Letter to Governor Walker and Budget Committee

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My name is Marshall Keith and am an active Tea Party Member.  Your recent action as members of the budget committee is appalling and betrays every principle this country was founded on, namely the right of property and the right to own and run a business. Your action take against RYO machines amount to a regulatory taking without just compensation.

  I have a personal friend who is directly affected by this action, he mortgaged his house to buy two of these machines to the tune of $70,000 dollars. As a result of this he will more then likely lose both his home and his livelihood.

 

Do any of you think that sticking something like this in the budget even closely represents anything even closely related to Due Process?  I remind you all that you swore an oath to defend and uphold both the State and Federal Constitution, are any of you aware of these words from both the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”. How about these words from the state constitution  ”The property of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation therefor”

 The vast majority of you ran on the Republican platform of limited government and individual rights yet use the same tactics that Governor Doyle used to strip property owners the right to use their property and cater to the clientele of their choice and enact what is essentially a “Jim Crow” type law when enacting the smoking ban.  He slipped it into the budget.

 Is this what you mean by limited government and freedom, because to me it seems that we have just replaced one statist regime for another.  I was active in the fight against the Recall against Scott Walker but recent actions, namely Walkers DNA proposal, his endorsement of the Marketplace Extortion Act make me regret that decision.

 Before you claim that it is about the evasion of taxes, it is not.  These RYO shops pay the draconian 70% of list price tax inflicted by the Doyle administration?  If they are considered manufacturers did you exempt them from this 70% tax in favor of the cigarette tax stamp?  Of course not, you caved to the lobbying interest of “Big Tobacco”, the convenience stores and the likes of Smoke Free Wisconsin.

 When election time rolls around again I will be working hard to get every one of you replaced in favor of candidates that actually believe in the principles of limited Government and property rights.

Marshall Keith

Committee Members

Senate Members​ ​Assembly Members
Senator Alberta Darling, Co-Chair​ Representative John Nygren, Co-Chair​
Senator Luther Olsen​ Representative Pat Strachota
Senator Sheila Harsdorf Representative Dale Kooyenga
Senator Joe Leibham Representative Dean Knudson
Senator Mary Lazich Representative Dan LeMahieu
Senator Glenn Grothman Representative John Klenke
Senator Jennifer Shilling Representative Cory Mason
Senator Robert Wirch Representative Jon Richards
Committee Clerk:
Joe Malkasian
Room 305 East, State Capitol
Madison, WI  53702
(608) 264-8314
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Scott Walker the Traitor of the TEA Party Movement

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When Scott Walker ran one of the promises that he made was to repeal the smoking ban.  Not only did this ban violate the Constitution namely the takings clause of the fifth and 14th amendment. ” nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Mr Walker not only reneged on that promise, it appears that he is expanding the attack on smokers using the exact same methods that Comrade Doyle used to enact the ban.  The state budget. First here is Scott in his own words on the smoking ban.

Mr Walker has a multi-pronged attack on smokers in the budget.

The first is an attack on the owners of the RYO machines on page 435

17. Cigarette Regulation Updates
The Governor recommends defining organizations that operate roll-your-own cigarette rolling machines for public use as cigarette manufacturers. The Governor also recommends studying the use of additional cigarette stamping methods. The fiscal impact from the change in regulation of roll-your-own tobacco machines is an estimated increase in tax revenue of $1.4 million in FY14 and FY15.

Ignoring the fact that there will be no increase in revenue, actually revenue will go down as a result of smuggling, it is a matter of justice.  Should the books be balanced on the backs of smokers?

On the Freedom index Wisconsin rates towards the bottom we are the 12th worst, down two points from 2009.

Wisconsin performs below average in a number of personal freedom categories. The state has high victimless crimes arrest rates, though its drug enforcement rate is below average. It has the worst gaming laws in the country (social gambling is not allowed) and almost the strictest campaign finance laws. The state also performs below average on gun freedom and travel freedom. Home schools are regulated with some onerous notification requirements. Wisconsin has some of the best alcohol laws in the country, with taxes fairly low across the board. However, its cigarette taxes are very high and smoking bans are extensive. Wisconsin recently enacted a domestic partnership law. Its asset forfeiture laws score well (over one standard deviation better than average).

Policy Recommendations

  • Reduce the income tax burden while continuing to cut back spending through cuts in government employment and public employee benefits.
  • Pass a right-to-work law, whenever political conditions so allow.
  • Reform tobacco and marijuana regulations, using the state’s alcohol-friendly beer, wine, and spirits regulations as a model.

