No private prison in America should EVER exist!

I’ve spoken on this issue before HERE, and that plus the following dovetails with a key issue in my run for the Winnebago County (IL) Board: ensuring our police forces remain focused on protecting and serving us instead of acting as revenue chasers. So often we hear about people being unnecessarily harassed over minor offenses that have at times escalated to violence on both sides, and leading to the eventual arrest of someone who knew their rights were being violated but had the audacity to speak up. But guess what? It is the police officer’s duty to keep things calm and only escalate IF and only IF the situation calls for it.

It is not difficult to conclude our police officers are placed under an undue amount of stress due to their need to find revenue as a result of budget cutbacks. This is a terrible direction in which we are heading. It is wrong to demand this of our officers and too many times leads the police to become an occupying force instead of keepers of the peace. When you offer incentives for arrests and the issuing of tickets, what course do you expect a police officer will follow? When revenue streams run low or run out and police funding gets considered for cutting, what do you expect a police department to do?

Privatized prisons is still another example of where we’ve steered wrong as a supposed free nation. These prisons profit off the criminalization of moral choices, victimless “crimes,” and minor infractions. How does that happen? By having laws changed, that’s how. When prison lobbyists pressure state legislatures or judges to increase punishment for petty crimes, private prisons making ungodly amounts of profit at all our expense.

The private-prison industry spends millions to lobby our elected officials and get cozy with judges, who then skew the laws to give non-violent crimes longer prison sentences. Or you end up with the disastrous “three strikes and you’re out” law. While you may think such laws are limited to thugs, drug users and pushers, the homeless or countless “faceless” others, rest assured, if a given jurisdiction grows desperate enough, no one would be safe from a police department that is struggling to keep the lights on.

While I don’t believe THIS is a current practice in Winnebago County (IL), once elected I vow to do everything in my power as a representative of the people to ensure privatized prisons and privatized government services of any kind do not sully the fabric of our public sector.

I tend to believe there is absolutely no case anywhere in America that can be pointed to where government services of any kind were privatized that worked out favorably for the people or the government entity that “sold” the rights of a public sector responsibility.

Last fundraising effort for campaign …

Okay, so we are less than two weeks away from Election Day. Things are going fairly well for me in my run for the Winnebago County Board. Unfortunately, there are approximately 1200 addresses that I or my few volunteers are unable to get to physically (apartment buildings with secured doors, retirement homes, etc)

I have the funds to get those extra 1200 flyers made up, but what I don’t have is the roughly $500 it will take to purchase the postage to mail them out by next week Thursday. I realize just about every single one of you who sees this thread don’t live in my state of Illinois, let alone my county board district in Winnebago County.

But I nonetheless ask all my Facebook friends (and even their friends who aren’t my friends) but especially the ones who know who I am and where I stand as a wannabe elected official. If you don’t know me that well, feel free to research my website –> (sorry, but I can only accept donations from those who are citizens of the USA and unable to accept donations from citizens or governments of nations not called America)

IF you find yourself willing and able and would like to help, please consider donating online to my campaign here. –> … at this point and while a check would be nice, I probably wouldn’t get it until after the election.

Thank you,

The ball is now on your side of the court …

Going “No Kill” explained

Alone with it being the most ethical thing we can do, but it just so happens that going “no-kill” is a revenue positive position to take. Meaning there are no upfront costs. No need to expand the size and scope of the current animal shelter, and no real reason not to make our county shelter “no-kill” …

1) No-Kill is not about housing animals for extended periods of time in a shelter, but of moving the animals through the system more efficiently; from being brought in, medically screened, and adopted or fostered out as quickly as possible.

2) By not becoming a no-kill county means it will continue to cost the county more tax dollars being wasted through the unnecessary killing of so many animals just to make room for more animals. In other words, it costs us much more to kill animals in the shelter than it does to adopt or foster them out to loving families.

3) No-kill doesn’t mean that no animal is ever put down as there are times when an animal is broken beyond saving or is beyond being medically saved.

