We who care about liberty often speak about the heavy hand of government -- and the need to remove it from our daily lives.
A couple of weeks ago, that heavy hand came down in my own backyard, at the ski area in New Mexico near where I live and where I ski all winter long. On a normal Saturday -- with families gathered for a fun day on the mountain and activities such as a cancer benefit taking place, the United States Forest Service showed up at the Taos Valley ski area with four uniformed, armed “law enforcement” agents and a drug-sniffing dog. They proceeded to search the parking lots, “sniff” the cars of guests and employees, and then stop vehicles for such grave offenses as cracked windshields and unbuckled seat belts.
You can read about it here: Taos Ski Valley Drug Sweep.
I am livid. These Federal Agents didn’t just stop by. They traveled 150 miles, along with their drug-sniffing dog, on a Saturday for the express purpose of raiding a family ski area where, trust me, there were no threats to national security. I probably shouldn’t share it, but this clip from an Albuquerque TV newscast will give you an idea of what I think about this kind of government thuggery: "Somebody needs to lose their job."
And, my op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal about it: Only Threat Was the USFS.
This kind of Big Government abuse happens every day, all across the country. But who in Washington, DC, is demanding that it stop? In reality, no one. Sure, some politicians talk about reining in federal agencies, but it obviously isn’t happening. It isn’t happening because Big Government = Power, and the politicians don’t really want less power; they want more.
I have told you about the Our America Initiative’s effort to break the two-party control of Presidential Debates. This episode, right in my neighborhood, is a perfect example of why the all-important nationally-televised debates must be opened to qualified voices other than just the Republicans and Democrats -- both of whom thrive on the power they get from big government.
Until someone who truly believes in liberty and freedom from federal overreach is allowed on the stage, there will be no debate about why armed federal agents need to harass ordinary citizens going about their daily lives. There will be no hard questions about spending thousands of tax dollars on a “sweep” to round up four -- yes, four -- people for minor drug possession and write a couple of tickets for cracked windshields.
Our America is fighting to put these issues on the debate stage, both in court and at the grassroots. And you can help. Go to Open the Debates today and contribute $10, $50, $100 or more to help pay the legal costs of challenging the private Presidential Debate Commission and to help us mobilize millions of Americans to demand an end to control of the debates by the Republicans and Democrats.
To win this fight in time for the 2016 election, we must act now. We have a good case -- and a good argument. We just need the resources to take that case to the courts and to the American people. Your contribution at Open the Debates will make the difference.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!
Gov. Gary Johnson
P.S. Our America’s legal team is working hard right now, and your support is essential!