A Remarkable Documentary

Ed must be my favorite name of the day. After covering Ed Packard endorsements in Alabama, I’m moving on to Wisconsin to give you an update on my friend Ed Thompson. For those of you who haven’t had the distinct honor of meeting this Ed, he’s a former veteran, boxer, professional gambler, prison guard and mayor who is currently a tavern owner and sits on the city council in Tomah, Wisconsin. Here’s his Wiki bio:

Ed Thompson (born December 25, 1944 in Elroy, Wisconsin) was the United States Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Wisconsin in 2002. He won 11% of the vote. He was elected mayor of Tomah, Wisconsin in April, 2000 with 58% of the vote. His older brother, Tommy Thompson, was previously Governor of Wisconsin and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

On April 5, 2005, Ed Thompson won an unexpected victory in the city council election in Tomah, Wisconsin.

It was unexpected because Thompson wasn’t running for the position. He had recently decided not to run for re-election for his position as chairman of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party, and was actually planning to take a break from politics.

Although he didn’t know it, Ed Thompson was the subject of a write-in campaign. He would receive 31 of 34 votes. His “opponent”, John Buick, received one vote from Thompson himself.

When Thompson first heard the news of his victory, he immediately declined the position. But days later, Thompson said, “I am honored by the confidence the people of Tomah have shown by electing me to serve them, and I would be shirking my responsibility and duty if I were to decline.

“I received just a deluge of phone calls, asking me to reconsider. And when I thought about all the people who don’t get involved in politics, and how often I’ve told people they really should get involved in local politics, I had to say yes.”

Thompson was sworn in on April 15, 2005 and will serve two years on the Tomah city council.

There is a really great new documentary about Ed which I encourage everyone to watch. The title A Remarkable Man describes Thompson perfectly. People are now reviewing the film and I thought I’d share a couple of clips. Here’s one from LewRockwell.com:

Having spent his youth in Toughman contests, you would think that the concussions would have properly prepared Ed for a political career. Unfortunately for him, he seems to have retained plenty of IQ, and he went into business instead. He opened the Tee Pee Supper Club in El Toboso”¦ no, I mean Tomah, Wisconsin. He served spare ribs and ethanol, and put in a few video poker machines.

Then one day, the District Attorney decided to raid all the small gambling establishments in Wisconsin (not the big Indian casinos which Ed points out are only 50 miles from Tomah, just the little taverns and other places not up to hiring Abramoff or his ilk). Ed found his Friday night restaurant receipts confiscated, and faced the threat of 8 years in prison. A lesser man would have taken the proffered plea bargain and gotten back to feeding his family. Ed decided to fight.

First, he defeated the initial charge of illegal gambling. He never claimed to be anything but guilty, but it seems that no jury in Tomah would convict him. Note to other prospective libertarian troublemakers: reading to senior citizens pays off. Note to prospective troublemaking jurors: for Pete’s sake, don’t ADMIT that you know about FIJA: the cursed prosecutor will just look for more pliable jurors.

Following this victory, he took vengeance on the District Attorney, finding and funding an opponent to defeat him in the primary. The most touching moment in the film is the scene where the former DA talks about losing the only job he ever loved: that of persecuting his fellow citizens for victimless “crimes” like owning video poker machines.

Here’s another from FilmBaby:

The film also chronicles Ed Thompson’s race for Mayor of Tomah and Governor of Wisconsin and shows how the political system in Wisconsin consists of a sort of corrupt Good Ol’ Boy network of Republicrats, who make it nearly impossible for other voices to be heard. After being suffocated with so many plastic automaton Republicrats unfortunately winning elections, it is truly a breath of fresh air to see an actual live human being become involved in politics. The primary concern of career politicians is their own career as is evidenced by their actions. Saying whatever their advisors tell them to say to win votes. The film wonderfully shows that Ed Thompson has no FCC between his brain and his mouth. So when he speaks, they are words that clearly come from his own experience, his own heart, and his own mind, and not sound bytes written by some sleazy political groomer sweating over polls behind the scenes.

The film also painfully illustrates how Ed Thompson has come to the realization that as voters we have unwittingly created our own oppressive royalty in the guise of slick celebrity attorneys who become elected officials, and how we have also unwittingly turned the common man into serfs and peasants to this psuedo royalty. The film shows that it is this realization, which fuels Ed Thompson’s current fire in the political arena.

I can only hope that this fine film serves as a mere prelude to Ed Thompson’s future governorship of Wisconsin. It clearly illustrates that he is the best man for the job.

I walked away from this film with a valuable lesson, and it is this. Most folks would write letters and make phone calls of complaint if presented with only two choices of televisions at their local Best Buy stores, yet they seem to be content with the illusion of only two choices at the ballot box, which in reality is only one choice. Those same folks will tell you that a vote for a third party is a wasted vote. Those folks are wrong. Republicrats are not entitled to votes. Voting is not about rooting for your favorite team, it’s not a sporting event you go to with your hometown colors painted on your face, and it’s not about being on the winning side. Voting is a personal process whereby an individual communes with their government, and sends government their own personal political views. Anything else is a wasted vote. Because even if the Republicrat you vote for successfully wins office, you still lose.

I’ve got a copy and highly recommend that you purchase one, too.

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • http://archive.wispolitics.com/freeser/features/f0212/f02121901i.html Scott McCallum

    When are they going to make a movie about McCallum?

    December 19, 2002
    MCCALLUM REFLECTS ON 22 STORMY MONTHS IN EAST WING
    http://archive.wispolitics.com/freeser/features/f0212/f02121901i.html

  • http://none John Biebesheimer

    To Scott Mccallum; movie deal when you can hold the same principles as Ed Thompson and deliver on them.

  • Sandra Kallander

    I bought mine with money I made on eBay selling old computer software. Did you know a Zorkmid has held its value excellently well against the dollar?