to hear Trump take a firm pro-life stance here.  #debatenight

Trump wants justices that will interpret the Constitution by original intent.  He knocked that out of the park.   #debatenight

That is the best first question of any debate I’ve ever watched.  Hillary isn’t answering it.  #debatenight

This may be the only time Chris Wallace appears on MSNBC. #debatenight

So Trump has his own fake news coverage of the debate on Facebook live.  Maybe the only way he’ll get positive coverage. Sounds like rigging

Peter Theron Visits My Classroom

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About two weeks ago congressional candidate Peter Theron stopped by my classroom to chat with my students.  Peter is running for Congress in the Wisconsin’s second district, running against incumbent Mark Pocan.   He spoke about the significance of disclaimers on political ads before taking questions.

It’s been a real pleasure getting to know Peter in the past couple of years.  He is a level-headed conservative during a time it seems the entire GOP is losing its head.  Peter Theron really is exactly the type of guy I would want representing me in Congress.

Learn more about his campaign here – www.theronforcongress.com

Who Won the Second Presidential Debate?

Who one tonight’s debate – It’s hard to say.  Really, the answer is no one.  This is the worst presidential debate I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Accusation after accusation, pettiness upon pettiness.  One insult right after another.  Questions ignored, everyone interrupted and moderators all over the place.  No one came out of this looking good.

I will make this concession, Trump did much better than I thought he would.  This could have been the nail in his political coffin, but his performance tonight does allow him to live and fight another day.  He played straight to his base, offering them red meat which should serve to energize them once again.  It is clear, Trump is not going anywhere.

But, let me again repeat, his comments caught on tape and referenced in the the first few questions in the debate are reprehensible.  This is not locker room banter – these are the words of a predator forcing himself upon non-consenting women.  This is criminal, wicked and inexcusable.  The very fact that he continues to call it simple locker room banter shows his insensitivity and lack of remorse.  A truly remorseful person would take responsibility and call it what it is.  Instead Trump tries to justify his actions by redirecting attention to someone else.  Wicked, purely wicked.  This “man” should never be president and should drop out of the race.

Here are my live-tweets from the night, starting from the bottom and going right on up…

Hillary turns the question into a chance to talk about herself. Trump compliments her the entire time. Classiest thing he said all night.

Best question all night – name something you respect about the other candidate. What can Trump say about the Devil? #debate

That man in the red who asked about energy, looks like an snl character just waiting to happen. #debate

Pro-lifers, Trump didn’t say anything about abortion in term sof the Supreme Court. #debate

So there goes Mike Pence under the bus #Debates2016

Here’s my proposal for a debate rule – no candidate can mention another candidate unless that candidate was mentioned in the q #Debates2016

Someone ask Hillary, define “fair share.” Who decides this and what calculation is used to come to this decision? #Debates2016

How is being rude to the moderators going to help you? #Debates2016

So the answer is no, Donald. You are not for a ban. You were wrong, just say it. #Debates2016

I will say that’s the best policy response I’ve ever heard Trump give #Obamacare #Debates2016

“He clarified what he meant and its totally clear.” Hillary on Bill’s Obamacare remarks. What? #debate

In a presidential debate, Trump refers to his opponent as the devil. #debate

Blaming the ref is a sign of your team’s weakness, just like Trump blaming the moderator #debate

What’s going on right now is the worst presidential debate you will see in your lifetime. #debate

He’s not sorry at all! Locker room talk? This man deserves to lose. #debate

The yuggest debate of Trump’s life. #debate