The second assault is on Government employees. On Page 167

The Governor recommends that the Group Insurance Board expand the current wellness program and implement a tobacco use surcharge for state employees beginning in calendar year 2014. The Governor also recommends increasing expenditure authority for supplies and services related to these wellness initiatives.
4. Modifications to Group Insurance by the Group Insurance Board
The Governor recommends a statutory modification that will allow expansions of group insurance coverage only if deemed cost-effective by the Group Insurance Board.
Employee Trust Funds 155

Of course it has been proven time and again that smokers cost society less not more so any surcharge is punitive and more “Nanny Statism” and not good policy.

The last is the funding of the very groups that lobby against smokers.  They do it under the guise of Quit lines but these lines are the very groups that lobby against smokers so any funding to them is direct funding to their lobbying efforts since it frees up their other money. Page 220

MISSION
To support economic prosperity and quality of life, the department exercises multiple roles in the protection and promotion of the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.
PROGRAMS, GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
Note: Programs, goals, objectives and activities have been modified.
Program 1: Public Health Services Planning, Regulation and Delivery
Goal: Provide QuitLine tobacco cessation services for up to 8,000 BadgerCare Plus adults and First Breath face-to-face cessation counseling for up to 3,000 pregnant BadgerCare Plus members using financial incentives as a tool for increasing engagement in treatment and increasing quit rates.
Objective/Activity: Create structure and process to link BadgerCare Plus members in South Central and Northeastern Wisconsin to the QuitLine by January 2012.
Objective/Activity: Create structure and process to link BadgerCare Plus pregnant women in Southeastern Wisconsin to First Breath by January 2012.
Objective/Activity: Implement protocols for evaluation by March 2012. Evaluate effectiveness and return on investment of individual incentives on tobacco cessation by December 2015.

Of course the above is pushed by those who work in tobacco control and lobby for these laws.  What it does not show that the big pharma solutions that they push are not only ineffective but they fail to show their ties to the big pharmaceutical companies pushing them.

Again Nanny Statism is not a legitimate function in a constitutional government.

The tactics used by Scott Walker are identical to those of Comrade Doyle and one can only wonder how much this has to do with his wife’s ties to the American Lung Association.  From her bio page.

First Lady Tonette Walker

First Lady Tonette Walker was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wis.  She spent more than 20 years employed in the insurance industry before working for the American Diabetes Association. Currently, the first lady works in the development department for the American Lung Association.

RYO Strikes Back

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Just a few hours ago the Roll Your own shops filed a federal law suit and are asking for a temporary restraining order, if granted they could be back up in days.  The suit is based on the taking clause in the fifth and fourteenth amendment and the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.  I should have more information in the next twentyfour hours.

Marshall

Attack on Wisconsin RYO Shops Are an Attack on Liberty

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In less than two weeks the fate of Wisconsin’s RYO shops will be in the hands of Wisconsin’s courts. While Neo-prohibitionist groups Like Smoke Free Wisconsin make the call “for the children” using questionable polls and out and out lies. It is time to inject some facts. These little RYO shops are not “Big Tobacco” most are middle class citizens just trying to make a living in these economic hard times. Some owners have even mortgaged their homes to start these little Mom and Pop shops. The claims that they are not paying their fair share of taxes is an out and out lie. The fact is that over 70% of the cost of their product is taxes. The closure of these places are not only an assault on low income smokers but on economic liberty. The draconian tobacco taxes are as un-American a the three Pence tax on tea which led to the Revolutionary war. But to shut down these little mom and pop shops will drive the business to SMUGGLERS.

This is what happens when an oppressive government tries to impose it’s will on the people. And it won’t be the heroic smugglers of history’s past like John Hancck the smuggling powerhouse of patriotic times. But the drug smugglers of the modern day prohibitionist era. One first has to remember what a smuggler has to offer. That is goods or services that Government tyrants want to either prevent or interfere with peaceable voluntary exchange among individuals. But worse is the illusion that it will protect the children flies in the face of the facts. This from a study in Canada where smuggling is prevalent.

TORONTO – Ontario’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently released a study which found that contraband cigarettes were consumed regularly by half of underage smokers today. The study, conducted as part of the 2009 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, was the first that asked youth their source, and prevalence of use of cigarettes. Beyond the finding that 50% of youth smokers had smoked at least one contraband cigarette per day over the past year, the study also found that 43% of all cigarettes smoked by youth were contraband.

