Libertarian Senate candidate to visit Shawano

He could benefit from major party turmoil


Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Phil Anderson will be in Shawano on Sunday as part of a weekend campaign tour of Northeast Wisconsin.

Anderson will have a booth at the flea market at the Shawano County fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to noon.

The Libertarian Party is expecting to enjoy greater success this year than in past election cycles, largely due to dissatisfaction with the traditional choices at the top of the ticket.

Anderson, who is also state chairman for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, said voters are looking for an alternative to presumptive Democratic and Republican candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“You have one that is clearly incompetent or corrupt, but is still supported by the Democratic Party, which shows an absence of principal,” Anderson said.

“The other has struck a nerve with the public but is an unreliable person in terms of his positions,” he said. “He also has an erratic personality and is unsuited for government.”

Anderson said both are also in favor of “big government,” which the Libertarian Party opposes.

Anderson will go up against incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold in the November election. Feingold is looking to take back the seat he lost to Johnson six years ago.

The last Libertarian candidate for that seat won just 1 or 2 percent of the vote, but political divisions and voter dissatisfaction with the traditional parties should improve the odds for Libertarians, Anderson said.

Anderson ran as a Libertarian candidate for the state Assembly in 2014 and garnered 18.6 percent of the vote.

He said he is running for the U.S. Senate to “get the federal government back under the control of the people.”

That includes getting the U.S. out of foreign interventions and keeping the government out of the personal lives of its citizens.

“People in our country want to live their own lives,” Anderson said. “They want to be able to support themselves, they want their privacy, and they want the opportunity to succeed.”

Anderson’s visit comes at the end of a week of horrific violence that captured national attention, including two high-profile police shootings and the deaths of five Dallas police officers.

Anderson said he was “deeply saddened” by this week’s events and said there were several things that contributed the the violence.

Among them, he said, was a failed war on drugs that has “disproportionately incarcerated and harassed blacks”; identity politics that have pandered to certain groups of people by creating government programs geared to them; and increasingly militarized law enforcement that has heightened a sense of intimidation and fostered an adversarial relationship with the public.