4) What makes no-kill revenue positive is enhancing and expanding the adoption and fostering services and pet owner retention under a no-kill policy that requires dedication, hard work, thinking outside the box, and most of all compassion.

5) There are also state, federal, and private grants available for animal shelters that go no-kill that other shelters, like ours currently are not eligible for. Go HERE for more info on grants for no-kill shelters

For more info on the no-kill equation, please go HERE

If you are on Facebook, please go HERE

Once elected to the Winnebago County (IL) Board, I will continue to be a voice for the animals every step of the way. I will continue to bring up the no-kill idea every month until the full board adopts the measure and we go no-kill. But I cannot do this alone. First, I need help getting elected. Second, whether I’m elected or not, I need you calling and emailing all the other members of the county board. Show up at the monthly meetings and speak on the issue. Go to the city council meetings of the various municipalities and get them to support the idea of the county going no-kill. Write letters to the local newspapers about it.

We can get this done, but we need to do this together. If you are already involved, great. Keep up the wonderful work. If you are on the fence, research the issue. I suspect you’ll jump on board.

Hypocrisy 101, Local Edition

Back on August 10th, 2016 my opponent for Winnebago County Board seat in district 17 posted a video speaking to term limits. He added his own two cents above the video with the following commentary –> “I agree….including ALL elected office’s from the Townships and up.”

When you ask the average Jane or Joe what “term limits” means to them, they almost all agree it means two-four year terms and you’re out. So if what he stated is true, that all elected positions from townships on up should be term limited, presumably two-four year terms. Then perhaps people can call him up or ask him the next time they see him why (if he’s calling for term limits for everyone else) is he running for what will amount to his third elected term in office. Forth if you add in his being appointed to the county board back in 2007?

The image below, on the left is a screen shot taken on the very day it was posted (Aug 10th, 2016) and on the right is from October 9th, 2016 the day this blog post was written –> “fredwescotttermlimits

For myself I’m not sold on term limits as law if mainly because we already have them. We just happen to call them elections. I agree there are some bad politicians who need to be replaced. But instead of term limits as law I believe what we should do is find ways to get every single person who is eligible to vote to actually vote. Give the people a reason to be willing to take the time to vote. Like making Election Day a national holiday, going with same day voter registration, and making all elections at every level publicly funded. Locally, we can even go with what is commonly called “Instant Runoff Voting” as described quite simply HERE will open up the likelihood of multiple party candidates at all levels of government running.

I also believe the more people voting the less likely you’ll have fools, insiders, crooks, and charlatans running for public office at all levels of government. We already have a turnout of less than 70% nationally during presidential elections, barely 40% in midterms, and we’re lucky if 14% show up for those all important local elections covering city aldermen, mayor, and precinct committee-persons in the Spring. So instead of arguing for term limits, we need to be arguing for more choice, democracy, freedom, and liberty.

We must stop the GLB project!

As a candidate for the Winnebago County (IL) Board, I am and will remain 100% AGAINST “The Great Lakes Basin” railroad project. This project is a pipe dream of a few wealthy investors who do NOT live in the area affected by their little idea. The company didn’t even exist until a few years ago. We don’t need them and we don’t want them if they’re going to push for crude oil being transported at 70 mph across our county. Here is the website to stopping the GLB.

They claim it’s a job creator. Well I’d rather we go in the direction of solar and wind to create jobs. That way, if we have a solar panel spill, the aquifer below our feet won’t be ruined for centuries after these investors inevitably declare bankruptcy rather than pay for the ruin of so much farmland.

Here are a couple local FB groups dedicated to stopping this bad idea from becoming a reality. Please join. Please help save our local wetlands. Get up, speak up, show up –>

Block GLB Railroad

Winnebago County Against GLB

And an upcoming protest/rally

Taking on county corruption

As a taxpaying citizen I am appalled by the blatant disregard for the rights of the people by certain elements of the current so-called “leadership” of our county. And that is why, as a candidate for the Winnebago County Board district 17 I stand with Winnebago County Board chairman candidate John Nelson in ending the “corruption tax” which has has cost the taxpayers of Winnebago County at least $800,000 while putting yet another wedge between the good people of Winnebago County and our county government. If elected I will do everything in my power to wrest control of the levers of government from special interests and others who wish to abuse the power of government for their own personal benefit.