And in Europe they actually use teens in their trafficking.

Smuggling tobacco products to UK is getting so hugely profitable that smugglers even started to offer teenagers free trips to Spain in exchange for bringing cigarettes with them to the country.

According to UK Customs authorities, they are confiscating up to 50 million of smokes, and it becomes evident that criminal gangs are using teenagers to smuggle cigarettes into Britain by giving them flight tickets and money to have holidays in those European countries where cigarettes are less expensive.

Think that can’t happen here? It’s already happening!

One only look to out neighbors to the east.

MIDLAND — Michigan’s inbound cigarette smuggling rate was 10th highest in the nation in 2009, according to a Mackinac Center study released today. The report is an update of the Center’s 2008 cigarette tax and smuggling study,

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have found that Russian, Armenian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Middle Eastern (mainly Pakistani, Lebanese, and Syrian) organized crime groups are highly involved in the trafficking of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes and counterfeit tax stamps for profit.

That next drive by shooting may be over cigarette territory. Forget Second hand smoke. think lead poisoning!

You’ve Been Outed! (Rant of a Keyboard Warrior)

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I started my journey into being active in the political process as a keyboard warrior.  I would post on forum and newspaper comment sections under the cover of anonymity.  On Topix I used the name Free_America’ at the Crapital Times FreeAmerica.  I gave up that anonymity the day I became a proud member of Ban the Ban Wisconsin, but since I had established accounts at these various places I continued using my pseudonyms at these various places but frequently added who I was and my affiliations.  Recently aware of the plight of friends at a local RYO shop and decided to take an active role in their fight.  I contacted Vicki McKenna using my credentials as a member of Ban the Ban as my introduction and enlisted her help in the fight for these RYO shops, I neither asked for nor was I granted anonymity.  To the shock of some fellow keyboard warriors, Vicki dared utter the name “Marshall Keith” on the air.  Some of them emailed me telling me that Vicki had “outed” me and that now “they know who you are”.   I of course found this quite humorous for “they” have known for quite some time.  After a week of reflection I no longer see humor in it, as a matter of fact I am PISSED!.  Not at the keyboard warriors, but at the culture of fear behind it. Just thus week at the Greenbelt Patch James Repace a so called unbiased scientist who took part tn the 1992 EPA report and the two subsequent Surgeon generals reports used prioritizes like tobacco trolls, nicotine addicts, Fronting for Big Tobacco, Forces Goons, etc etc etc. He referred to fellow scientists who disagreed with him “the usual suspects”.  Yet he could not answer simple questions like why they had to cheat and use meta-analysis.  To those of us in the fight these tactics are nothing new, they are actually part of the tobacco control training as stated by former Tobacco Control trainer Dr Michael Siegel.


The true colors of the modern-day anti-smoking movement showed brightly last week, as a prominent smoke-free air advocate (me) was thrown off a smoke-free advocacy list-serve for daring to criticize an inflammatory and unfounded personal attack, bordering on defamation, of an individual (private citizen) who is a smoking ban opponent which was posted on the list-serve.

And of course the do frequent polls to see how effective their demonization campaign is working.
These tactics are not just limited to those fighting the smoking ban, indeed we see exactly the same tactics used against the Tea party, those fighting for second amendment rights and conservatives in general. Just last week at a local watering hole, one in the group went on a rant about how everything was Bush’s fault and on how people were not giving Obama a chance?  I began to talk about free market principles to which he jumped up and screamed “You sound like a fucking Republican”!  I smiled and responded “Worse, a Libertarian”.  I got that deer in the headlight look.  He lapped up the left’s Kool-aid and freely offered it to others, but didn’t have a clue. His response did not surprise me, it was the lack of response by others who I knew for a fact didn’t agree with him. With his outburst he forced them into silence.  This is their goal!  Do they think racial taunts like “Uncle Tom” are going to silence a strong black man like Herman Cain?  Hell no, it is to silence any weaker blacks who may be considering straying from the collective fold.  And of course when the facts don’t fit the propaganda, “Fake IT”.

And if you listen to Vicki’s show there very well may be a little of that hanky panky going on using the war on drugs as a tool to enact even more gun control.

Why would they do this?  Because perception is everything.

Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners.  It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. . . . We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing.  It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels

And again they take polls to see if their campaign is working.  Again, not to silence people like me, Vicki or Herman Cain. Their goal is to silence You,  my fellow keyboard warriors. Those who are afraid to speak their mind in the light of day.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

And this goes hand in hand with Benjamen Franklin’s quote.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

We see daily the constitution and our very liberty being whittled away, all in the name of safety, and not all of it by lawmakers.   It is also dying the death of a thousand papercuts from the rulemakers at the regulatory agencies.

More on incrementalism and the coat tax.

http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/18227/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/18227/podcast/MILWAUKEE-WI/WISN-AM/vm_10-07-11_hour1_part2.mp

The last of these ad-hominem attacks took place on facebook. Vicki was celebrating the fact that she has not had a cigarette in a year. Instead of celebrating with her she was attacked because she used a non Tobacco Control (Big Pharma) approved method, the e-cigarette. Sharon Daniel How’s it feel to be a pusher?” Again this is a tactic by tobacco control to push thir drug partners potentially fatal drugs and has no basis in fact.

So if you hide behind your keyboard through the safety of anonymity or hang your head in silence while they burn the Constitution, remember this warning from the past.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Smoke Free Wisconsin, Spin Baby Spin

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State Stands by Our Kids, Makes RYO Shops Follow the Law

Do you pay taxes? Roll-Your Own (RYO) tobacco companies don’t.

Really? Please, the cigarettes are rolled by the customer not the store! all appropriate taxes are PAID!

By allowing RYO shops to not pay taxes, we give children the idea that sometimes smoking can be okay.

Really again please, these are shops that cater to adults, I do not see scores of children standing in line to enter them. But the real facts are more disturbing. Ask a school aged kid whether it is easier to get a pack of smokes or a bag of weed. You may be shocked by the answer, yet as states impose draconian punitive taxes on the product those same people that sell children weed are getting into, the tobacco business.

WASHINGTON — A recent wave of state tobacco tax increases, designed to pump revenue into cash-strapped local governments, is inspiring an increasingly dangerous cigarette smuggling industry where big profits lure violent criminal gangs and drug traffickers into the booming illegal market, according to law enforcement officials and court records.

And of course there is evidence that it is funding the terrorist that want to kill us and our children.

A new report from the Republican staff of the House Homeland Security Committee says federal and state governments, especially New York’s, must do more to combat cigarette smuggling because its profits fund terrorist entities abroad.

“Recent law enforcement investigations … have directly linked those involved in illicit tobacco trade to infamous terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda,” states the report.

But then they go on to make the claim that it costs the Wisconsin taxpayers money.

When we allow the promotion of unhealthy habits we, in turn, get an unhealthy generation that we have to foot the bill for. In fact, we already pay the price—each year Wisconsin pays $2.8 billion dollars on tobacco health care costs. Half a billion dollars from that cost comes directly from the pockets of Wisconsin taxpayers in the form of Medicaid.

Again Really, do you people remember that the smokers already pay for this through the Master Settlement agreement?

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was entered in November 1998, originally between the four largest US tobacco companies and the attorneys general of 46 states. The states settled their Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of their tobacco-related, health-care costs,

And of course you completely ignore the fact that smokers cost less than the non-smokers.

LONDON — Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it does not save money, according to a new report.

It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

My favorite part is where they keep demanding government funding to push their Neo-prohibitionist policies.

Unfortunately, our state keeps cutting funding to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, hurting our potential progress in lowering the burden of tobacco on our state

But hey it’s for the children.

For more information on Smoke Free Wisconsin and their ties to big pharma.

For a great piece on the plight of these RYO shops.

For a great documentary on the Progressive Era Prohibition and how closely it matches the modern day progressive era.

Come on Smoke Free, do you have anything that remotely resembles integrity?

Vicki McKenna Nails It

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I have been a fan of Vicki’s for some time. As a Libertarian I don’t always agree with her, but I would say that we agree more then 90% of the time. Today she took to task the Republicans not living up to the principles of limited government, free enterprise and liberty when it comes to the treatment of the RYO shops. the relevant part of the show is here.

I post it here because on the stations site they only show one day and it will disappear tomorrow.  For anyone living in the Milwaukee area you can catch Vicki on WISN AM 1130 For those living in Madison she can be heard on WIBA AM1310 Both stations show podcasts but unfortunately the one in Madison appears to be broken.

These small businesses have or will go under because of the punitive action taken by the State unless we act. Contact your legislators and demand action, if you do not know who they are you can find out here.

Contact them immediately before it is too late.