“The need for collecting large campaign funds would vanish if Congress provided an appropriation for the proper and legitimate expenses of each of the great national parties.” – Theodore Roosevelt SOTU address in 1907 … Enough is enough. No to backroom deals. No to “pay to play”. No to PAC’s. Yes to clean campaigns and good government by and for the people.

We absolutely need to reform our political process in how much individuals, groups, unions, small/mid/large businesses, and corporations can contribute to candidates for any elected office everywhere, if not eliminate the need for direct contributions altogether. Our current political system does not allow for this, but it can be done if the people elect those willing to make those changes.

We can directly influence this process at the county level by demanding public financing of all countywide elections as Teddy Roosevelt envisioned for Congress more than 100 years ago if the Winnebago County Board would appropriate the legitimate and necessary funds to do so. The good people of Winnebago County not only deserve clean elections and leaders who listen to them at all times, but also a county government they can be sure is doing the work of the taxpayer and not special interests.

As we all know, corruption is best prevented by checks and balances. The Chairman, County Administrator, and County Auditor all serve vital functions in these checks and balances. However, the primary duty of a county board member is not legislating, but rather, fiduciary oversight. So my goal as county board member, if elected, will be to work with and encourage fellow county board members to take a closer look at the overall county budget, especially expenditures and to be relentless in questioning how your taxpayer dollars are spent. We have the tools to keep corruption in check, we just need to have a county board which will use all these tools to be effective custodians of public finances and of the public trust.

Please remember that Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th and early voting started on September 29th.

Getting money out of our political system

Last April the good people of Winnebago County voted to the tune of 85% their approval of a non-binding resolution aimed at tackling the single biggest issue facing our political system: getting dark and dirty money out of our political system. That ballot question was just one small step toward We, the People finally having a real shot at making our elected politicians be forced to listen to the people and not just special interests, business leaders, and those with money to burn. Here at the county level, such a law can be passed which creates a more honest political system. One that won’t continue to upset people into inaction or to give in to voter apathy. I hope to being a part of such positive change in retaking on what is supposed to be our Constitutionally limited, representative democratic republic. There is a really great group which speaks to exactly this very important issue that we should all be researching and adding our name and becoming a citizen cosponsor, and that is Represent.US

Creation of a county bank

I fully support the hopeful creation of a Winnebago County Public Bank.

Across our nation, municipal, county and state governments struggle year after year to balance their budgets, using the same old tools to meet this challenge: raise taxes, take on more debt, cut vital services, lay off or ask for employee givebacks. Almost always these choices subtract from local prosperity. History shows that a public bank would add to our prosperity. The historical model I speak of is the over 100 year old public Bank of North Dakota. As a result, North Dakota has been the only state in America which has run in the black every single year since the state bank went into effect in 1920.

Annual returns of substantial profits to the general fund as non-tax revenue can refinance existing county debt at near zero interest rates and reduce the debt service for which we are taxed. Instead of expensive bond issues or property tax increases, a public bank can provide low cost loans to our school districts and other local governments for critically needed infrastructure and jobs creation. And we keep the interest paid on those loans right here in our own bank at much lower costs, safe from the risk taking of the mega banks on Wall Street.

Like the Bank of North Dakota, a public bank of Winnebago County can partner with and strengthen our local banks and credit unions to get affordable credit to small businesses, home buyers and even students. Once established, a public banks does not depend on annual taxpayer funding. It would be self sustaining. I’ve discovered more than a few municipal, county and state leaders across America are investigating how best to establish their own public banks, and take back control of their own money and future. Winnebago County needs to join this forward looking movement, and I look forward to being a part in getting this done for the good people of Winnebago County.

Perhaps its time for our county to take Wall Street out of the equation? An absolutely great resource for more specific details to what I’m talking about can be found HERE